Foodalicious Friday – Oh Hey, Brain!

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Facts

Not only will you never achieve a healthy body with a bad diet, but you’ll start to kill your brain with one, too.

TGIF! After over a week of gorgeous weather in Michigan, I am now in cloudy, humid Atlanta. Boo for no sun and the humidity, but a big YAY! because my sister Rachel turned 30 today AND we’re moving them out of their house this weekend, so we’ll be doing a lot of moving and celebrating 🙂

Today’s foodness comes to you in the form of brain food. You know the saying, “You are what you eat,” right? Well, it’s true. If you eat a junk-food diet, your going to have a junk-food body. But there’s more to it than that. I was just reading an article in my American Fitness magazine today titled “Brain Imaging & Your Health,” and it was all about how what you eat and drink can affect your brain. Without going into crazy detail, let’s just look at a few facts:

  • Your brain weighs about 3 pounds.
  • It uses about 25% of the calories we consume, 25% of the total blood flow in our body, and 20% of the oxygen we breathe .
  • You have more than one hundred billion nerve cells in your brain and info in the brain travels up to 268 miles/hour.

Your brain is extremely sensitive, thus everything you do to your body directly affects the brain. Here are six common things that can harm your brain:

  • Obesity – Fat stores toxic materials in the brain, so the more fat you have, the worse off your brain is.
  • Caffeine – Too much inhibits blood flow, dehydrates, and tells the brain it’s not tired.
  • Alcohol – Everyday drinkers have smaller brains than nondrinkers and alcohol decreases activity in the judgment, forethought, and planning areas of your brain.
  • Chronic Stress – More stress = more cortisol = increased appetite and cravings for sugar = ups skin’s oil production = increased muscle tension and chronic pain = increased blood pressure.
  • Dehydration – Your body is 70% water and your brain is 80% water, so if you don’t drink water, then it reduces brain function.
  • Junk Food – Your body renews all its cells every few months and pulls from the calories you consume to do so. Thus, you are what you eat.

What can you do to protect your brain? You’ve heard it from me (and many others) before: Eat more whole, raw, natural foods.

The 20 Best Brain Foods:

  1. Almonds (raw)
  2. Almond milk (unsweetened)
  3. Apples
  4. Asparagus
  5. Avocados
  6. Bananas
  7. Beans (black, pinto, garbanzo)
  8. Beets
  9. Bell peppers
  10. Blackberries
  11. Blueberries
  12. Broccoli
  13. Brussels sprouts
  14. Carrots
  15. Cheest (low fat)
  16. Cherries
  17. Chicken (skinless)
  18. Cranberries
  19. Egg whites (DHA enriched)
  20. Grapefruit

The bottom line is this: Protect your body AND your brain by eating more colorful fruits and veggies; cut back on the processed and fried foods; drink lots of water; and remember that you need movement and sleep to make for a well-rounded, healthy life.

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