Have you noticed changes in your brain health as the years go by? All the sudden you can’t find your phone (even though you’re holding it), found the kettle in the fridge (surprise!), and swore you left the remote on the coffee table (oops, husband’s not happy).

Sound familiar?

Cognitive function is involved in all situations, whether it’s memory loss, brain fog, or confusion.

So, what is cognitive function & how does that relate to brain health?

Cognitive function is thinking, learning, and memory abilities, including attention, memory, language, communication, and problem-solving skills. Keeping cognitive function in check is crucial for overall well-being and independence as we age. Our cognitive abilities become more important for daily tasks, from socialising to decision-making. Cognitive health is a particular aspect of brain health.

Cognitive impairment can range from mild memory issues to severe deficits seen in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

But don’t stress! Some of the first symptoms of perimenopause involve changes in cognitive abilities. It’s not just our reproductive system recalibrating; our brain is too.

The good news for your brain health?

Proactive management strategies can help preserve cognitive function and independence as we get older. I will share some achievable dietary and lifestyle strategies for improving mental alertness, cognitive function, and mental well-being.


Prioritise sleep.

The glymphatic system is a recently discovered waste clearance system in the brain. It functions primarily during sleep, allowing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to flow through the brain tissue and remove waste products, including toxic proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Adequate sleep is essential for this function to take place.

Aim for 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night.

Balance your meals.

Ensure you have a balanced meal of:

  • Protein
    • Beef
    • Chicken
    • Lamb
    • Tofu
    • Tempeh
    • Beans
    • Pulses
  • Carbs
    • Complex carbohydrates include-
      • whole-grain bread
      • rice
      • pasta
      • quinoa
      • sweet potato
  • Good quality fats
    • Avocados
    • Walnuts
    • Cashews
    • Extra virgin olive oil

A balanced meal will provide the nutrients required for your brain to function optimally and help balance your blood sugars throughout the day, mitigating the potential for blood sugar crashes and, consequently, brain fog and fatigue later in the day.


Include polyphenols in your diet – DAILY.

Polyphenols in your diet offer dual benefits for gut health and antioxidant support. Polyphebols can be found in foods like:

  • berries
  • dark chocolate
  • green tea.

These compounds promote beneficial gut bacteria growth and reduce inflammation. Polyphenols enhance nutrient absorption and strengthen the gut barrier by supporting a healthy gut microbiome, bolstering overall health and immune function.

Additionally, their antioxidant properties combat oxidative stress, protecting cells from damage. Research suggests these gut benefits extend to improved cognitive function, highlighting their potential role in brain health.



Wild blueberries, rich in anthocyanins, protect the brain from oxidative stress and inflammation. Studies suggest regular consumption may:

  • Enhance cognitive function, memory, and attention.
  • Improve brain blood flow to the brain.
  • Anti-inflammatory effects, potentially reducing the risk of age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

Wild blueberries aren’t easy to come by in Australia because they aren’t grown locally, but some health food shops sell imported ones.

These are my favorites:


They’re much smaller and tarter than a normal blueberry, but they’re delicious in warm porridge on a cool autumn morning.

Brain health & cognitive support

As a Perimenopause & Healthy Ageing Clinical Nutritionist, I have a strong interest in working with my clients to support their cognition. We work together to make realistic, achievable food as medicine and supplement (where clinically appropriate) goals, made up individually for each of my clients. Through thorough assessment we can identify what’s most important for supporting you to:

  • manage any known health issues
  • reduce risk factors for development or progression of many conditions
  • improve overall wellness
  • ensure you’re meeting your nutrition goals (in a way that is enjoyable!)

I offer free 15 minute discovery calls to my clients so that we can learn about each other & see if we are a good fit. If you’d like to explore this avenue, book a no-obligation, free call here.

More than just one on one:

We know that one on one consultations simply aren’t right for everyone, and that’s why we are in the process of putting together some really great resources for those of you who would prefer to watch webinars or do self-paced online courses. In fact, we have an in-person FREE workshop on Tuesday 23rd April at 9:30am in our clinic in Croydon. Spaces are limited – if you’re interested please ensure you book your spot here.

Please keep an eye on our Health Hub to see what webinars and workshops we have available. By joining the mailing list we will also let you know when new resources are uploaded.

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This blog does not provide individualised health advise. The information mentioned in this blog is educational in nature and is here to help you make informed decisions regarding your health. It is essential that you work with your healthcare practitioners to assess what is right for you.

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