There is a phrase in the English language called “on edge”. The actual definition means you are tense, irritable and nervous. There are many factors that play into this feeling but one never quite equates their feelings of aggravation to their diet. Sure, they believe that an extra doughnut, bite of a waffle or cheeseburger will calm them down and make them feel good. But that feeling is short lived and your body will be craving real nutrients that nourish it. After all, you cannot lie to your body. The after effects of eating this way often lead to depression and feelings of uneasiness. That is why we should not only concentrate on feeding our bodies but in fact, also feeding our minds.
The Best Food For Our Minds
It’s important to keep nerves relaxed and that way you can be more productive. Foods that have a long-term calming effect are berries which all contain antioxidants, as well as vitamin C. Vitamin C, helps regulate cortisol levels and this, in turn, helps you recover more quickly from stress. Other foods containing Vitamin C are oranges and kiwis. Bananas are also great. They have potassium and contain tryptophan, a protein which converts into serotonin. They also work like natural beta-blockers which help with anxiety and reducing blood pressure. Their high amount of B vitamins also relax the nervous system. Eggs also carry with them vitamin B12 and naturally make you feel good. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish help reduce anxiety and can be found in salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, halibut, and sardines. You can also obtain Omega-3 through supplements. Magnesium rich foods such as black beans, lima beans, chickpeas, lentils and soy help reduce mood fluctuations. Wholegrains are also said to boost the brain’s production of serotonin. Feel like something sweet? Go for really dark chocolate. It may help regulate your level of stress hormones. Just make sure not to eat too much at once because the sugar intake will keep you feeling slightly edgy and that defeats the purpose. Finally, herbal teas are great for bringing calm and that includes chamomile, passion fruit and more.
Besides being mentally calm it is also important to be mentally sharp and focused. Sometimes there may be underlying causes which could be making your brain feel foggy. An underlying thyroid problem could be the reason for this brain fog and forgetfulness. You want to make sure you eat enough iodine which is found in seafood and brazil nuts for a healthy dose of selenium to help protect your thyroid. Blueberries are a superfood rich in antioxidants. They improve learning capacity and motor skills. Citrus fruit like oranges are able to help with prevention of cognitive decline as studies have shown. Nuts have been shown to be a great brain food too when it comes to preventing cognitive decline and helping to preserve memory. Almonds are always high on the list and apparently walnuts are the top nut for brain health as they have a high concentration of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid. Of course fish high in Omega-3 fatty acids also help prevent cognitive decline. Avocados are also great for cognitive function. Surprisingly, coffee is high in antioxidants and studies have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia. A careful note though, choose a coffee brand that is of high quality and try stick to two cups a day (as it can cause irritability), preferably before 4pm so that it does not interfere with your sleep. Greek yoghurt has also been found to help relieve stress and give your brain energy. It also helps prevent cognitive decline and age-related memory loss. The yolk in eggs helps with memory. Grains like quinoa, oatmeal and barley are all great complex carbohydrates which help fuel the brain. They help with cognition and reduce the risk of dementia.
I say it’s best when you can mix a lot of these foods together and make it into a meal. An example would be quinoa mixed with fresh berries and nuts for breakfast. A snack of Greek yoghurt with raw honey and almond flakes can be consumed twice during the day. For lunch a nice piece of salmon with a healthy salad on the side including some whole grain toast with a mix of avocado and lemon will be very filling. Dinner can include a delicious omelette fried in extra-virgin olive oil and mixed with onions and mushrooms. Enjoy your food and enjoy all the psychological well-being it brings!