Har­ness­ing the power of nu­tri­tious food



I see a lot of peo­ple who have big dreams, whether it’s chang­ing ca­reers, start­ing their own busi­ness, or de­sign­ing a prod­uct they are pas­sion­ate about. But time and again they fail to get to the fin­ish line and their dreams re­main just that be­cause they can’t main­tain the creative en­ergy and men­tal stamina re­quired. The food and nu­tri­ents we con­sume are our only fuel. It can make us feel vi­tal, en­er­gised and mo­ti­vated or fa­tigued, foggy brained and fraz­zled. Har­ness the power of nu­tri­tious food and see the dif­fer­ence some sim­ple changes can make!

Vi­ta­mins and min­er­als

B vi­ta­mins are one of the groups the brain re­quires huge amounts of. Be­cause they are wa­ter-sol­u­ble and pass rapidly out of the body (rather than be­ing stored), even a short-term lack can af­fect the way we think and feel. Mag­ne­sium is also help­ful for calm­ing an anx­ious or over­whelmed ner­vous sys­tem. In­creas­ing your in­take of these two alone will do won­ders for your over­all men­tal and creative en­ergy.

Good sources of B vi­ta­mins:

Whole grains, bananas, red meat, av­o­cado, mush­rooms, egg yolks, lentils, cap­sicum, beet­root.

Good sources of mag­ne­sium:

Green leafy veges, nuts and seeds, buck­wheat, kelp, figs, dates, av­o­cado.

Omega-3: smart food

Con­sist­ing of the fatty acids EPA and DHA, omega-3 is cru­cial for brain health and con­cen­tra­tion. In fact, 60 per­cent of your brain is made up of fat. So giv­ing your body reg­u­lar doses of good fats is es­sen­tial for its op­ti­mal func­tion. Get­ting enough can be as sim­ple as hav­ing two or three serves of oily fish a week. Salmon, sar­dines and mack­erel are good oily va­ri­eties. Some other boun­ti­ful sources are nuts and seeds such as wal­nuts and sun­flower, flax and pump­kin seeds.

Get­ting the mes­sage

Brain cells talk to each other via chem­i­cal mes­sen­gers called neu­ro­trans­mit­ters. These neu­ro­trans­mit­ters are made up of pro­tein. So get­ting enough pro­tein is es­sen­tial for clar­ity of thought and creative think­ing. A sim­ple way to cal­cu­late how many grams of pro­tein you need per day is to mul­ti­ply your weight in kilo­grams by 0.8. This will give you a num­ber to aim for. If you are quite ac­tive or preg­nant, mul­ti­ply your weight by 1.3.

Some good sources of pro­tein in­clude:

Nuts and seeds, lean red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu and tem­peh, and legumes such as lentils, chick­peas and beans.

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