So many people I meet tell me they don’t have time to go grocery shopping, cook, or even eat. What are we so busy doing? Are we working hard to achieve career goals, parenthood, or in our community? How much more smoothly would your well-oiled machine work if you gave your body the right fuel? Imagine being more productive, smarter, better mood, more energy, and sleeping better.
The brain has 5 main components and this is how we can feed it better:
- Omega 3 & 6. These fats or lipids from nuts, seeds, and fatty fish prevent brain degeneration. It also maintains cell membrane health. Conversely, prolonged consumption of bad fats such as trans-fats and saturated fats degrades brain health.
- Protein & Amino Acids. These support growth and development of the brain. It affects how we feel and behave. They are the precursors that affect mood-altering chemicals such as dopamine and serotonin. This explains why we may feel sleepy after lunch or feel more alert because of what we eat. Proteins and amino acids affect our mood, sleep, attentiveness, and even weight.
- Micro-nutrients. We get these from fruits and vegetable which helps our brain work well for a longer time and prevent brain disease. They fight free radicals that destroys brain cells. For example, B6, B12, and folic acid prevents brain disease and mental decline. Iron, copper, zinc, and sodium improves brain health as well as early cognitive development.
- Carbs. The brain is only 2% of our body weight but uses 20% of our resources which is why we need carbs but there are different types of carbs. The ratio of starch, sugar, and fiber fuels the brain but creates dramatic results depending on what kind of carbs we consume because the frontal lobe is very sensitive and reacts to these varying sugars. For example, a diet high in sugar like white bread will decrease our attention span and affect our mood. Whereas, oats, bran, and legumes will create steady energy and sustained brain power.
The moral of the story: take the time to eat delicious, homemade food to ensure success at whatever is important to you. That can be your job, parenting, sports, friendship, community, etc. Nothing else is more important than your brain and your body.