Harnessing the power of nutritious food
WITH NADIA NATUROPATH AND MEDICAL HERBALIST ANNALIESE JONES
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.