With summer right around the corner, I know many of you (myself included) are trying to eat healthier. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially with a full-time job. But when you’re running your own business, it can feel almost impossible. Whether your reasons are weight loss or just feeling better, I know getting motivated can be difficult. But what about your brain? There are healthy choices out there that can make you smarter, relieve stress, and keep you going longer throughout the day. For an entrepreneur, these simple life changes can seriously improve your work. Here are 8 brain foods to keep you fueled throughout your day:
A great low-in-calorie protein start for your day! Eggs are filling, energizing, and downright delicious. While egg whites are lower in calories (only 17 calories!), adding a little yolk won’t hurt you. In fact, the yolk contains a lot of vitamins and nutrients for the brain. Egg yolks have heaps of choline, a nutrient that improves memory, intelligence, and mood. The yolk is only 55 calories in itself, but can also be high in cholesterol. To get the best of both worlds, maybe scramble an egg yolk in with some egg whites for a healthy and nutritious breakfast!
2. Green vegetables
Green vegetables should be your ultimate staple in a healthy diet. You can never go wrong with them! Packed with folate, a great brain nutrient, it’s best to stick to the dark and leafy variety. These vegetables can expand the learning section of your brain. Kale, broccoli, spinach, and collard greens are all excellent choices!
3. Dark chocolate
You don’t have to tell me twice that chocolate is good for me...endorphins, serotonin, flavanols, oh my! Dark chocolate helps improve cognitive function in your brain and your mood. It also contains a little bit of caffeine to help get you going. 1 oz. is around 155 calories and has about 14 grams of sugar. So a little mid-day dark chocolate snack won’t hurt you!
Enhance your memory with this yummy fruit. Blueberries are perfect for the summer--and your brain. In addition to memory, they also help with learning, cognitive function, decision making, reasoning skills, numerical ability, and comprehension. Who knew those tiny little fruits could so so much!
An obvious healthy choice, but did you know that your brain is made up of 85% water? Drinking water can significantly improve how you feel and help your brain get moving. The easiest way for me to drink water in the office is to bring a 24 oz. water bottle every day. Going back and forth to the water cooler to stretch my legs keeps me motivated to keep filling it up. For men, it’s recommended to drink approximately 13 cups (104 oz.) a day, while they recommend women to drink around 9 cups (72 oz.) per day. I always try to drink an additional cup of water for every cup of caffeine I drink that day as well!
While not the most popular vegetable, beets are excellent brain food. I actually love beets (I know, I’m weird), but what’s even more lovable is that they increase bloodflow to your brain. Eat them raw, throw them in a salad, pickled, or roast them with some goat cheese. There are so many ways to eat beets, you should give them a try!
Another amazing source of protein, fish is so good for you (as long as it’s not fried). Your body needs fatty acids and fish is an excellent source of this. Omega-3 fats are critical in infant brain development, and are good for your brain too. Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Depression, ADHD, Alzheimer's, Dementia--fish has been proven to help them all!
Coffee gets a bad name sometimes because high amounts of caffeine intake is not good for you (and highly addictive), and adding lots of cream and sugar isn’t exactly low in calories. However, while in moderation (and preferably black), coffee can actually be very beneficial for your brain. It’s the number one source of antioxidants you can get. It’s also known to prevent a variety of illnesses. Not to mention--hello, waking up in the morning and getting through the work day? Coffee does it all.
About the Author
Maddie Deming is a guest contributor for the AddShoppers Blog. With a background in Business Analysis and journalistic writing, Deming brings a unique perspective to the blog.