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  • Heather Buzzard

THE IMPORTANCE OF NUTRITION TO FEED YOUR MIND, BODY AND SOUL

Self-care is the intentional act of tending to one's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.


At the core it’s about loving yourself enough to make your wellness a priority and let go of the "I don't have time" or "I'm too overwhelmed" excuses.


Your brain is a big deal.


It’s the control center of your body, in charge of keeping your heart beating, lungs breathing, allowing you to move, feel and think.


The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.


Fatty fish, including salmon, trout and sardines are a rich source of omega-3s, a major building block for brain and nerve cells, essential for learning. Omega-3s play a role in sharpening memory and improving mood, as well as protecting your brain against mental decline, helping ward off Alzheimer's disease.


Coffee has two main components—caffeine and antioxidants — Both have a number of positive effects on the brain, including:

  • Increased alertness: Caffeine keeps your brain alert by blocking adenosine, a chemical messenger that makes you sleepy.

  • Improved mood: By boosting your "feel-good" neurotransmitters, such as serotonin.

  • Sharpened concentration: One study found that when participants drank one large coffee in the morning or smaller amounts throughout the day, they were more effective at tasks that required concentration.

Drinking coffee over the long term is also linked to a reduced risk of neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and stroke.


Avocados are a source of healthful unsaturated fat that supports the brain.


Eating monounsaturated fats may reduce blood pressure, and high blood pressure is linked with cognitive decline.


Thus, by reducing high blood pressure, the unsaturated fats in avocados may lower the risk of cognitive decline.


Other sources of healthful unsaturated fats include:

  • almonds, cashews, and peanuts

  • flaxseed and chia seeds

  • soybean, sunflower, and canola oils

  • walnuts and Brazil nuts

  • fish

Dark chocolate contains cocoa, which contain flavonoids, a type of antioxidant.


Antioxidants are especially important for brain health, as the brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, which contributes to age-related cognitive decline and brain diseases.


Cacao flavonoids may encourage neuron and blood vessel growth in parts of the brain involved in memory and learning. They may also stimulate blood flow and may improve brain plasticity.


Berries contains flavonoid antioxidants that help by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. The antioxidants in berries include anthocyanin, caffeic acid, catechin, and quercetin.


Antioxidant compounds in berries have many positive effects on the brain, including:

  • improving communication between brain cells

  • reducing inflammation throughout the body

  • increasing plasticity, which helps brain cells form new connections, boosting learning and memory

  • reducing or delaying age-related neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline

Antioxidant-rich berries that can boost brain health include:

  • strawberries

  • blackberries

  • blueberries

  • black currants

  • mulberries

Nuts and seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant vitamin E, which protects cells from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.


A 2014 study found that a higher overall nut intake was linked to better brain function in older age. The nuts and seeds with the highest amounts of vitamin E include:

  • sunflower seeds

  • almonds

  • hazelnuts

Eggs can be an effective brain food. They are a good source of the following vitamin B-6, B-12 and folic acid.

Recent research suggests that these vitamins may prevent brain shrinkage and delay cognitive decline.


Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in fiber, nutrients and low-calorie.


Broccoli contains vitamin C and flavonoids, and rich in compounds called glucosinolates. When the body breaks these down, they produce isothiocyanates.


Isothiocyanates may reduce oxidative stress and lower the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.


Other cruciferous vegetables that contain glucosinolates include:

  • brussels sprouts

  • bok choy

  • cabbage

  • cauliflower

  • turnips

  • kale

Leafy greens, including kale, may support brain health.


Like broccoli, kale contains glucosinolates, and leafy greens also contain other key antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This is why many consider kale to be a superfood.


Soy products contain polyphenols called isoflavones, including daidzein and genistein. These chemicals act as antioxidants, providing a range of health benefits throughout the body.


Research has linked polyphenols with a reduced risk of dementia and improved cognitive abilities in regular aging processes.


