Let's be honest with ourselves, WE ARE WHAT WE EAT. It's true- the food we eat does have an impact on our physical AND mental health. When we eat healthy, nutritious foods, we tend to feel better and look better and also perform everyday tasks better. When we eat foods laden with excess fat and sugar or salt, we tend to feel terrible, both physically and mentally. So the next time you don't feel well, take a look at what you are eating and try to make some changes everyday to improve your diet. Some of my "go to foods" for staying mentally and physically alert and calm are listed below.
. Avocados! Avocados are one of my first picks when fighting the melancholy blues because they are rich in tryptophan and folate, one of the B vitamins. They are loaded with omega 3 fatty acids which are known to fight inflammation in the body and help regulate our brain's neurotransmitters. In order for our body to manufacture serotonin ( a monoamine neurotransmitter that is biochemically derived from tryptophan and found in the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system and considered by experts to be a mood stabilizer), it needs plenty of tryptophan, a natural amino acid. Many studies are showing that lowering levels of tryptophan corresponds with a drop in serotonin levels, which can impair memory and cause depressive mood disorders. Another benefit to eating avocados? Eating a half of an avocado at breakfast or lunch will help you feel fuller longer due to its high fiber content, curbing your desire to reach for unhealthy snacks later in the day.
. Blueberries! In scientific studies, eating these berries, along with other berries, have shown to reduce one's inflammation and significantly cut his/her Alzheimer's risk.
. Eggs! And believe it or not I think the yolk is the best part of the egg! Egg yolks contain choline, a B vitamin which helps improve memory and overall cognitive function.
. Greens, especially arugula! Eating one or two servings of leafy greens a day can improve one's cognitive abilities. Arugula and kale are high in nitrates, compounds that increase blood flow to the brain.
. Nuts and seeds! Nuts and seeds contain tryptophan. Extensive studies show that eating a small handful of unsalted nuts a day can cut your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and asthma. They are an excellent source of fiber and contain omega 3 fatty acids which fight inflammation. Including seeds in your diet is easy! Just sprinkle a few on a salad.
. Salmon! Salmon and its look- alike Arctic Char are loaded with omegas 3 fatty acids and also contain tryptophan, the amino acid that has an impact on our moods.
. Turmeric! Turmeric is a spice that contains anti inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the main ingredient in the spice, is starting to show promise in the treatment of various neurological diseases or conditions such as Alzheimer's. In some studies, turmeric has been shown to have a calming effect and has been shown to help improve memory and ease symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Try adding some of these foods into your daily diet to see if you start feeling better ; I am certain you will. Remember, BeeFitters, food determines how we feel and heal!