Do you want a GLOWING mind? I know I sure do! I’m talking things like mental clarity, balanced mood, memory, resiliency to stress, and emotional wellbeing.
Guys these are my passion areas! Having personal experience with extreme stress, anxiety, brain fog, and other emotional imbalances (low self-esteem, limiting beliefs, negative self-talk etc!), I know first-hand what it feels like and how discouraging it can be. But I also know first-hand how BIG of an impact food can make. I know that every small step we make towards nourishing our bodies on a deeper level can help bring us back to balance and really elevate our mental and emotional well-being.
When we talk about the health and wellness of our minds, there are A LOT of nutrients that we could look at. It can become overwhelming to try and incorporate them all at once… and that overwhelm can lead to stress- the very thing we are trying to reduce. We don’t want none of that!
So I wanted to share just four of my favourite mind glowy nutrients for this post.
Here we go!
Omega-3’s are one type of essential fatty acid (EFA), which are essential to the body because we cannot make them ourselves and must obtain them from our diet. Omega-6s are also a type of EFA which the body needs, however, our modern day diet is HIGH in O-6s and lower in O-3s. This throws off the balance and leads to issues like inflammation in the body.
- Omega-3s are important for brain health because the brain is made up of 60% fat (mainly O-3s)! Fats are specifically important to a healthy myelin sheath (the covering that surrounds and protects our nerve fibers), which is essential for proper nerve conduction in the brain, i.e. proper brain functioning- think memory, learning, personality, etc!
- Wild-caught Alaskan salmon is the #1 source of Omega-3s
- It’s important to differentiate wild vs. farmed salmon. Wild salmon has much higher levels of O-3’s vs. O-6’s compared to farmed, and farmed salmon also contains higher levels of toxins such as pesticides and antibiotics (Article)
- Other great sources are sardines, anchovies, grass-fed meats & pasture raised eggs, and if you need a plant-based source, algae is your best option (though the type of O-3 it contains needs to be converted in order to be “usable” in the body, and the conversion rate is generally low)
My top favourite vitamins are the B’s (is it weird to have a favourite vitamin? LOL) They’re known as the “anti-stress” vitamins and are highly supportive to our nervous system. They work synergistically together and are required for many metabolic reactions in the body.
- B vitamins help to maintain and balance mood, and play a role in energy levels and mental clarity
- They are easily excreted from the body and need to be replaced daily. Factors that deplete B vitamins are: stress, sugar, alcohol, coffee, processed and refined foods
- Some great sources of B vitamins are: Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, beet greens, etc), Nuts/Seeds, and Legumes
Magnesium is the partner in crime to B vitamins because it’s known as the “anti stress” mineral! It helps to calm and balance the nervous system and brain, and also helps with muscle relaxation. So it not only helps support the mind, but helps to physically calm the body. It’s also great for sleep support in this way.
- Leafy greens are a great source of magnesium (such as spinach, swiss chard, kale, arugula etc. Anything dark green is usually a good form of magnesium)
- Cacao nibs are also high in Magnesium. Cacao differs from cocoa because it has live enzymes in tact due to the fact that its cold-pressed, not processed at high temperatures like cocoa
Probiotics are live, healthy bacteria that contribute to good digestive and intestinal function. Having good digestive and intestinal function has a positive domino effect on the health of our mind due to the gut-brain connection!
- The gut-brain connection: Our gut microbiome is connected to mood and behaviour by communicating with our brain via the vagus nerve (which is a direct line between our brain and gut) and through various chemicals it produces and releases into our bloodstream
- Studies have shown that those with healthy gut microbiome have more resilience to negative emotion
- Gut microbes also produce certain B vitamins themselves, which as per above play a big role in nervous system health!
- Some great sources are fermented foods such as homemade coconut yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha
So there you have it! Comment below and let me know which of these nutrients you’re going to incorporate into your day-to-day 😉
Also, I made a thing! If you haven’t received your copy of my Brain Boosting Grocery Guide, see below. It’s free and such a great resource 😀
Do you want to boost memory, mood and mental clarity through REAL-FOODS? My Brain-Boosting Grocery Guide can help!
Here’s why you need this:
- You’ll get a done-for-you list filled with brain-healthy ingredients that are easily found at any grocery store
- This list is full of whole-foods that are multi-use and can be used in many different recipes. No more buying trendy, expensive ingredients that you use once and haveno idea what to do with
- You’ll get two bonus brain-food recipes including items found in the grocery guide!