Photo by Bradley Howington on Unsplash Its so well recognised even babies do it. Everyone knows when they are mentally struggling. It can be anything from a full on “How can I be so stupid?” to “What do I do now?”.
You know the feeling. You are struggling and hangry.
You have been there before. Hungry, tired, stressed, frustrated and getting angry with yourself or the world.
Emotions need energy. More emotion more energy.
Most of the time when you get to the hangry stage you want food. Any food..
You feel like the Hulk. Like the Hulk when you come down you crash. To recover you need energy.
The worst part of it is reaching for that crappy donut dragging with it a big bag o’ guilt. It’s bad for you on so many levels that you might as well stay hungry.
Food is a pacifier. Photo by Whitney Wright on Unsplash Good food is like a warm blanket. It makes you feel comfortably good.
It triggers all the good brain chemical endorphins like dopamine and serotonin. It’s the satisfaction of being in a happy place when you have had something which makes your soul feel good.
That’s why its called soul food. Soul food does something else as well. It nourishes the mind but it starts in your gut.
Your gut is your engine. Put in bad fuel leads to clogged pipes, engine damage and you run like clunky old has been.
Puffing, spluttering, jerking and juddering down the highway of life.
When your engine isn’t performing your brain is not far behind. You know it as brain fog.
Your brain relies on a strong healthy engine to drive its executive functions. The things that make you tick.
Part of this engine relies on the gut-brain axis. This nerve has millions of receptors in the guts and organs providing feedback to the brain. It’s called the wandering or Vagus nerve. It is one of the most complex functioning brain integrated nerves in your body.
The primary function for these gut nerve receptors is to send signals up to the brain. These brain signals are for processing information to keep you alive and healthy.
With worse nutrition there is a negative knock on effect on your organs and brain. These organs send distress signals to the brain. This will include inflammation responses or detoxifying processes.
How do your organs get stressed?
Take your hand. Each finger represents the most common things affecting your brain health and wellness. You already know about nutrition and part of number two which is the vagus nerve. More about the four later. Photo by Melchior Damu on Unsplash Now take that hand.
Wrap it around the most satisfying nutritious brain boosting banana bread you would ever eat.
I chose these 7 ingredients because of the benefit they have on your gut and your brain. It has that soul food feel good factor.
Let’s meet the magnificent 7. The Minion’s favourite food the secret to your success
Banana’s are an underrated GI superfood. Its two main ingredients pectin and resistant starch are key here.
Banana’s are a low glycemic index (GI) food source which contains the fibre pectin which is good for digestion and gut bacteria. Pectin can also help against colon cancer.
Glycemic index is the amount of carbohydrates and glucose banana’s releas into your blood stream.
It includes a resistant starch which means it doesn’t get easily processed in your stomach. This ends up in your intestines where it becomes food for beneficial gut bacteria.Bananas contain minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper and manganese. It has as part of its package vitamins B6 and vitamin C.Potassium is good for the heart, nerve signalling and balancing sodium levels to reduce blood pressure.Mangenese helps with protein and amino acid processing.Vitamin C is essential in tissue repair, neuro protective capabilites in the form of ascorbate and brain anti-oxidant.Banana’s are high in bio-available vitamin B6 used for mood regulation by helping to produce serotonin, norepinephrine.Vitamin B6 is used for production of hemoglobin the protein which carries oxygen through the body and brain. How to go nuts with banana bread I use it as a wheat flour substitute as I have had historical problems with eczema.I craved banana bread but didn’t know what main flour ingredient to use. I settled on almond flour after weeks of testing.This nut is an essential brain food ingredient.Almonds increase the neurotransmitter levels called acetylcholine which can enhance memory function. Almonds contains l-carnitine an amino acid used by the body for energy production and also has neuroprotective benefits.It contains important essential nutrients like folate, polyphenols and unsaturated fatty acids.They contain antioxidants which protect cells agains free radical damage. This is done by vitamin E which is a fat soluble vitamin. It is a good source of fibre and minerals like manganese, copper, calcium ,selenium and zinc.These nutritious elements are all good for maintaining energy production in your body. Research has found eating almonds for 28 days improves memory retention in rats.Rats are smart animals. If they can eat almonds and become smarter so can you. The most loved food to fuel your brain Cocoa is a rich source of flavanols and polyphenols which have an antioxidant effect which can help protect the body from free radical damage. In this recipe I use cocoa nibs as it has a nutty flavour with a crunch texture. Photo by David Greenwood-Haigh on Unsplash Tests done on Italian 61–85 year olds found that cocoa with high amounts of flavanols had improvements in attention, executive function and memory.Similar studies with older adults that suffered mild cognitive impairment had improvement in thinking skills.The best way to get these high levels of flavanols is to use natural cocoa powder or unprocessed cocoa nibs.Cocoa nibs contain magnesium as well as high amounts of fibre which is important for gut health. Cocoa nibs contain the most concentrated source of dietary polyphenols which reduce inflammation.Reduced inflammation means better blood flow. Better blood flow means better brain health.Chocolate makes you happy. Studies show that 30 days of eating cocoa nibs makes you feel content and improved your mood.Theobromine […]