Melanie Marino is an accredited practicing dietitian based in Melbourne, Australia. 




If Monday morning has you struggling to focus on deadlines and remember what happened in the office on Friday it might be time to work on that memory. Diet has been proven to enhance concentration and recall so make sure you jog your memory after that jog on the treadmill.

When it comes to our health we often focus on our weight and other parts of our body such as our heart and lungs. Many of us forget to consider the affect that eating has on our brain. The brain uses twenty percent of our daily energy intake so what you put in your mouth matters.

The ability to concentrate and focus requires an adequate supply of energy. We need enough glucose from quality carbohydrate to avoid feeling tired, vague and weak. Go to work with a decent breakfast and eat regularly throughout the day to sustain your focus. Remember, not to overdo the carbohydrate though. Once your blood glucose is within the normal range then eating more won’t help you remember that email.

Berries contain flavonoids and anthocyanins which boost memory function. The darker the better so grab a handful of blackberries, blueberries or cherries to have at your desk. You can also mix them into your cereal or yoghurt, make a smoothie or bake them as a healthy dessert. Frozen berries can be just as good as fresh ones as they’re frozen at their nutritional peak.

Another way to be a clever clogs is to eat up all your cruciferous vegetables.  These include broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and dark leafy greens. Add kale to your sandwich or wrap and toss vegetables into your stir fry or salad for dinner. Regular consumption of green vegetables has been shown to help the brain process information and improve memory recall.

Purple vegetables are another asset to your intellect. Purple potato, cabbage and eggplant are true brain food. They assist with short and long term memory. Add them to a casserole or stir-fry or cook up potato crisps in the oven to eat during the day. Nuts are also good food for thought. Walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, cashews and sunflower seeds are a great snack to have on hand or add them to your cereal or salad

The most abundant fatty acid in the brain is docosahexaenoic (DHA). This is part of the omega-3 group found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and herring. If you have higher levels of DHA in the blood then your brain will operate more efficiently.  Grill or bakefish for dinner or enjoy a tuna sandwich or salmon on your salad. A supplement can be effective if you don’t eat fish.

Remember, there are foods to avoid if you want to be smart. Trans fats in processed and fried foods have been shown to affect cognitive function. These bad fats replace the healthy omega-3 ones needed by the brain. Alcohol causes short term memory loss and common sense tells us that our IQ will not reach genius levels if we binge drink regularly.

You create your own upper story by the foods you choose to eat. Eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables, fish and nuts is going to go to your head and ensure you get ahead. The more you remember to eat memory boosting foods the more you’ll remember every day.


Photo by Jeffrey Deng on Unsplash