THE ROLL UP - INTRO
Many bowlers search for solutions to a poor performance on the green. Some believe a new set of bowls, a complete change of delivery or even a change of coach or club could be the answer to a poor game. Having a look at what you fuel your body with regularly and prior to games could be a simple solution which is vastly underappreciated and ignored within the bowls community.
As a result of our sport of lawn bowls not being physically demanding like other sports, it doesn’t mean that nutrition can be ignored or does not play a role in performing to your best. We still need to provide sufficient energy and nutrition for us to play bowls for hours each game and potentially multiple games per day.
Every day, we eat vitamins and minerals that are useful to keep our bodies running at full capacity. Well selected foods like the four we have highlighted below allow you to improve your brain health, boost your performance and improve your concentration on the green.
CONCENTRATION BOOSTING FOODS
1 – BLUEBERRIES
Often called nature’s superfood, blueberries have several health benefits. Blueberries are full of antioxidants, which protect your body from free radicals (Free radicals damage contributes to the cause of many chronic health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, cataract, and cancer). Blueberries are also high in nutrition and low in calories, making this fruit a favourite among many.
Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells. Studies have also shown that eating blueberries can slow the rate of cognitive decline and fight Alzheimer’s Disease in adults too.
2 – FISH – (OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS)
A protein source linked to a great brain boost is fish — rich in omega-3 fatty acids that are key for brain health. These healthy fats have amazing brain power: A diet with higher levels of them has been linked to lower dementia and stroke risks and slower mental decline; plus, they may play a vital role in enhancing memory, especially as we get older.
For brain and heart health, eat two servings of fish weekly.
3 – NUTS AND SEEDS
Just like blueberries, regular consumption of nuts can be linked to a lower risk of cognitive decline in older adults.
Please make note we are not talking about nuts that are coated in salt, honey, barbeque flavour, chocolate or any other flavouring – just nuts of the raw type.
Several nutrients in nuts, such as healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamin E, explains their beneficial effects on brain health and ultimately your ability to concentrate better. Vitamin E protects cells against free-radical damage to help slow mental decline.
While all nuts are good for your brain, walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
4 – LEAFY GREENS
Leafy greens, including lettuce, kale, collards, broccoli, and spinach, are a great energy source. For example a salad with leafy greens and grilled chicken, pumpkin seeds, and avocado is an excellent lunch option prior to stepping onto the green. This meal can keep you focused for the rest of the day and hours that may be spent playing bowls.
Like the foods mentioned previous, these plant-based foods are connected to reduced cognitive decline because they are rich in vitamin K, lutein, phylloquinone, and nitrate. Similar to berries and nuts, leafy green vegetables also help fight dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Leafy green vegetables are also full of B-vitamins, which are “proven to help your memory, focus, and overall brain health and power”. They also contain folic acid, which improves your mental clarity.
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How many times have you heard bowlers say ‘bowls is a mental game’? – That being said, surely we should be putting even more emphasis on properly fuelling our bodies in order to allow peak mental performance.
Introducing a more healthy approach to the foods you fuel your body with will not only boost your game but ultimately improve your overall health. A healthier lifestyle will bring benefits not only on the green but off the green too, enabling you to play those ultimate draw shots and remain competitive season after season.
TIP: Just as important as including these brain-boosting foods in your diet is steering clear of foods that can negatively impact brain health and concentration
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