What do you crave when you are stressed? Do you crave donuts, potato chips or a big juicy hamburger? If so, you are not alone.
It’s what we call “emotional eating.”
In fact, you are probably aware of the affect your mindset has on nutrition. Being stressed, anxious, unhappy, or otherwise in a negative frame of mind often results in consuming less than ideal foods. This can become an addictive behavior and emotional eating is a growing problem.
Did you know that the opposite is also true? Your nutrition has a major impact on your mindset. What we eat provides fuel for our bodies and our brains. Eating too much or too little, or eating the wrong foods can cause hormone issues, blood sugar problems, stress, depression, poor mood, impaired decision making, and a negative mindset. It is a two-way street!
So let’s get down to it. What are the best foods to provide your brain with the best possible fuel? Let’s look at some of the best foods you should include in your diet and some of the worst.
1.) Omega-3 Fatty Acids -These fatty acids are pure brain fuel. You can get them from fish, plant oils, nuts, and seeds.
2.) Leafy Greens -The vitamins and nutrients in these foods, such as Vitamin K and folate, are important for proper brain functioning. You can get good quantities from most leafy green vegetables, but especially from the brassicas (collards, kale, etc.), spinach, and colored lettuces.
3.) Berries -All brightly colored berries contain antioxidants and flavonoids, which promote a positive mindset, a better memory, and protect against disease.
4.) Eggs -Eggs are a great source of protein, folic acid, and B-vitamins, all of which are necessary to support both your mood and your brain health.
1.) Processed Foods – These foods contain large amounts of sugar, empty carbs, and preservatives, all of which create inflammation in the body and brain and reduce mood. These foods are also addictive.
2.) Sugar – In addition to the other negative effects excess sugar has on the body, it reduces thinking power, decreases mood, and can induce depression and fatigue. That’s not exactly a recipe for a great mindset!
3.) (Too much) Caffeine -The much-loved stimulant is good for you in small doses. It has a lot of benefits for your health and your mindset. The problem arises when you consume too much.
The stimulant effects of caffeine overpower the benefits and make you restless, irritable, unable to focus, and give you trouble sleeping. That makes you more likely to need caffeine the next day -another vicious cycle!
So when you plan what to eat, don’t just think of taste and appetite. Think of health and clarity of mind. The foods which flood your brain with good nutrients and keep a good blood flow to your brain will make a huge difference in your mood – and your overall mindset.