Here at Uncommon, we’re celebrating National Vegetarian Week on the 10-16th May. We do love all things healthy and green, after all.
Whilst we’re all laser focused on our self-improvement resolutions, it’s easy to overlook the simpler things that can improve both our physical and mental health. Let’s take a few minutes to look at how we can use our new found healthy food inspiration to make us smarter. Let’s improve mental clarity and focus, helping you to perform at your very best throughout the day.
The millennial holy grail of foods – avocados. Mashed avocado on toast. Avocado with eggs benedict. Avocado chocolate cakes. Avocado everything. It’s easy to bring avocados into your diet. And you should. Avocados enhance blood flow and oxygenation to your brain, which helps you stay alert by firing up your brain cells. Then there are the healthy unsaturated fats, which help keep your brain cell membranes flexible (which apparently is a good thing).
Blueberries are superfoods. There’s no debate. They boost concentration and memory, keep your mind fresh, even protect against things like heart disease, cancer and dementia. It’s all thanks to their antioxidants – these stimulate blood and oxygen flow to your brain to keep it working at its optimum.
Nuts are a brain’s best friend. In a nutshell, they are packed full of goodness that helps to reduce how much your brain health deteriorates as you age. Walnuts are great for brain health, as they have a high concentration of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA which improves cognitive performance and prevents age-related cognitive decline. Almonds & hazelnuts have the most concentrated sources of vitamin E, which is thought to help keep our minds sharp as we age.
Dark Green Leafy Veg
Leafy green vegetables are musts for a healthy brain. Spinach, kale, and their green comrades are full of antioxidants and carotenoids, which boost your brain power. Then there’s the B-vitamins, which help your memory, focus, and brain health. They also contain folic acid, which improves your mental clarity. In short, they are great fuel if you’re wanting to improve your concentration.
Dark chocolate also has brain-boosting properties. Firstly, it contains caffeine, which we all know and love. Secondly, dark chocolate, as well as cacao powder, contains magnesium. This can help reduce anxiety and stress. Dark chocolate also boosts your mood by releasing endorphins and serotonin. There you go, chocolate does make you happy. But don’t go overboard. A couple of squares a day is enough to keep you mentally alert.
It’s all about moderation
Life is about finding the right balance. Eating too much or too little can interfere with your focus as much as eating the wrong food. A heavy meal can leave you feeling tired and sluggish. While too few calories can lead to distracting hunger pangs. Boost your brain by striking the right balance. Aim for a varied diet full of all the good, natural foods that will keep your mind focused and your creative juices flowing.
Here is a list of Vegetarian Recipe Blogs to try out. Why not incorporate some of the foods mentioned above?
- Cookie & Kate
- The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Green Kitchen Stories
- Naturally Ella
- Oh My Veggies
- Delicious from Scratch
Here is a guide for new Vegetarians that are not quite sure where to begin on their veggie journey.