There's no denying that the holidays are an overwhelming time. So, if you want to make sure your head's not spinning from everything you have to get done, I'll let you in on a little secret: All you have to do is look for certain foods while you're at the grocery store to stock your pantry with. I kid you not. There are foods that keep your brain healthy, and no, it's not just a bunch of different types of salads and other stuff that tastes like grass. These foods are actually pretty tasty, if you ask me.
And BTW, when I say these foods keep your brain healthy, Isabel Butler, company nutritionist at Spoon Guru, points out that you can think about your brain in this context in a couple of different ways. "When people talk about brain health, there are two aspects to this — one being making sure your brain functions correctly long-term and immediately, and [the other being] your mindset," Butler tells Elite Daily over email. "Food can play a massive part in both of these."
According to Butler, starting with brain functionality, there are several different minerals and vitamins that can all play a part in boosting your brain function. "Omega 3 is often thought of as the main nutrient," she tells me. "However, vitamins, including B and K, and minerals, such as iron, zinc, and magnesium, along with antioxidants, all have an effect on brain function."
While these nutrients can affect your brain over a long period of time, Butler says certain foods can also have just as big an effect on the way your noggin works in real time. "Research has shown that having a meal which rapidly raises blood sugar can significantly increase stress hormones," she explains. "This can impact things like memory in as little as an hour." Wild, right? And really, that's the last thing you need when you're trying to keep up with the whirlwind of responsibilities that come with the holidays.
The best solution to this, according to Butler, is eating foods that are both slower to digest, and that raise blood sugar in a more controlled, balanced way. "This would mean including a variety of healthy fats, protein, and some fiber," she tells me. "For example, scrambled eggs or baked beans with wholemeal toast and an avocado on the side." Uh, yum.
No matter what tasty meal you're whipping up to fuel your daunting holiday to-do list, here are seven foods you can add to your grocery list to stay focused, in the zone, and keep your brain in tip-top shape.