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Salmon. Olive oil. Avocados. Berries. Vegetables, especially leafy greens and cruciferous. Eggs. Grass fed meats. Nuts. Legumes. Fermented foods. Any of these surprise you? Probably not. I think information about what foods support the human brain has been readily available for a while. So why isn’t everyone just stuffing their faces with these things?
Our current food system
The reality is our current food system isn’t set up to support healthy brains. There has been a push towards eating a plant based diet, and fortunately a lot of food manufacturers have taken preservatives and additives out of their products, but the majority of the food produced on a mass scale does not give an assist to the human brain at all.
Sure, manufacturers might add vitamins and minerals, but that doesn’t change the fact that highly processed foods are inflammatory for not just the body, but also the brain.
It’s all about habit
I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating a lot of packaged food. Everyone my age did. Breakfast cereals (with sugar sprinkled on top), Wonder bread, chips, crackers, soda, popsicles, ice cream, donuts… the list goes on. These were normal foods in my household, just like they were for so many others.
And I gotta tell you, old habits die hard. I’ve completely changed my diet from when I was a kid, but I still hear the siren song of those junky treats, and on occasion indulge. I know perfectly well that these foods do not a darn good thing for my brain, but breaking up is hard to do.
Thinking about food
Something else connected to the drive to eat that can have a profound effect on what we put in our mouths is what we THINK about food. When we consider changing our way of eating, there’s not that much different than what we were doing before. We’re buying food, and we’re eating the food.
But because the food is different, because we might have to prep it differently, because it hasn’t been engineered to be over-stimulating, our brain will act confused. It might start to spin stories about how eating this new way is too hard, how it’s so boring, how you don’t have time to eat this way.
The brain can also get sneaky with what my coach calls thought errors, thoughts that seem nice and innocent, even like self care, but open the space to regress back to where we were. Thoughts like:
- I deserve this.
- I’ll eat better tomorrow.
- Nobody’s perfect.
Those might seem perfectly valid, but notice how those thoughts are trying to get you to feel better in the moment by creating an excuse. This is a method the human brain deploys all the time to resist change.
So what are the best foods you can eat for your brain? There’s just a few articles out there on the subject.
One of the best things you can DO for your brain is figure out the thoughts you have about changing your diet that may be working against you.
Work with me
I can help you see your mind, and see those thoughts that are inhibiting change for you. Once I teach you how to see them, you’ll have a tool to use for life.
In the meantime, if you want a few book recommendations on healthy eating for the brain, here you go: