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How to effectively harness the power of nutritious food to feel your best

How to effectively harness the power of nutritious food to feel your best

NADIA magazine naturopath and medical herbalist Annaliese Jones explains how eating the right foods can help you body and mind perform its best. 

I see a lot of people who have big dreams, whether it’s changing careers, starting their own business, or designing a product they are passionate about. But time and again they fail to get to the finish line and their dreams remain just that because they can’t maintain the creative energy and mental stamina required. The food and nutrients we consume are our only fuel. It can make us feel vital, energised and motivated or fatigued, foggy brained and frazzled. Harness the power of nutritious food and see the difference some simple changes can make!

What are good sources of vitamins and minerals and how can they help me?

B vitamins are one of the groups the brain requires huge amounts of. Because they are water-soluble and pass rapidly out of the body (rather than being stored), even a short-term lack can affect the way we think and feel. Magnesium is also helpful for calming an anxious or overwhelmed nervous system. Increasing your intake of these two alone will do wonders for your overall mental and creative energy.

Good sources of B vitamins:
Whole grains, bananas, red meat, avocado, mushrooms, egg yolks, lentils, capsicum, beetroot.

Good sources of magnesium:
Green leafy veges, nuts and seeds, buckwheat, kelp, figs, dates, avocado.

What are good sources of omega-3 and how can they help me?

Consisting of the fatty acids EPA and DHA, omega-3 is crucial for brain health and concentration. In fact, 60 percent of your brain is made up of fat. So giving your body regular doses of good fats is essential for its optimal function. Getting enough can be as simple as having two or three serves of oily fish a week. Salmon, sardines and mackerel are good oily varieties. Some other bountiful sources are nuts and seeds such as walnuts and sunflower, flax and pumpkin seeds.

What are good sources of protein and how can they help me?

Brain cells talk to each other via chemical messengers called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are made up of protein. So getting enough protein is essential for clarity of thought and creative thinking. A simple way to calculate how many grams of protein you need per day is to multiply your weight in kilograms by 0.8. This will give you a number to aim for. If you are quite active or pregnant, multiply your weight by 1.3.

Some good sources of protein include:
Nuts and seeds, lean red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, tofu and tempeh, and legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and beans.

Feature image via: Getty Images.

ANNALIESE JONES

ANNALIESE JONESAnnaliese is NADIA magazine's resident wellness expert.

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