Maybe it’s an exaggeration to say that some foods can make you richer, but the reality is that are studies showing that eating the wrong type of food can make you “dumber” and eating the right stuff can make you “smarter”!
There is one interesting study that showed how a diet high in white carbohydrates actually damaged the neuro development in children. The research was done by Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, and involved around 14,000 children born in the 90’s. This study showed that children who ate a diet with mainly processed foods tended to have a lower IQ than the ones whose diet was mainly based on whole foods.
I always tend to question any study that seems to offer results that are “out of the ordinary” and yet everything seems so “clear cut”. In this case I would for example like to know if perhaps the kids who ate the unhealthy food generally had parents with lower IQs, who perhaps also had less money overall, and generally provided their kids with a less healthy diet due to lack of knowledge and financial resources?
However, I have read my fair share of studies, articles and books on diets and nutrition, and I have also struggled with my own weight issues and food addiction for a long time, so in this case I am comfortable that the results from the study are 100% true. Healthy foods make us smarter! 🙂
When I write about this stuff I am not doing it as “an expert” in the way I do when it comes to Internet Marketing and how to succeed online. I am simply letting you know what I believe is true from my experience and what I have read. You can take from it what you want and discard the rest, but the fact is that many scientists and nutritionists agree with me that there are compounds and micronutrients in various types of food that can indeed make you smarter! 🙂
The Brain – Your Most Important and Complex Organ
Our brain is a not only the most complex and important organ in our bodies, it is also the most sensitive organ. It is highly vascularized, improving brain vascularisation is the same as improving your “flow” of thoughts in the brain. The better things flow the smarter and quicker your brain will be. Luckily this is not a high maintenance task; the brain simply needs good hydration, healthy fats and antioxidants.
We only ever get one brain, (even if we can grow more brain cells, which in itself is remarkable), so we better nourish it the best we can. The alternative could very well be lots of expensive medication some years down the line, to combat all the damage poor nutrition can do over time. Staying healthy is and keeping our brain functioning well doesn’t just make us smarter, it’s also much more sustainable if we want to live a long and fulfilling life.
The Truth About “Superfoods”
I am sure you have stumbled upon articles, videos or even news that talk about different superfoods and how good they are for your brain and our bodies. So is it true that certain foods have “super powers” that can massively enhance our health? Well I do believe it is true, and in this article I will give you my understanding of how things work inside your body and brain when certain types of superfoods get absorbed.
Step One: Hydrate
Clean water or unsweetened teas are the best to keep the vitamins flowing normally through the blood system, thus also hydrating the brain and offering the necessary nutrients. Water dissolves part of the vitamins in food, and carries them away to where they are needed and flushes out that which is not necessary or wanted.
So yes, water and good hydration is the foundation for a well functioning brain and everything starts with that. Drinking plenty of water is the cheapest and most beneficial thing you can do for your brain to stay alert and agile at all times.
Lately there’s a new trend of making a business out of water, and the sale of “vitamin water” is exploding around the world. I am not a specialist and I don’t have anything against people marketing water as something healthy, because it certainly is! However, you might want to question the real benefits of the new “vitamin waters” before paying lots of money for something and believing it can provide you with everything your body needs.
Although vitamin supplements may be beneficial at times, all forms of supplements are generally more likely to simply pass through your body without being absorbed. They end up being flushed down the toilet because our bodies can’t so easily be tricked into assimilating the “fake” and processed versions of the real thing.
It’s much easier, cheaper and healthier to pile up with vegetables and leafy greens that contain, (calorie per calorie), the highest amount of nutrients you can possibly get, and drink those!
I’m talking here about juicing vegetables. Go for anything that’s green and crunchy, from spinach to lettuce, rucolla to dandelion leaves. Of course, if you don’t like the juice from these vegetables they can also be consumed as a side for everything from steaks to cheese platters and they are THE most perfect way to get filled up with good nutritional content!
By juicing vegetables you will get hydrated through fresh foods and your body is much more likely to metabolize the REAL “vitamin water” that lies inside these fruits and vegetables.
If you want to see some real world benefits of what drinking vegetable juice can do for you I suggest you watch Joe Cross’s documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.
Although quite extreme since he and the others in the programme are only drinking vegetable juice for a long period of time, it gives a good idea of the many benefits of juicing.
Step Two: Dissolve and absorb
Some of the vitamins in the foods we consume are so called liposoluble which means they need fat in order to break down in small enough bits that they can be picked up by our organs; otherwise they would be flushed out.
The most natural way to attain those fats is through fish, nuts, seeds and high quality oils. Nuts are also high in vitamin E, which often tends to be low in smokers and older people, and vitamin E deficiency is linked to brain decay and cognitive decline.
No, we don’t want that, right!? 🙂
We want our brain healthy and ready for life and business, so enjoy some walnuts, almonds, cashews once in a while instead of something unhealthy, or at the very least in addition to something unhealthy.
Another fatty star is avocado. These fruits, (yes Avocado is technically a fruit) contain a type of fat that is like Gods’ nectar for our bodies! It makes Avocado one of the healthiest foods you can eat for the entire system’s health. Don’t go overboard though, since there is a fair amount of fat in Avocados you may want to limit yourself to a 3-4 per week if you are trying to lose weight. Avocados are one of my favourite foods and they go really well with the next best thing on my list of superfoods: Salmon.
Salmon is also packed with really good fat that is beneficial for your brain, like beneficial Omega 3 and 6. You’ve probably heard of them before and what the components in this fat do is to create the perfect nutritional environment for the brain’s cells to live happily with each other by sharing, storing and moving on the information at a neurological level.
Step Three: Ignite
Antioxidants are another class of nutritional super heroes, and there are thousands of antioxidant compounds out there. What they do is slow down the negative effect oxygen has on our bodies, known as oxidation. Oxidation occurs when oxygen come in contact with and “break up” atoms. This leads to the atom ending up with unpaired electrons, which basically turn them into tiny chemical “loose cannons”. These are called free radicals, and they try to find any spare electron they can to stabilize their mixed-up atoms. The problems start when they try to catch on to electrons that belong to other cells. This can create a chain reaction of free radicals, where the “stealing” of nearby electrons leads to the the cell next door losing some of it’s electrons, also turning into a free radical…and so on! in its own right.
We all know that Oxygen is vital for our brain and bodies, but its also poisonous for us! To keep things from going haywire in the body we need the antioxidants.
Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables and the darker the color, the higher the antioxidant property. For instance Blueberries are right there, at the top of the chain. Some other great sources of antioxidants are Red Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Artichoke (cooked and served with a bit of olive oil or butter, yum!), Cranberry, Blackberry (the ones you eat! :p), Prunes and Cherries.
Drinking plenty of water and freshly squeezed vegetable juice, eating Blueberries and nuts at least a few times per week, and salmon at least once per week, are my best tips for keeping nasty brain problems such as dementia or Alzheimer at bay.
Let me know in 50 years if it worked for you too! :p