Takeaways get a bad rep for being seriously unhealthy, and while sure, the majority of them are laden down with calories and the like, it turns out there's a few choices which have beneficial brain-busting properties.
Nutritionist Ruth Tongue collaborated with Just Eat to identify the top takeaway dishes for maintaining brainpower.
Here's the top picks:
Chicken Tikka Masala: Turmeric, the key spice in a Chicken Tikka Masala, is arguably one of the most powerful medicinal herbs on the planet. Studies have found that the compound curcumin in turmeric, could help increase the growth of brain cells by as much as 80%.
Chicken Burrito – with extra guacamole: Chicken is a source of the amino acid tryptophan which helps to produce serotonin. Higher levels of serotonin can improve learning, particularly when the brain is under stress such as at exam time. Guacamole, made using the humble avocado, is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, which can increase blood flow around the body, including the brain.
Satay king prawns: Prawns are a good source of protein, required by the brain to produce the neurotransmitters that transmit information to the brain - essential for revision. This is complimented by the satay sauce rich in peanuts, which are high in the brain-boosting antioxidant Vitamin E, crucial for neuronal health.
Vegetarian pizza: Toppings on a vegetarian pizza can include folic acid-rich spinach and nutrient dense eggs. Keeping folic acid levels high with dark green leafy veg such as spinach can help avoid mental sluggishness. Similarly, olives, capers and anchovies found on a Neapolitan pizza, contain high levels of polyphenols associated with increased cognitive function.
Egg fried rice: Eggs are one of the best protein-rich foods for improving memory, thanks to its yolk which contains essential nutrient choline. A recent study by Boston University tracked the eating habits of nearly 1,400 healthy adults for 10 years and found that choline intake correlated positively with better performance on certain types of memory tests.
Whole grains and pulses like Indian dahl: The brain uses about 20% of the body’s total energy, so having a steady supply of energy will help boost concentration and focus. Wholegrains and pulses such as lentils have a low-GI, which help to stabilise blood sugar levels and provide a slow release of energy to the brain.
Asian Salmon teriyaki: Salmon is an oily fish packed full of the brain-friendly omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA. DHA is one of the main structural components of the brain and as such plays an essential role in learning and memory. Studies have also shown that people with high levels of DHA are less likely to suffer from depression.
Falafel: The main ingredient found in falafels are chickpeas - not only are they a great source of protein and slow-releasing carbohydrates but they are also high in magnesium, which helps to speed up the rate at which messages are transmitted to the brain.
No more guilty gorging from now, sure it's "food for the brain" obvs!