You are What You [-r Brain] Eat

The self-help book, lucky girl mindset, and working on my self-season is in full swing. People are obsessed with the idea of bettering themselves. Why wouldn’t you? However, it can be exhausting to try to keep up with the newest health trends of what water bottle will be socially acceptable and keep you hydrated all day (I see you 42oz Stanley). Or maybe if I pick out the perfect planner, I’ll never forget about a meeting, and everything else has to fall into place, right? What about the right workout set, if I have this new spring color, then my fitness goals will basically achieve themselves… I wish. But the thing with consumerism is there’s always going to be something else, a new trend will come, an updated style, or a new drop. These “things” unfortunately won’t help our brains thrive (long term) and ultimately won’t better ourselves to the core.

What needs attention is what we’re feeding our bodies. If you think about it, day to day what we consume is what were made of. From media to the people we surround ourselves with, to the food we eat. Let’s shift our focus to feeding our bodies with food that can nourish our brain and help it thrive. ***I’m not nor claim to be a nutritionist; this is solely based on my own experience, reading, and research to educate myself on my own.

5 Foods Your Brain Will Thank YOU For:

Leafy Greens: Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, and Lettuce

It turns out there was some importance in finishing your broccoli as a kid. Research has determined that dark leafy greens can affect our brains in some quite significant ways. It’s been shown to slow the decline of age-related cognitive impairment, even serving as a protective factor. Meaning consuming as little as 1.5 servings of greens a day can show a decrease in impacts related to Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Which essentially impairs cognitive functioning, memory, and speech. Leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce contain nutrients high in lutein, vitamin K, nitrate, folate, and beta-carotene. These nutrients have been associated with positive cognitive health. Not only are you getting more nutrient-rich foods, but food that’ll improve your overall brain health by slowing the risk of age-related cognitive decline.

Healthy Fats: Salmon, Olive Oil, Avocado and Nuts

Healthy fats have been deemed a “superfood” for years, claiming an avocado will solve all your problems. Unfortunately, it can’t solve ALL of your problems, but it can help revitalize your brain functioning. It’s been found that our brains are made up of over 60% fat, so to replenish it we need to feed it accordingly. This can look like salmon, olive oil, avocado, and nuts, that’re all high in healthy fats and Omega 3s. Omega 3s are responsible for aiding in brain and nerve cell production; which, are essential for learning and memory. Perhaps swap out butter for olive oil and incorporate trail mix into your lunch break to help boost building your brain.

Berries: Blue Berries and Strawberries 

Berries are packed full of endless benefits for our brain and body. They contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants that are needed for optimal brain health. From my understanding the science behind their brain boosting power has to do with their ability to counteract oxidative stress. Oxidative stress takes place when the antioxidant vs free radical balance is off in our body. An imbalance over time can lead to harm to our dna and proteins, then potential diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease) negatively affecting our brain. However, the antioxidants are there to help keep everything stable, by protecting our bodies natural equilibrium. Berries have the ability to help increase brain plasticity and cell communication. SO, yes eat more berries, they are literally doing the work to keep you healthy.

Fermented Foods: Plain Yogurt, Kimchi, pre/probiotics

Gut health has been ALL the rage lately, from green juices, to supplements and magic powders, claiming to “reset” and “reboot” your gut. Some of them may work; however, fermented foods have been used for decades, acting as a natural pre and pro-biotic. Meaning they clean out the “bad bacteria” and help nourish the good bacteria. This can help improve digestion by increasing antimicrobials and balancing bacteria to help the absorption of food. In addition, a sign your gut health may need attention is if your having increased brain fog and unclear thinking. In fact, 90% of seroton is produced in the gut, so taking care of that microbiome is essential to help decrease anxiety and depression. The body and brain are connected so by taking care of various aspects is essential for overall well-being.

Dark chocolate: 70% Cocoa

Dark chocolate is good for you, yes it’s true… With high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, research says keep eating it. At least the kind with 70% cocoa is sure to provide you with these benefits. Since diseases’ root cause is primarily inflammation, it’s important to keep it at bay. Antioxidants help fight inflammation that can help reduce the risk of heart disease and increase immunity. Also, dark chocolate has been shown to increase blood flow from high levels of flavonoids, helping overall cognitive functioning. As well as increasing production of endorphins, that are essential for mood, pain management, and stress. 

By Kennedy Baker

Nutrition, Self-Care