Dietitian Tara Kaff reveals lifestyle tweaks and ‘brain power’ foods to boost your energy levels


A sports dietitian has revealed the simple lifestyle tweaks you can make to keep you energised throughout the day.

Tara Kaff said when you eat poorly, you’re subject to a range of issues that can impact your productivity, including suffering from exhaustion and waves of ‘brain fog’, procrastinating, becoming irritable and aggressive and getting stressed easily.

The performance nutritionist for X50 Lifestyle explained that most of what we eat is broken down to glucose, which is the fuel that keeps our brains awake and alert.

‘So at all times of the day we have a certain glucose level in our blood, kind of like gasoline in a car. Certain foods release glucose quickly, whilst others do so more slowly, yet sustainably. The latter is what you should be aiming for,’ she said.

To keep your brain activity and energy levels high all day, the Sydney health expert said there are ‘brain power’ foods and adequate nutrition habits to adopt that can prevent you from feeling fatigued, sluggish and zapped of energy.

Sports dietitian Tara Kaff (pictured) has revealed the simple lifestyle tweaks you can make to keep you energised throughout the day

Revealed: The brain power foods

Fish: Enriched with oil and fortified with Omega-3 fatty assets, which are essential in brain function and development

Dark chocolate: A little goes a long way, dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that slow down cognitive decline

Blueberries: Studies have shown that these small but mighty berries can actually delay brain ageing, improve memory and learning and muscle function

Broccoli: Packed with powerful plant compounds and antioxidants, broccoli is also very high in vitamin K, the fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells

Eggs: As far as brain health goes, egg yolks are a good source of choline, which is associated with reducing inflammation and promoting brain function, like maintaining memory and communications between brain cells

Never skip breakfast 

Tara said far too many people skip the breakfast, the most important meal of the day.

‘Having a nutrient-packed breakfast essentially serves as a catalyst for your body and brain because it kick-starts your metabolism, which is responsible for the speed at which your body and brain perform,’ she said.

She recommends eating a good protein source, like eggs, leafy greens and whole wheat bread or healthy oats.

Quick pick-me-ups

Tara said the brain needs ‘very specifically portioned amounts of food’ to function at peak performance. 

‘Too much will give you a spike that rapidly declines and too little won’t bring your brain up to speed,’ she explained.

She suggested making your three daily meals a bit smaller and then adding in two healthy snacks to keep your brain plugging away at full speed.

‘Nuts provide healthy fats for proper brain activity and lots of energy while fruits are a source of carbohydrates, also known as the brain’s favourite source of energy,’ she said.

Tara said far too many people skip the breakfast, the most important meal of the day. 'Having a nutrient-packed breakfast essentially serves as a catalyst for your body and brain because it kick-starts your metabolism, which is responsible for increasing your productivity

Tara said far too many people skip the breakfast, the most important meal of the day. ‘Having a nutrient-packed breakfast essentially serves as a catalyst for your body and brain because it kick-starts your metabolism, which is responsible for increasing your productivity

Green tea

Tara recommends Green Tea X50 formula, which works hard to provide a source of clean energy, boosts your metabolism and has added resveratrol for anti-ageing properties

Tara recommends Green Tea X50 formula, which works hard to provide a source of clean energy, boosts your metabolism and has added resveratrol for anti-ageing properties

Tara said drinking green tea is beneficial for your brain, bones, skin, and heart as it contains caffeine and an amino acid called L-theanine, which boost memory and attention, help reduce stress and improve your mood.

‘Given the amount of caffeine in green tea is much lower than in coffee, you get some of the benefits of it without the unpleasant side effects, like jitteriness or energy crashes,’ she said.  

Research shows that the combination of caffeine and L-theanine improves brain function by strengthening working memory and attention, and reducing anxiety. 

She recommends the Green Tea X50 formula, which works hard to provide a source of clean energy, boosts your metabolism and has added resveratrol for anti-ageing properties.

To increase your productivity, Tara said there are energy-boosting and 'brain power' foods to consider in your daily meal plan. One of the foods she suggested was dark chocolate, which is packed with antioxidants that slow down cognitive decline (stock image)

To increase your productivity, Tara said there are energy-boosting and ‘brain power’ foods to consider in your daily meal plan. One of the foods she suggested was dark chocolate, which is packed with antioxidants that slow down cognitive decline (stock image)

Brain power foods

To increase your productivity, Tara said there are energy-boosting and ‘brain power’ foods to consider in your daily meal plan.

‘Fish is enriched with oil and fortified with Omega-3 fatty assets, which are essential in brain function and development,’ she said.

‘Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidants that slow down cognitive decline, while berries can delay brain ageing, improve memory and learning and muscle function.’ 

‘Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds and antioxidants, broccoli is also very high in vitamin K, the fat-soluble vitamin that’s essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells.’

Another ingredient she suggested is eggs, which are a good source of choline, which is associated with reducing inflammation and promoting brain function, like maintaining memory and communications between brain cells.

She said eggs are also high in tryptophan, an amino acid that’s a building block of serotonin, known as the happy chemical.

Never be without water

Tara said you should always keep yourself hydrated throughout the day – and have a glass of water with every meal. 

‘Water is the source of life – literally. Dehydration causes lethargy, sluggishness and the inability to focus and concentrate. Our body needs plenty of H20 to distribute nutrients through the bloodstream to our body parts, including the brain,’ she said.

‘Never leave home without a bottle of water. Never sit at your desk without a bottle of water. Just never be without a bottle of water.’

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