2 Brain Food Tips to Boost Your Leadership Genius

Updated: Jan 23, 2019



There are plenty of myths out there about the way the brain works. One common misconception is that our brain stops developing at the age of 25 and then it's all downhill from there. Well, this is untrue because in the mid-1990s, scientists discovered that the brain actually continues to change until death. Within the realm of neuroscience, this is known as neuroplasticity.


So how do we help improve our overall brain health and function? The simple answer is, eat healthy. In 2017, A study conducted by the Food and Mood Centre at Deakin University found that severe depression can be treated by making dietry changes. For example, when participants cut sugar, fried food and processed meats while eating more vegetables, olive oil. nuts, fish, whole grains, legumes and lean meat, their depressive symptoms were radically reduced. This means that by choosing the right diet not only helps you become more focused, energetic, and balanced, but also helps boost cognitive function and prevent future illnesses such as dementia.


Futhermore, a Finnish neurobioligst by the name of Miia Kivipelto, an expert in effects of diet and lifestyle, conducted a study which involved 1,200 older adults deemed at risk of cognitive decline. The first group of particpants were enrolled in social support groups for lonliness, depression and stress, while simutaneously taking part in nutritional and excerise programs. The second group recieved only social support. So what were the results?


The first group's cognitive funtion had risen by an astonishing 25 percent, while their decision-making and interpersonal skills improved by 83 percent in comparison to the second group. So there you have it. In order to become a better, smarter, happier and more productive leader, you need to make better dietry choices! As a leaders, it is important that you take care of your cognitive health by making healthier dietry choices. This will help you with your cognitive capacity and ability to problem solve and make decisions as a leader. So now lets talk about what types of food are actually good for your brain.

1. Eat Healthy Fats and Oils



There are different kinds of fats and oils that can either nourish or degrade your brain health depending on particular circumstances so it is important that you understand these different types, it's effect and where to find them.

  • Omega-3 fats are healthy polyunsaturated fats which can be found in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, eggs and grass-fed meats which help support the functioning of brain cells and boost memory, mood and executive function. However, it becomes a completely different story when it comes to refined, heated or processed oils like those used to fry food because these processes transform the fats, which then results in huge amounts of aldehydes - a byproduct of oxidized fats. This is a problem. Aldehydes impair the functioning of the brain. Too much fried food causes a buildup of plaque in the brain - one of the key characterisitcs of Alzheimer's.

  • Monounsaturated fats can be found in extra virgin olive oil, avocados and macadamias. This type of fat nourish the brain and help protect neurons and boost neurotransmission. In a study found in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal 2015, proved that a "Mediterranean diet," which is rich in monounsaturated foods, helped particpants improve their cognitive functions such as reasoning, attention and memory, while their risk of dementia declined after just six years!

  • Trans fats are typically found in pre-packaged, processed foods like cookies (my weakness), margarine and vegan cheese. They help extend foodstuff's shelf life and give them a delicious buttery taste, but they are a hazard. Trans fats stiffen neuronal membranes, making it more difficult for them to transmit information. High trans fat consumption has been linked to brain shrinkage and a higher risk of Alzheimer's. In addtion. a study carried out in 2015 suggested that a person's ability to remember words decreases by 0.76 words per gram of trans fats! That is crazy!


2. Cut down on Carbs!


Try to cut down on grains and replace them with vegetables. Grains are loaded with carbohydrates which push your insulin level through the roof. This applies to regular bread, rice and crackers as well as whole-wheat alternatives.


But why reduce your carbohydrate intake?


When you eat carbohydrate rich foods, your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream to convert sugar molecules into energy, but consuming a lot of carbohydrates over long periods of time can result in a resistance to insulin. This will signal your pancreas to release more and more insulin into your blood stream which can eventually lead to a build up of amyloid beta plaque - a sticky protein that's a major symptom of Alzheimer's.


Summary

As a leaders, it is important that you take care of your cognitive health by making healthier dietry choices. This will help you with your cognitive capacity and ability to problem solve and make decisions.


 

Summaries and reference from 'Genius Foods' by Max Lugvere

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