More Food for Thought…


If you're totally unfamiliar with a raw food lifestyle, it essentially means that you eat fresh, nutrient-rich plant food that has not been heat processed. These foods are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamins and protect the body from free radicals, which attack healthy cells. When foods are cooked many of the nutrients are lost. You can go totally raw or you can simply incorporate more raw foods into your existing meal plan to experience the benefits.


A raw plant-based diet is lower in calorie and fat, leads to lower risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, rheumatoid arthritis, and obesity. Raw foods also help to void premature aging and promote longevity.


Fats, especially heat-processed oils, slow you down because they require long periods of digestion, which steals energy from your body. Up to 50% of digestion is done for you when you eat raw foods, freeing up energy for other body processes.


Taking aim at belly fat…


Unlike fat parked on the hips and thighs, fat around the middle produces substances that can create serious health risks.


No matter what your body shape, excess fat isn’t good for your health. When it comes to body fat, location counts, and each year brings new evidence that the fat lying deep within the abdomen is more perilous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers.


Visceral fat lies in the spaces between the abdominal organs and in an apron of tissue called the omentum. Subcutaneous fat is located between the skin and the outer abdominal wall.


Visceral fat cells are biologically active. The fat cell is an endocrine organ, secreting hormones and proteins called cytokines which can trigger low-level inflammation, a risk factor for heart disease. It also produces a precursor to angiotensin, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise. Researchers at Harvard discovered that visceral fat secretes more of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), a molecule that increases insulin resistance. It’s also linked to Cardiovascular disease, dementia, asthma, breast cancer and colorectal cancer.


The solution to getting rid of that fat…


A diet that your body responds best to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and blood glucose levels. Then add in a combination of aerobic activity and strength training.


Set aside a few minutes or an hour each day to consciously nourish your mind, body and spirit. If scheduling time every day seems overwhelming, begin with one hour a week for a bubble bath, massage or yoga class. Try these other practices.


Breathe: Take deep nourishing belly breaths. Find moments — waiting at a traffic light, standing in line, sitting in a meeting or at the computer — and breathe.


Nourish: Eat a variety of natural, healthy foods. Add a fresh vegetable to each meal or carry your meals, healthy snacks and water.


Sleep: Go to bed and wake at the same time. Adequate sleep helps avoid burnout and allows your body to restore and recharge.


Meditate: Set aside a few minutes each day to be still or meditate, and slowly increase the time. It will bring a sense of calm to your day.


Yoga: This 5,000-year-old practice aligns and nourishes your mind, body and spirit.


Move: Schedule your training or aerobics before work, on your lunch hour, or right after work, join a hiking club or tai chi class, walk your dog.


Nature: Commune with nature — drink your morning coffee outside, walk by water or woods, meditate outdoors, go for a bike ride, jog, enjoy a sunrise or sunset.


Gratitude: Write down three things you are grateful for. This daily practice will nourish your heart and help break the chronic complaining habit.


Joy: Create joy by spending time with loved ones, laughing or being creative. Schedule fun, listen to music, dance, sing or watch funny movies.


Dr. Kim Marie Pauline CLN, CNS, CNC, CPT, PES & CES Functional Lifestyle Medicine, Certified Nutrition Specialist, NAP & NLP Practitioner, Personal Training Educator


Dr. Pauline is the Top Global Leader in physical and mental performance. She has been empowering achievers worldwide to sustain the mind, body and spirit of a champion. She is a trusted fitness advisor for Indian Body Building Figure and Fitness Federation, has worked with  media personalities, actors, and athletes worldwide! She has been on Entertainment Tonight, TV commercials, & Fitness Magazines. She has worked all over the world to name a few Mexico, Australia, Spain, India and more!


She has walked through many challenges, as she has experienced the harsh side of life, and has experienced health challenges as well and yet in still has come out with a positive attitude, a different look at life and with flying colors and now she is here to share her wisdom with us!


She has created Wellness Bod programs that treat you like a human being as you make your way back into life explaining why self worth plays such and important role along with so much else! 

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