Stay Sharp with These Top Tips; in Association with the NHS Our Brains Need Just as Much Care and Attention as Our Bodies, Say Experts. Health Reporter JANE PICKEN Finds out How to Boost Brain Power

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FROM today, health experts across the country will be marking Brain Awareness Week and telling people how to make sure their lifestyles help sharpen their minds.

It's one of the body's most vital organs, but the brain often gets forgotten about as we worry about the health of our heart, lungs or skin.

The brain is in charge of some pretty essential things, from our ability to think, reason and communicate to more trivial tasks such as playing video games or riding a bike.

The brain has a unique composition and is made up of 60% fat. The biggest component of this is polyunsaturated fatty acids and there are two that dominate - omega-6 and omega-3.

These good fats are crucial for the structure and function of the billions of nerve cells and connections that form the eye, brain and central nervous system.

Our bodies cannot manufacture these fatty acids, so we have to rely on our food sources to guarantee an adequate intake.

Research has shown that supplementing the diet with a combination of omega-3 and omega-6 can greatly improve brain function, memory and concentration.

When the brain is not getting the nutrients it needs, memory, concentration and coordination are not as finely tuned as they could be, making forgetfulness and disorganisation more apparent.

To make sure the brain is working at its best, try to follow these tips: Get a good night's sleep. Lack of sleep can takes its toll on concentration, problem solving, planning, learning, working memory and alertness.

Ensure you have enough omega-3 and 6 in your diet. Research has proved this can improve memory and concentration.

Don't skip breakfast as the brain needs to be fuelled by a steady supply of glucose.

Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables which are high in Vitamin B. Baked beans on whole meal bread is a good snack option.

Drink alcohol only in moderation.

Challenge the brain. Crosswords, puzzles, sudoku and new computerised mind games all help keep the brain active. …


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