When our brain is well nourished, we’re sharper, we have more inner resources to deal with whatever is going on in our life and we stay connected to our True Self.
Our thoughts and emotions have a major impact on our health. The American Institute of Stress reports that 75 to 90 percent of all visits to healthcare providers are connected to stress-related conditions.
Far too many of us struggle with the effects of unrelenting stress and anxiety.
While we may not have control over the events in our life, we can choose how we think and feel about what’s happening. There is nothing wrong with having problems, it’s part of being alive as a human being. Whatever is showing up for us is there guiding us to more well-being.
Our brains are constantly evolving and the nutrients that we eat every day can help to support our brains.
Our brain is very dynamic. It has neural pathways that are formed by the way we think. Neuroplasticity relates to how our brain can actually rewire itself and create new neural pathways.
Here are a few ways you can use your brain to change the way you respond if something is causing you to feel, afraid, stressed, angry or anxious.
- It’s okay to feel what you feel. Notice it with awareness and kindness. You can take a few deep breaths and send love to the part of you that is hurting. This allows the energy to release. You’re changing your brain to feel more self-love. You’ll feel calmer and more centered.
- If you’re in the middle of your day and a negative thought comes up, you can slow down and talk back to it, say ‘I don’t want to go there right now.’ Even slowing down is enough to start telling yourself a new story. You’ll shift into a higher vibration and feel lighter.
You can use your brain to feel more self-love by creating positive neural pathways throughout your day.
Give yourself permission to feel good. Have a good experience or notice when you’re feeling good. Take 10-30 seconds to allow that good feeling to sink into your body like a healing balm. Noticing a good experience and staying with it for a few seconds builds up the good feeling neural pathways in your brain. You’ll go down those paths more easily and more frequently.
For example: You drive into a parking lot and just as you get there someone pulls out of the perfect spot for you. Notice it and enjoy the moment of feeling supported by the Universe.
When you’re in the shower feel the warm water flowing over your body, soothing you. Appreciate how wonderful it is that you can turn on the faucet and warm water is always available for you.
If your brain is well nourished it will be easier for you to choose better feeling thoughts throughout your day. A well-fed brain automatically guides you to notice the good things. You’ll feel more unconditional self-acceptance.
Nourishing Our Brain for Meditation
Our brain is also involved in producing really high states of focus, meditation and clarity as explained in yoga and Vedic science and philosophy.
Even though we don’t understand everything that goes on with our brain because it’s so complex, there is a beautiful integration happening right now between the east and west learning how powerful our brains are.
Processed and fried foods can drag down energy and make you drowsy during meditation. Sugar and high glycemic foods can make your mind race during meditation.
Fasting is best for a still morning meditation practice.
Good nourishment of your brain throughout the day makes it easier to stay focused in mediation the next day.
Our Brains Are Energy Intensive
Our brains are extremely energy intensive. They take about 20% of our total body’s energy. A lot of the food we eat is utilized by our brains because we are thinking all the time.
Our brains are the center for everything that is happening throughout all the different systems of our body.
It’s critical to understand and respect that our brain is extremely energy intensive and its maintenance is important to our physical and emotional health.
How to Feed Your Brain
Our brains are constantly evolving, and we can feed our brain the nutrients it needs to give us an attitude of self-love.
There are certain nutrients that we really need to maintain the health of our brain. The first is omega-3 fats. Your brain is nearly 60 percent fat. It requires omega-3 fatty acids for optimal function.
We get omega-3 fats from fatty fish and several high-fat plant foods.
The fish with the highest amount of omega 3’s are salmon (wild is best), sardines, anchovies, oysters and mackerel.
Flax seed, chia seeds and walnuts are good sources of vegan Omega 3’s. For more information on flax and chia along with recipes click over to my article Chia Flax Hemp – Which One is Better.
Make sure you’re getting nourishing omega-3 fats. This is really important for our brain health overall and helps maintain an attitude of well-being.
We also want to make sure that we eat lots of leafy greens. Leafy greens give our brain and body the nutrients it needs to function well. They contain vitamins that are important for our brain health, such as vitamin K and folate, beta carotene and lutein. On my website you’ll find many nutrient dense green veggie recipes.
Another green that’s important, that’s not leafy, but super nourishing is broccoli. Broccoli contains compounds called, glucosinolates.
This compound in broccoli helps to reduce oxidative stress. The brain is particularly vulnerable to oxidative stress because brain cells require a substantial amount of oxygen. Broccoli can help protect your brain, so broccoli in all its forms, Coconut Curried Broccoli and Carrots or sautéed, steamed or grilled broccoli. Whatever way you enjoy eating broccoli, it’s a great thing to keep in your regular rotation for brain health.
Berries are fantastic and are available fresh seasonally and frozen all year long. There is a 2012 study published out of Harvard that found that women who consumed two or more servings of strawberries and blueberries each week kept their brain sharp. A sharp brain helps you make better choices.
Get organic berries whenever possible. Berries are heavily sprayed. Enjoy fresh berries when they’re in season. It’s lots of fun to go berry picking. Raspberries are in season now. Enjoy berries in smoothies and desserts or as a snack. Berries are great for your brain health.
Nuts are good for your brain, especially walnuts and almonds, which are rich in protein and healthy fats. There was a study supported by Loma Linda University linking walnut consumption with brain health, deep meditation, better memory.
Add walnuts to your salad or just snack on walnuts. It’s a wonderful food for hiking, for energy, and focus.
I saved the best one for last, cacao. Dark chocolate has wonderful flavonoid antioxidants which enhance the function of your brain. A 2013 review shows flavonoids increase blood flow to the brain and promotes the formation of new neural pathways and encourages growth in parts of the brain involved in memory and learning.
Studies show chocolate has been shown to relieve anxiety symptoms and to help enhance feelings of calmness and contentedness. How great is that!
When your brain is well nourished, you’re resilient, you have more resources to stay in an attitude of self-love, whatever is going on in your life.
Eating the amazing nutritious foods from nature helps you feel joy, calm and clarity. When you feel good emotionally, you’re connected to your True Self. You’re inspired to eat more of the foods that naturally keep you healthy and happy. You’ll also metabolize everything you eat more completely.
Sending you lots of love, thank you so much for being here. I will see you soon.