Image courtesy of

Brain function is vital for existence. We all need to feed ours brain regularly with the right mix for it to work properly & to feel mentally well. The human brain uses up to 20% of the energy used by the entire human body which is more than any other single organ.

The brain is different from other organs in that it relies on a steady supply of glucose as its primary fuel similar to putting wood or turf into the fire to keep it burning.

Glucose ideally comes from carbohydrates. Some carbohydrates are better at fuelling the brain than others, because they are less refined and therefore release the glucose more slowly. Slow-releasing – or complex – carbohydrates, in foods like oats, potatoes, vegetables take longer to digest than refined equivalents such as white bread, processed cereals and sugar. Choosing foods that take longer to be digested means that your brain receives a more stable and consistent flow of fuel with which to function.

Start the day with breakfast, for example a wholegrain cereal such as porridge with milk and fruit or brown toast with a poached egg.
Include some starchy food (such as boiled potatoes, rice, pasta, and brown breads) at lunch and dinner. If you are short of time, then go for a sandwich or jacket potato.
Between meals include snacks such as fruit, vegetables, nuts, yoghurts, oatcakes or crackers.

Getting the right balance can promote mental health well-being and contribute to living a healthy lifestyle.

Have a look at the New Food Pyramid on Safefood for more information on carbohydrates and portion size guide.

Tips for healthy eating
Healthy Eating for Healthy Heart

tips for healthy eating
Healthy Eating Tips

Eleanor Sutton, Senior Mental Health Dietitian at St Patrick’s Mental Health Service

Share This