Think of the food you eat as fuel for a car. Different types of cars require different types of fuel in order to run effectively. If you consistently put the wrong type of fuel in your car, you’ll damage the engine and, eventually, the car. For example, if your car takes premium gas, using unleaded gas is a risk you probably aren’t willing to take. Why would you run that type of risk with your body by consuming the wrong type of fuel? It sounds like a bad idea, yet many people do this by consuming unhealthy foods that don’t have the nutrients their brains need to run their bodies.
Your brain and body will always respond to the food you eat. But, just like with cars, it’s important to remember that not every person needs the same type of food to function optimally. What helps you perform at your highest level may not do the same for someone else. Because I don’t know you, I can’t recommend a specific diet to help you. There’s no magic pill to prevent mental decline. In the same way, there’s no single food to ensure optimal brain performance for everyone. Despite this, there are some foods that are good for everyone’s mental and physical health. Here are three foods you should be eating in high quantities.
1. Fresh Fruits
All fruits have different health benefits. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and help prevent memory loss, so they are one of the best fruits to eat for mental performance. Other fruits like bananas and kiwis can improve your mood.
2. Green, Leafy Vegetables
Studies have shown that people who regularly eat leafy vegetables are at a decreased risk of developing dementia or other cognitive impairments. By getting plenty of vegetables, you’ll experience a slower mental decline as you age.
3. Fatty Fish
Types of fatty fish include salmon, sardines, and trout. Fish are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are key to boosting your memory and learning. If you’re not getting enough omega-3 fatty acids, you’re also at an increased risk of developing depression.
In addition to eating these three foods, you should be drinking plenty of water. Hydration is key to mental health and mental performance. It helps to send oxygen to your brain, which increases mental performance. Water also helps lubricate your brain tissues for better brain function.
If you want to learn and understand more about your body’s response to food, talk to your doctor. They can help you get on a plan of eliminating and re-introducing food back into your diet slowly. This can help you gauge exactly what types of fuel you need to ensure your engine is running at its best.
I’d love to hear what’s working for you! Take notes and make observations on what foods are helping you perform at your best and what foods might be slowing you down. Don’t forget to use one of our hashtags: #mentalfitnessmatters or #foodsthatboostyourmentalperformance.
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