Your Beautiful Brain Deserves Beautiful Food
You walk into your local grocery store, and what do you see? Aisle upon aisle of food in boxes; food in packages, wrappers, containers and bottles. Aisle upon aisle of processed and packaged food.
We push our carts up and down these aisles, scrutinizing the brands, wondering what to buy. We read the labels; mindlessly peruse the ingredients; hymn and haw about all the choices — there are so very many choices.
You select a cart full of items — mostly based on how attractive the packaging looks (I know; I get it — I’m a sucker for pretty packaging, too). You spend minimal time in the produce section: you pick-up a package of pre-washed salad and a container of pre-cut veggies and dip.
You hoist your newly purchased bags and boxes into your kitchen — stack everything neatly in the cupboards and fridge; you unpack some items, readying yourself for a dinner of pre-cooked rice, pre-cooked chicken, and pre-packaged and pre-washed veggies.
This is exactly what my diet used to look like (except for the veggies — I rarely ate those). I used to think that it was just so much easier to have a danish for dinner or a stack of toast with butter and jam.
It’s really surprising to me that only 6 years ago my diet was almost completely beige. I never cooked a meal; I just ate bread, pasta, cookies, cake, candy, sugary tea, pancakes, crepes and Twinkies. I can’t believe that I lived in a beige world because my world, now, is so colourful!
Losing my health shook up my world, and it changed my diet forever. Well…let me rephrase that. I chose to change my diet forever in order to regain my health and to feed my beautiful brain with the food that it wanted, need, demanded, screamed for and deserved.
Did you know that food profoundly effects brain function? Do you know that the food you eat can drastically enhance or harm your ability to recover from a chronic illness?
Here are some quick facts about food and brain health:
- The average North American consumes a whopping 27.5 teaspoons of sugar per day! Excessive sugar consumption is linked to a decrease in a protein called brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF). Without BDNF, the brain cannot form new connections, and thus, new memories.
- Women, who consume processed foods increase their risk of depression by 60%.
- Consuming transfats increases the risk of depression as well.
- Children who consume junk food have double the risk of developing attention deficit disorder (ADD) and depression.
Unlocking vibrant brain health, which translates into enhanced clarity of thought, precision memory production, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed energy and laser focused attention can be cultivated through the food you eat or, better yet, the food that you don’t eat.
Transforming your diet to protect and enhance brain function is not about deprivation or denying yourself pleasure. You can still celebrate life with food; you’re just not going to celebrate by inundating your gorgeous body with refined sugar, saturated fat, gluten, pesticides, GMO and processed foods.
Foods to Boost in your diet:
- Veggies! (the best way to pack your body with plant goodness is juicing.)
- Fruit (I like to stick to low-glycemic fruits to keep my blood sugar level consistent.)
- Lean meats like chicken, turkey, fish and shell fish (I’m a vegetarian, so I prefer tofu, eggs and quinoa.)
- Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, amaranth etc.
- Beans and legumes
- Raw cacao
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Foods to Ditch:
- Ditch refined sugar
- Ditch processed foods
- Reduce pesticides by eating organic food when you can
- Ditch GMO foods
- Reduce animal based fats and increase plant based fats
- Ditch foods that you’re allergic to
Here’s a TEDx video by Drew Ramsey MD, the author of The Happiness Diet, on how food effects brain health. I think that it’s a great introduction to the concept of Farmacy: letting food be thy medicine.
Are you interested in food being your medicine? Leave a comment below.