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When striving to achieve the perfect alignment between the mind and the body, motivation and a bit of conscious effort are the key elements for strengthening that connection. When these two no longer cooperate, all balance in life is lost. Truly being in shape involves both nourishing the body and motivating the mind at the same time.
What to Eat
While max workouts are a good way to get fit, your diet is equally important. Not only do you need to eat foods that sustain your body through your regimen, but you should also choose ingredients that help you in all departments. Thus, here the five healthiest foods to nourish both the mind and the body.
Nowadays, it’s no secret that avocado is an incredible source of nutrients. While they used to be considered far too fatty to be healthy even in the slightest, clinical trials have since then discovered that the monosaturated fat found in their pulp is actually the good kind. In fact, it helps decrease bad cholesterol, while at the same time raising beneficial cholesterol levels.
And in addition to that, they also promote brain health due to their high folate contents. Folate, less commonly known as vitamin B9, is an essential natural compound that sustains cognitive function, improving our thought process and memory. Lack of it in one’s daily diet could go as far as facilitating the onset of degenerative neural disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.
One full avocado contains more than 120 micrograms of folate, which is more than a quarter of the daily recommended dosage for both men and women. Thus, adding it into a salad or making it into fresh guacamole provides your brain with enough nourishment to sustain healthy brain function and overall cognition.
It’s no secret that when we get tired of eating chicken cutlets day in, day out, we turn to salmon as the tastiest source of healthy protein in our diets. Thanks to the healthy fats it contains, just one fillet can lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, as well as diminish inflammation and relieve joint pain and stiffness.
Studies show that the omega-3 fatty acids found in it have neuroprotective effects on the human brain. This means that they can potentially safeguard us from crippling disorders such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Furthermore, eating salmon on the regular boosts your mood, which reduces the risk of developing depression in people of all ages.
Salmon is best eaten grilled, bakes or braised, and drizzled with a little lemon juice. Sprinkling some assorted condiments prior to cooking is also a good way to bring out its natural flavor, but make sure not to go overboard with them. And to top it all off, its meat pairs beautifully with avocado, so why not make your next lunch a powerhouse for your thoughts?
According to Daniel Kim-Shapiro, Ph.D., who happens to be the director of the Translational Science Center owned by Wake Forest University, drinking beet juice regularly increases blood flow to the brain, especially in older patients. This can help slow down or even halt the progression of neurodegenerative conditions such as dementia.
And that’s not all. Thanks to their high magnesium and potassium contents, beets are amazing substitutes for anti-inflammatory medicines. Furthermore, magnesium is known for sustaining the healthy absorption of calcium in the body, which means that it helps prevent buildup such as kidney stones in the long run.
Many people find beets unsavory, but their earthy taste surely is one in a million. Roasting them and then chopping them off makes a great side-dish to pair with many different kinds of meat. And if you’re looking for a snack, sprinkle them with some salt and add a bit of lemon juice in the mix for an easy and delicious salad.
When it comes to eggs, the yolk is the most nutrient-heavy part. Full of B-complex vitamins such as vitamin B6 and B12, as well as D, E and A thrown into the mix for good measure, they maintain the overall health of our bodies. In addition, they also contain iron and zinc, two essential minerals that ensure general well-being.
However, what makes eggs a true “brain food” is the choline found within them. This energy-boosting macronutrient not only helps sustain healthy nerve function, but it also supports brain development by nourishing the membranes of its cells. In turn, this improves our memory function, making for better cognition overall.
Fortunately, you don’t have to consume the yolks raw in order to reap their full benefits. While it is true that this preserves most of the nutrients, choosing a healthy way to cook them, such as boiling or poaching the egg, is equally acceptable. After all, not everyone has the stomach for raw food, but in the end, we all deserve to feel good.
Blueberries are a true superfood in every sense of the word. Their many health benefits are something the medical community has been preaching for years now. They might be small, but they sure pack a punch as far as nutrients go. Just one serving contains enough antioxidants to protect your body from free radical damage better than any other food would.
Furthermore, they also provide our bodies with a nifty little substance called gallic acid, which helps on a cerebral level. It protects the brain from degenerative stress, which lowers the incidence of mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. So, if “mens sana in corpore sano” is your personal life motto, then blueberries will make a great addition to your diet.
These little navy-purple fruits are incredibly versatile. You can bake them in anything from muffins to pies, add them to your breakfast oatmeal or fruit cup, or even nibble on them in lieu of other unhealthy snacks when you get the munchies. They are one of the best organic deserts you can find, so don’t hesitate to integrate into your daily meal plan.
Achieving the proper mind-body-diet balance is a challenging task, but it’s not impossible by any means. With the right ingredients, your diet can turn into the perfect alignment of mental and physical health. These five foods are a good way to start, the rest is up to you.