Baby & Big Step 23
In order for our bodies to function properly we must have the right fuel. Have you noticed when you eat a double cheeseburger, or drink a Big Gulp shortly after you just don’t feel too good. Your body isn’t the only thing that needs to be fueled properly, your brain does too. According to Psychology Today mood, motivation, and mental performance are heavily influenced by what you eat.
You know the old saying, “You are what you eat” well this is certainly true when it comes to brain function. When we eat the wrong fats, and a lot of it, research shows that you may experience more aggression and depression. But, when you eat good fats, like omega-3′s your brain function works at an optimal level. Fats make up sixty percent of the brain and the nerves that run every system in the body. You can get good fat in omega-3 rich foods like salmon, sardines, pumpkin and flax seeds.
Do you like hot soothing drinks on a cold day? If you want a drink to help boost your brain, instead of coffee grab a green tea. Recently a study of 1,000 Japenese people over 70 found that those who drank the most green tea, showed the least signs of a decline in cognitive skills due to aging. No coffee, didn’t do the trick the same as green tea.
Speaking of tricks. Here’s one that will help your brain function clearly and efficiently. Instead of eating 3 big meals, break the food you eat throughout the day into smaller meals. This gives your brain a chance to use what it has been given at a more steady pace. Try eating every 2-3 hours, 5-6 smaller meals. I’ve read that larger meals are too much for our brains, making them perform at lower levels when we consume them. Remember, eat small meals more often, and you’ll get big results when it comes to brain power.
Did you know that the primary fuel for your brain is glucose, which comes from carbohydrates. I bet you are saying, “But carbs aren’t good for you??” Sure they are. You just need the “right” carbs. Oats are carbs, and they are good for your brain ladies. Your body breaks down the carbs in oats very slowly, which means they can help keep you sharp for several hours. Here’s a link to our Kid Approved Baked Oatmeal, it tastes like oatmeal cookies. If you want something fast and easy for you and the kids here’s a link to How To Make Healthy Instant Oatmeal!
I’m sure you remember when you were pregnant your doctor making you take vitamins or eat more foods with folate. I had no idea at the time that folate was good for your brain! One legume that’s full of folate are lentils! Folate can help to reduce the level of amino acids in your body that can impair your brain function. It’s a great time of year for lentil soup, or throw them in your salads.
There are tons of healthy whole foods that you can add to your diet to increase your brain power.
Action Step: Continue dumping the junk in your house. Add as many brain foods into your diet as possible! Enjoy!
10 Great Brain Foods
(In no particular order)
- Wild Salmon
- Eggs (particularly yolks, or egg whites if DHA enriched)
- Whole Grains
- Cacao (or dark chocolate with at least 75% cacao, just 1/2 – 1 oz)
What’s Your Favorite Brain Food??