“Do you struggle to make healthy food choices while juggling a busy work schedule?” Eating for cognitive wellness can be broken down into these simple, actionable items.
When stress comes, turning to junk food for comfort is easy. But did you know that eating unhealthy foods can add to your stress levels instead of relieving them?
Junk food (high in processed sugar, with neurotoxins, trans fat, or omega-6 oils) can affect brain health and cognition.
I have distilled down eating for brain health to the following actionable items.
1. Consuming Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acid is a type of fatty acid that is essential for brain health. It helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. Consider consuming one tablespoon of flax seeds daily or salmon once or twice a week.
Remember that Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids compete for the same body enzymes responsible for processing these fatty acids. So while it’s crucial to consume enough Omega-3, limiting your intake of Omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils, junk foods, and other processed foods is also essential.
2. Avoid Neurotoxins
Neurotoxins are chemicals in certain foods that can negatively impact cognitive function. Some examples of neurotoxins include monosodium glutamate (MSG), high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and food colorings. If you’re curious to learn more, I can provide you with a list of these neurotoxins you can reference when purchasing food from stores.
Keep the neurotoxin list handy, build a habit of reading food labels, and make informed food decisions to support optimal brain health.
3. Consuming Antioxidants
Fruits and vegetables have antioxidants that can help neutralize free radicals in the brain, leading to improved cognitive function and combat stress! Consuming around ten servings of fruits and vegetables daily can help can therefore improve cognitive function.
On days you’re feeling stressed, keeping a bowl of berries on hand can also be helpful. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which can help combat the adverse effects of stress on the brain.
4. Blunt Sugar Spikes
Consuming simple carbohydrates can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. Examples of simple carbs include table sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and white bread. To blunt the sugar spikes, consider eating smaller portions, incorporating various foods on your plate to create a balanced meal, and choosing complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, which are digested more slowly by the body.
By making these small changes to your diet, you can better manage your blood sugar levels and support optimal cognitive function.
Please share the post with a friend who might benefit from it. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about Hassle-Free Nutrition. I am a national board-certified health coach and help busy professionals declutter the science and leverage the psychology of behavior change to form healthy habits.