Your lifestyle habits have a huge influence on your learning!
Have you ever wondered why you can’t seem to concentrate when you’re studying or no matter how hard you try, you just can’t remember that vocabulary!
Maybe you’re not using the right strategies, maybe it’s not the right time of day, maybe you’re not in the mood for learning or maybe it’s your diet!
Did you know that eating a healthy diet can improve your memory, concentration, thinking and problem-solving abilities?
Do you want to learn better, remember things more easily, keep focused? Then give your brain the fuel it needs!
Not sure what that fuel is?
Don’t worry my good friend Marie Perez does! Marie is a nutritional therapist, health coach, homeopath and Alexander Technique teacher at www.marieperezwellness.com
Marie came along to the YES Community to talk about the importance of a good diet for learning and give us some tips to help us learn English better.
I highly recommend you watch the full interview but if you’re a busy bee, here are 3 super important tips that Marie gave us that can help you on your way to better learning:
#1 Start the day well with a good breakfast
And no, that’s not a Full English! Your breakfast should include protein and healthy fats rather than lots of carbohydrates. Marie’s breakfast of eggs, spinach and avocado was a much better way to start the day than my cereal and milk! Marie’s breakfast was much less likely to cause “fire” (i.e inflammation) in the body than in mine! And we know that inflammation in certain parts of our brain makes it harder to plan, focus or remember things.
Are you getting enough sleep?
It’s not a coincidence that there’s an expression to “sleep on it”
When you learn something new, sleeping helps strengthen memories you’ve formed throughout the day. It also helps to link new memories to earlier ones. And you might even come up with new ideas while you’re sleeping and solve problems that seemed impossible to solve during the day!
And of course a sleep-deprived person will find it much more difficult to focus the next day and so won’t maximize their learning potential.
Another reason to ensure you’re getting enough sleep is that this is when the “dustbin men” of the body come along and clear out all the debris and unwanted stuff – bacteria, dead cells, byproducts of digestion, etc. There’s a reason you feel “clean” after a good sleep.
So be careful with drinks like coffee that contain caffeine and can keep us awake longer than we’d like.
And make sure you’re sleeping enough!
#3 Eat the rainbow
A balanced diet that includes a variety of food groups is essential as they can all help us in different ways.
Foods with Omega 3 are anti-inflammatory – i.e less fire in your body and better memory, planning and focusing! Make sure you include foods in your diet such as oily fish e.g sardines (even in a tin) mackerel, anchovies, walnuts, chia seeds, etc…
Purple foods are good for memory e.g. all the dark berries (blueberries, blackberries, grapes) but also red fruits and vegetables like pomegranates, red cabbage, beetroot…
Green leafy vegetables e.g. broccoli, spinach, kale, cabbage might not be a popular choice (especially with my kids!) but they are so good for us. Apart from keeping our body detoxified and in tip top shape, a study found that ageing people who ate some leafy greens every day had better memories!
Whereas biscuits are a “better not”, I was pleased to hear that dark chocolate is not only allowed, but in moderation it might be good for me. It contains lots of nutrients and antioxidants such as flavonoids. Some research suggests that it could help brain performance and function!
So, what’s on the menu today for you?
Watch the full interview with Marie for lots more information about how making small changes to our diet can help us unlock our potential to be amazing learners!
Happy Smarter Learning! (the CALM way)
Join the YES community
If you want more advice, tips and strategies related to learning English smarter, join the YES Community by signing up for my YES mails
✓ Tips, strategies and inspiration for learning English smarter
✓ News about events happening in the YES community like this one (some are free!) and early bird offers.
✓ Advice about language learning through stories and anecdotes. You’ll learn what to do (and not to do!) to become more fluent in English (You’ll also learn about life in rural Galicia, “meet” my neighbours: a donkey and some goats, my family, my pets and many more colourful characters…)
More good stuff:
Recommended by Marie:
Mindfuless is another great habit to create to help us learn better. Check out my interview with Marusya Price all about this. Maruysa is a teacher, mindfulness life coach, blogger and content creator.