This month we are exploring how to build a better brain, one day and one exercise at a time. Today let’s look at an everyday focus – one that will help you create a healthy environment to maximize your daily efforts.
There is an approach to nutrition shown to promote better health and increase energy that has been around for a while – eat the rainbow. It is really simple – prepare and eat a diet that includes foods that cover every color of the rainbow. Since Mother Nature has a way of making what is good for us appealing in its natural form, follow color cues and clues to eat your way to better health. It’s really that easy and from an overall health standpoint, pretty solid advice. It turns out that this is also really good daily thinking and functioning advice too.
The chemicals in our brains, neurotransmitters, need a variety of nutrients, in a good balance, to function well. Researchers have, so far, found more than 50 types of neurotransmitters. Each regulates daily functioning and each needs nutrients to work most effectively. Keeping those neurotransmitters well-nourished helps improve every level of brain function from attention to problem solving to muscular control and all points in between.
There is solid research that links healthy levels of Vitamin A, the B family of vitamins, Vitamin K, folate, and omega fatty acids with good cognitive functioning in general but memory and problem solving in particular.
Taking the rainbow in order, here is a small sampling of foods that contain the nutrients needed to promote thinking and problem solving!
|Red||Strawberries, Tomatoes||Vitamins A & K, Folate, Omega Fatty AcidsVitamins A & B6, Folate|
|Yellow||Bananas, Squash, Salmon||B6B6, FolateOmega Fatty Acids, B6, B12|
|Orange||Pumpkin||Vitamins A, K, & B6, Folate|
|Green||Spinach, Avocado||Vitamins A, K, & B6, FolateVitamins A, K, & B6, Folate,Omega Fatty Acids (3&6)|
|Blue||Blue Corn||Folate, Omega Fatty Acids|
|Indigo||Blueberries, Purple Cabbage||Vitamins A, B6, B12 & K, Folate, Omega Fatty AcidsVitamins A, B6, B12 & K, Folate, Omega Fatty Acids|
|Violet||Acai Berries, Blackberries||Vitamins A, B6, B12 & K, Folate, Omega Fatty Acids|
They say we eat with our eyes first. Make sure your plates are colorful and packed with brain healthy nutrients!