Introducing this guest post by Lee Nicholson, The Productive Writer.
5 Meals That Love Brains And Reward Healthy Life
Take a second to clench your fist and place in front of your face. (Best not to do this in public or you might get strange stares from passer-bys.) Well, you’ve more than likely understood our brain has a similar size to our fist. Our brain weighs only 2-3lbs.
For anyone that has suffered the loss of a hand, they will testify while life’s stunted, it goes on. With the advancement in prosthetics, amputees can resume a more or less active normal life. Admittedly, no one can take away the trauma, but their life continues.
For us ‘creatives’, whilst our hands are very important to bang away on a keyboard, poetically flow over the pages with an ink pen, or swish and swoosh a paintbrush onto a blank canvas, our brains are more important compared to our hands.
Where would we be without our brains?
“Nowhere!” you say.
Therefore, we need to take good care of our brains, allowing it to send us the inspiration we need. So, short of becoming a brain surgeon and operating on ourselves how can we take the best care of our brain?
You know the phrase, “you are what you eat!” Well, we can refine that and say “our brain reflects what we eat.”
With that in mind, consider the following article where I highlight the foods that nourish our brains, heighten our productivity and creativity.
A real win, win situation!
Here’s another win. Download your meal plan right here. No sign-up required. Completely free.
WHY PROTECT THE BRAIN?
We need to put our heart and soul into our creativity. Without the passion, our artistry will be as dry as stale toast and only make people choke. Looking after the brain, we stay alert, our cognitive processes smooth, eyes don’t suffer strain and we don’t get stressed by deadlines.
Thus, the work we produce goes down with our audience like a smooth glass of red wine and sits well on the stomach like a light meringue.
This is my take on our 5 a day, not 5 portions of fruit or vegetables, rather 5 productive meals a day. Every meal brings a positive benefit to our immediate productivity and long term brain health.
A bowl of granola doesn’t boost productivity, but it’s a tasty cereal. Don’t you agree we should always eat something we enjoy?
The blueberry topping, high in our friendly “antioxidants” gives a boost to increased memory. These small berries play a big part in keeping us protected from stress. Bananas are a suitable topping because they not only offer us the daily dose of glucose but leave our stomachs content and satisfied. Thus, we won’t be scrambling around for brain food when we should be in the process of deep work.
Chia seeds have become increasingly trendy to eat over the past few years. These protein seeds in our diet help us to stay focused, at least until lunch time.
An added topping of probiotic yoghurt is excellent for our digestive system.
It’s reputed a single cup of coffee is good for our eyes. Therefore, if we are placing ourselves in front of a screen for a few hours, carrying out intricate design work, or throwing ourselves into a canvas, the cup of coffee will be a great help.
When we’ve been sitting for a while, our blood goes to our bums. That’s not a great situation, as we need red blood cells pumping to our brain, providing needed oxygen. The spinach and dark greens in this salad are oxygen helping leaves, bringing mental clarity and giving a boost to our cognitive functions.
Raw carrots play a similar role to bananas; they give us glucose and help to keep our blood sugars balanced. The avocados help with producing Vitamin K which aids our concentration.
Chuck in a few walnuts to reduce the stress and a sprinkle of flax seeds keep our eyes from becoming tired as we move into the afternoon.
A garlic dressing is more medicinal than productive. If we get sick, we can’t be work very productively. So, the properties found in garlic help to protect our immune system from colds and infections. Eggs are optional as you may eat these for breakfast. Eating eggs help to keep your response speed levels high.
A beautiful complement to this tasty healthy salad is homemade ginger lemon tea or green tea. The ginger lemon tea will put a smile on your face, believed to help us feel happy. Our feelings definitely impact our productivity, so ginger lemon tea is a great drink when we are under a tough deadline.
Or we could go for a cleansing Green Tea which will enhance our energy. Maybe, this would be a good drink at 3 pm with one of our snacks.
I’m amazed how many people, especially younger people who turn to caffeine drinks to aid with low energy or concentration. If we admit it, we are all guilty of making a jug of coffee when we need an energy boost. Yet, believe it or not, an apple is better for energy instead of coffee.
Peanut butter has similar benefits to bananas as it can leave our tummies full and satisfied, preventing us from snacking on junk food that will leave us tired.
Carrots are great for our memory because they’re packed with luteolin. Omega 3 oils in the hummus give our intelligence a welcome boost.
Have you heard of Hemp Hearts?
I hadn’t until researching for this article, but I have it on good advice they help to prevent brain fatigue. So, if we look after our brain in the afternoon, we can end the day as a productive giant.
All work and no play will make our brains and our life dull. However, we have occasions when we will need to work late. Therefore, if our evening dinner and desert can aid us in our productivity, then we might not need to burn the candles at both ends. Salmon is a healthy choice both for its benefits to mental performance and lifting our moods. Brown rice might not be everybody’s choice, but the stress relieving properties it holds might twist our arm.
The three vegetable side-dishes are Broccoli, Aubergine, and Beetroot. The latter gives us increased blood flow, a great boost for us. Broccoli fills us with Vitamin C, A & K and Aubergine is great brain food.
A glass of wine will always compliment our evening meal. A wine connoisseur would suggest a white wine to be more palatable with a fish dish.
However, we are not interested in ‘keeping up with the Jone’s’. We want to be more productive, which means a red wine is preferable. Red wine helps our cognitive motor skills, and can also increase our short term memory.
The higher the cocoa percentage within the chocolate, the more benefits we receive. Dark chocolate is suggested to produce a calming effect on the mind. It’s noted dark chocolate can increase energy and focus. Research shows that dark chocolate reduces cognitive decline.
Now, if a luxurious slice of chocolate cake doesn’t give you your chocolate fix, make yourself a nice cocoa to end the day on which is another stress protector food. If you enjoy the cup of cocoa after a long but productive day it will aid a good night’s sleep before we do it all again tomorrow.
When we don’t see something with our eyes, we can take it for granted. Whatever our journey is in life, we need to nurture and cherish our little fist size brain. If we don’t, then we might hurt ourselves, and our creative juices.
Many of us spend many hours looking for the best app to help us be productive; we may even spend many hard earned pounds, dollars or euros on equipment we feel are necessities in helping us fulfill our goals. Well, we’ve received the best tool, our brain for FREE. Let’s spend a little time and a few pennies giving it the food it needs to keep us fully charged and ready to create!
Do you know someone who needs a break from meal planning today? Won’t you use the sharing buttons to send it to them?
Lee Nicholson is a master of Evernote, even titled an Evernote Community Leader in his hometown near Southampton, England. Lee helps people integrate Evernote, GTD and other productivity systems into their workflow. A man of many talents, he also writes flash fiction on LPN Fiction. His personal interests include Sports, History, and Personal Development.