After eating certain foods or large portions, we often feel sluggish and tired because our body has to use more energy for digestion that would have been used elsewhere. But there are also other foods that help us focus and perform better.
— This month we’ll be diving deeper into the topic “soul food”, and more specifically examine the question of how certain foods and more conscious eating can impact on our well-being and performance. As always, we’ll also provide you with practical tips and useful background knowledge, without leading you by the nose. —
Brainfood = Food for the brain?!
So, can we literally eat wisdom by the spoonful? The logic holds up, but what does Brainfood and Co really mean? Can I train my brain with the right foods?
Our brain is a high-performer – it’s clear that it needs lots of energy. To be precise, 20% of
our daily energy is consumed by our brain. The brain feels most at ease when it’s fed with
healthy foods. Then it’s able to regenerate at night when you’re sleeping, allowing you to
perform at maximum capacity during the day. A combination of vegetables, fruit, olive oil,
grains, nuts, cheese, as well as fish and poultry is best for our gray cells. The ultimate secret
weapon for our performance is varied, wholesome, natural, and mostly plant-based nutrition.
This makes Mediterranean cuisine especially well-suited to increase productivity.
Junkfood – nobody needs it, especially not your brain.
Many different studies have shown that an unbalanced diet with too much fat, salt, and sugar
– as is often the case with fast food – can lead to impulsiveness, an increased risk for
depression, aggression, violence, anxiety, and memory problems. So, if you feel a bad mood
or anxiety coming on and don’t feel comfortable in your own skin, ask yourself what you had
to eat and if there could be a connection to how you’re feeling.
Better: Our TOP 5 brain food-ingredients for you!
- Omega 3 fatty acids, are not only good for your heart, but also your brain. You can find them in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines. But also in nuts, such as nut oils, and seeds like flaxseed or chia seeds.
- Complex carbohydrates: They’re the best, most sustainable source of energy for our brain. At the same time, these wonder foods also contain fiber, minerals, and vitamins. These little power bundles can be found in whole-wheat products, such as quinoa, beans, oatmeal, rice, potatoes, and bananas.
- Proteins: are made up of amino acids that are predecessors to message substances like serotonin (the happiness hormone) or dopamine (the sleep hormone). The best sources of protein are chicken eggs (Who would have thought?), but also dairy products, soy products, legumes, fish, and meat.
- Secondary plant substances: are responsible for taste, smell, and color. Polyphenols, in particular, are important for our brain as they support learning and memory capabilities. They also protect our DNA from oxidative stress. You can find these wonderful substances in all colorful fruits and vegetables, such as berries, grapes, plums, or peppers.
- Liquids: Nothing is more important. Our brain needs 1.5 – 2 liters of unsweetened
tea or water every day. Watered-down juice is also great. Coffee as well, though
alcohol is not. Smoothies are more of a snack than actual hydration.
The best for last!
Your morning wake-up call for your brain! This cereal has everything that your gray cells need – from fiber, to minerals, vitamins, secondary plant substances – even important carbohydrates (long-term energy) and healthy fats!
You will need:
4 TB oats
4 TB strawberry yoghurt
1 handful of strawberries
2 TB nuts of your choice
1 TB cocoa nibs
This is how it’s done:
Wash the strawberries and let them drip-dry. Take care that the berries don’t stay in the water too long; otherwise, they’ll lose flavor. Remove any green leaves and cut the strawberries into quarters. Put all the ingredients into a bowl and enjoy! Tip: For better digestion, you can also cook the oats in milk beforehand.
On that note, we wish you a productive week!