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Boost Your Brain

Island Epicure

Whether you are a student, a teacher, or a parent of students, this is the season for turning on your brain and fast forwarding to full efficiency. you surely already know that a good breakfast in your belly boosts your brain into a higher gear than it’s probably been all summer. You also have the challenge of changing your circadian rhythm, your going to sleep and waking up times, to mesh with your school day starting schedule. Once you’ve established the habit of waking at the right time, you will scarcely need an alarm clock. You’ll have a well developed time sense.

Some tips: 1. Stay off the computer or video games in the evening. Teach yourself to go to bed early enough to get the number of hours of sleep you need. It’s while we sleep that our brains do their housecleaning, like computers doing their automatic defragging, If you don’t get all the sleep your brain needs, it cannot complete that essential work, so it will not be at full efficiency in the morning. For instance if you  get up at six a.m., and you need eight to ten hours of sleep, you have to be in your nightgown or p.j.’s and snuggled down in bed by ten o’clock for eight hours’ sleep, or  even by eight o’clock  for ten hours sleep. 2. Eat a healthy, satisfying breakfast.

After that many hours without food, you should have a good appetite for breakfast. Select an item or two from each of these food groups:
Fruit: Blueberries and red berries. Tomatoes fit into this group, too. These not only wake up your little brain cells, they are also anti-carcinogenic; they  block cancer cells from reproducing.  Oranges, tangerines, cantaloup or grapefruit for Vitamin C, necessary to help your immune system fight all those new germs that other students are probably sharing just by breathing into classroom air.   

Protein:  Eggs for excellent protein that sets the standard other proteins are measured by. Do eat the yolks. Their proteins positively affect your thinking ability. Eggs give you choline for brain power and lutein  which benefits your eyes and enhances your memory, You want to and need to remember what you learn in school each day. It doesn’t much matter whether you eat your egg scrambled, as an omelet, sunny side up, or hard-boiled. Two eggs provide 12 to 14 milligrams of protein.  Or you can get your protein from cheese. I favor cheddar, melted on toast. My grandson opts for mozzarella, which yields Vitamin K2. You need that for moving calcium into your bones. By the way, it’s not calcium that makes your bones strong; it’s magnesium that does that. Actually they help each other. Calcium gives bones  substance; magnesium makes that substance strong. Almonds contain both.  I put almond milk on my porridge and snack on almonds. And other nuts.

Carbohydrate: Porridge, toast, muffins, or biscuits, or scones. Any of these will provide lasting energy.
Beverage:  For growing kids  and older folks  worried about slipping into dementia, I recommend chocolate made with milk. Cacao, a.k.a. Chocolate, improves memory and is anti-inflammatory, increases blood to the brain and even protects your nerves. Besides, it tastes good and when made with milk a cup of chocolate gives you at least 8 milligrams of protein, and  a significant amount of Vitamin K2 from the milk.  Just don’t go overboard with sugar to take the edge of bitterness from the chocolate. I recommend sweeting with coconut sugar. It’s glycemic index number is roughly a third that of cane sugar.