Are you looking for a healthy way to clear your mind haze?! Check out how these foods can give your brain a vibrant boost.
If you are racing against a deadline, fatigued after a long week or facing a stint of writers block or lack of creative flare, your first thought may not be food related. However, many studies have been done on the link between nutrition and the functioning of the brain, looking specifically how certain foods can improve mood, concentration, memory and learning ability as well as reduce stress.
The brain, as the primary survival organ, is also the body’s greediest organ, and when well nourished, it will allow the rest of the body to flourish too. A malnourished brain will always have difficulty in functioning and decision making, therefore a hungry brain will lead to a poor quality of life on many different levels.
The right fats are critical for optimal brain health, seeing as the brain itself is made up of 60% fat at its dry weight. A large percentage of this fat is made up of specialized omega-3 and -6 fats. Organic nuts and seeds, undamaged oils, as well as lots of leafy greens, will supply the brain with a great source of both omega-3 and omega-6.
Keep in mind your breakfast will also determine how your brain will function during the day- focus, memory and mood are all influenced negatively by a lack of breakfast.
Chia seeds are the highest known plant source of Omega 3 with 8 times more than salmon! Omega 3’s enhance cognitive performance and reduce high cholesterol, they also reduce inflammation and are important for healthy skin, hair and nails.
Unlike other sources of this important Essential Fatty Acid such as flax or fish oil, it is in a highly stable form in chia seeds due to their powerful, naturally occurring antioxidants. Chia seeds contain more antioxidants than blueberries! These high levels of antioxidants also help protect the body from free radicals, aging and cancer.
Flax seeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.
Other plant-based sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts and pumpkin seeds are additional sources of Omega-3 fats. These foods contain a lower concentration of ALA than flax and Chia seeds, but they can still help boost your overall ALA intake.
Next time you’re in store, try stocking up on chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds and try adding some of these great foods to your breakfast daily. You can add chia seeds or flax seeds to a smoothie, try making a chia seed pudding, or add some walnuts and pumpkin seeds to your morning oatmeal.