Have you ever experienced a “foggy mind” where you feel as though you’re searching through a haze of fog to find that recent thought or idea you had?
A common occurrence when we have a million thoughts and 'to do' lists running through our minds! Or sometimes it is just one of those days.Instead of reaching for the tea or coffee to “wake you up,” why not try grabbing some of nature’s brain foods to help feed and nourish our minds!
Essential nutrients for our brain
Essential fatty acids (EFAs) are omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids, which are not produced by the body, so must be obtained through our diet. As the name suggests, these are “essential” nutrients, which are required for healthy cell function, brain development and the production of nerves, hormones, bile and prostaglandins. EFA’s are therefore vital in maintaining a healthy nervous system!
Luckily, nature has provided us with rich food sources of these essential fatty acids! Here are some of nature's best:
Cold water fish
Wild cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring and sardines, are the most bio-available sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Try to consume fish at least 3 times a week!
Good quality organic coconut oil is not only a fantastic oil for cooking and frying, it is one of the richest plant sources of lauric acid! This fatty acid also found in human milk is antiviral, antibacterial and has shown to enhance brain and immune function! More on Organic Virgin Raw Coconut Oil
Also known as brown linseeds, these are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which play a critical role in healthy brain function and structure. Flaxseeds are often cold-pressed to extract the oil which is rich in linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids. However the whole seeds themselves are a far more superior source of EFAs. Linseeds can be added whole, or ground up in a coffee grinder to produce a nutrient dense meal to add to smoothies or as muesli topper.
'Chia' is Mayan for ‘strength or strengthening,’ which may explain why this native seed was known as an endurance food to the ancient Aztec warriors. Traditionally chia is consumed as a drink called ‘chia fresca,’ with this mucilaginous seed acting as a natural lubricant in the body. Chia is another fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, and have shown to improve mental focus. Chia seed recipes and serving suggestions here
Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
An excellent source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as important nutrients, pepitas are a fantastic addition to your trail or snack mix to boost your brain energy at work!
In aromatherapy, thyme has traditionally been used to relieve mental instability and prevent memory loss!
After fish, walnuts are the highest food source of omega-3 fatty acids. If you look at the shape of walnut kernels, they look like a small brain! Nature’s way of speaking to us perhaps? Walnuts are also an excellent source of protein and nutrients; vitamin E, zinc, calcium and potassium!
Other brain foods to include in your diet...sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, safflower oil, evening primrose oil, borage oil & dark leafy vegetables!
Check out this recipe for Incan Bliss Balls...high in protein, essential fatty acids & they taste delicious.