How To Optimize Physical Health With Nutrition
Everyone has heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” This very simple saying means more and more each day as we gain a greater understanding of how foods affect us and our bodies.
- The food you put into your body has an effect on your physical appearance, energy levels, bodily processes and how well your brain functions. Your food is the fuel for all of the cells within the body. Without nutrition our cells become over loaded with toxins.
Your brain is a system of chemical connections firing off at each other so fast that it’s almost impossible to fathom. Well, the food you eat affects the chemical make up of your brain, altering how it acts and works. Foods that are processed with food dyes, colors, additives, herbicides, and pesticides can negatively impact your brains function.
Feelings and emotions also affect your brain. Obviously feelings are born in the brain based on the thoughts you tell yourself. From there, your emotional body responds to these thoughts with a specific complementary emotion. These emotions can alter the brain chemistry. For example, some people with mental health issues do not produce certain chemicals in their brain, which radically changes their behavior patterns. However, even with certain brain chemistries the body is able to stabilize and heal if provided the right nutrients. This is where the gut brain connection originates.
There are things you can do to regulate this chemical reaction on a daily basis, and it’s simpler than you may think! Eating certain foods can specifically affect different functions of the body, the chemicals in your brain, and your emotions.
Here are some healthy nutrients you can eat to help optimize both your body and mind, supporting your brain and all of its chemical messengers.
1.) Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Eating foods high in Omega-3s has a great deal of health benefits, including improving your brain’s development and functions. The Omega-3 fatty acid, DHA, is an important polyunsaturated fat found in the brain.
- Fish is a great source of Omega-3 Fatty acids, including DHA.
- There are many Vegan supplements that also supply these Omega Fatty Acids using sources derived from natural plant and seed oils.
2.) Choline. Choline is a chemical building block of every cell in your body. Choline has also been shown to help with retaining information in your memory. The more choline your lifetime diet includes, the less likely you’ll be to face extreme memory loss as you grow older. Choline is also helpful in digestive as well as immune support.
- Eggs yolks have a high concentration of choline in them as well as broccoli, soy, and cauliflower.
3.) Antioxidants. We all recognize the health benefits of antioxidants in fighting diseases, but did you know a cup of hot cocoa has a higher concentration of antioxidants in it than either red wine or green tea? It’s true – as long as you use a dark chocolate. Antioxidants can help fight free radical damage and prevent oxidation as well as inflammation in the body.
- Serve a cup of rich dark hot cocoa after dinner, and know you’re actually taking good care of your health! This can also be very satisfying on a cold winter or fall day.
4.) Green Tea. Have a glass of green tea every day to help keep the cognitive functions of your brain in tiptop shape. Studies have shown 70% of people who drank green tea showed an improvement in the functions of the brain. Green tea also helps with metabolism, and has been shown to improve blood flow and even possibly lower blood levels of cholesterol.
5.) Cranberry Juice. This beverage is not only good for your body, specifically, kidney and urinary functions, but it can also help prevent a stroke. Cranberry juice has also been shown to help reduce brain cell damage after a stroke. Drinking raw cranberry juice instead of juice that has been pasteurized or laden with sugar is more beneficial than store bought juices. Concentrated cranberry juice is the best for medicinal benefits.
6.) Protein! Protein! Protein! Protein is the building blocks to healing in the body. The body uses protein to repair and heal. So many people do not eat enough protein and therefore increase glucose in their blood stream creating hyper or even hypo glycemic which then can create anxiety.
Eating a well balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, protein, and some fat is the best way to nourish both the body and mind. Our bodies are highly complicated machines requiring many different things to function properly, and what we eat determines how it functions. Managing calorie intake, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats is key ensuring that the body has enough fuel to be fully supported in health.
By taking simple steps to optimize your nutrition, you’ll also optimize your mind and body. Start making healthy, nutritious food choices today and enjoy looking, feeling, and thinking better. If you need support, encouragement, structure, or accountability in making a lifestyle change please reach out to us by booking a consultation.