There is no great mystery that the food you eat makes a major impact on how your body functions. You know that if you give your body the good nutrients that it needs you will feel better and your body will function more efficiently. What you may not realize, though, is that some foods are better than others at helping you with specific things such as a foggy brain, difficulty sleeping or having trouble losing weight. These “Superfoods” contain a variety of powerful nutrients and complexes that help your body in many different ways. Adding a few to your regular diet or keeping them on hand for when you are dealing with these issues can help you feel your best and tackle life.
You can’t expect your body to do what you want it to if you aren’t getting enough sleep. Your body needs sleep in order to rest, rejuvenate and restore itself. Having trouble sleeping can make a serious negative impact on every facet of your life from your exercise routine to your relationships to your career and even your willingness to adhere to your diet. Superfoods that help you get to sleep and enjoy better sleep work with your body’s natural processes to ease it into a state of relaxation and allow it to sleep more deeply. Try these snacks next time the night is passing you by without your fair share of “winks”:
- Almonds: this nut is an all-around Superfood that can help your body in a variety of ways. When it comes to sleeping, however, almonds give your body a good dose of magnesium, which promotes relaxation. The boost of protein also helps to sustain your blood sugar levels for longer, keeping blood sugar drops and hunger pangs at bay throughout the night.
- Miso Soup: this unexpected member of the Superfood family has a double dose of sleep-inducing power. Not only does the miso itself encourage your body to produce extra melatonin, the relaxation hormone, but studies have shown that consuming warm fluids helps relieve tension and soothes aching, sniffling and other symptoms of colds that may make it hard for you to get a good night’s rest.
- Cheese: dairy products contain two allies in your quest for sleep: tryptophan and calcium. Both ease tension in your muscles, but also help to calm your mind so you are able to nod off to a comfortable sleep.
Everybody has those moments when they feel like their brains are sieves just letting everything fall through. Just because everybody has these moments, however, doesn’t take away the awkward moment when you realize you called your boss’s wife by his secretary’s name or can’t figure out how much change you need to give someone who gave you a $10 for a $4.75 bill. Boosting your diet with some brain-sharpening Superfoods can help you to think more clearly and work through everyday challenges more effectively. Some of these foods include:
- Fish: any foods containing Omega-3 fatty acids are amazing brain food. These acids help your brain stay healthy so that it can work better for you, even protecting it for the long term so you ward off cognitive issues later in life. If you aren’t a fish person, try adding fennel seed oil to your meals.
- Honey: this yummy ingredient is so old it has a prominent feature right in the Bible. In addition to being a great natural sweetener, honey also contains antioxidants, antibacterial properties and a variety of vitamins and minerals that fuel the brain and keep it from wearing out.
- Broccoli: your mother always told you to eat your broccoli, but they probably didn’t know that you were strengthening your brain. The sulforaphane in this veggie strengthens the tiny capillaries that protect your brain’s surface from injury.
Of course, the food you eat is the single most important factor in your efforts to lose weight. You know all about controlling your calories and reducing your fat consumption. There are some Superfoods, however, that can further support your efforts to help slim you down without feeling deprived. Try adding a few of these to your diet:
- Raw Nuts: stay away from the oily, salty options that you find canned in the snack aisle, and turn instead to the raw versions of favorites such as cashews, almonds and macadamia nuts. These nuts contain protein that will sustain you throughout the day, as well as heart healthy fats to help your body absorb extra vitamins and minerals.
- Beans: not only are these little wonders incredibly versatile, but beans also contain several weight-friendly components. When combined with a complex carbohydrate, beans offer your body the same quality protein as meat, but without the saturated fat. Beans also contain high levels of soluble fiber to keep you feeling fuller, longer and support healthy digestion. One component that you probably haven’t heard of, however, is cholecystokinin. This natural appetite suppressant will keep you feeling satisfied well after your meal so you resist overindulging later.
- Eggs: breakfast is what sets you up for a healthy day, but what you eat for breakfast makes a major difference in how will feel later, and how your diet will fare. Choosing eggs over a carb-centric meal will give you sustaining protein that will help ward off cravings and keep you feeling fuller and stronger for longer.
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