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What is "cognitive nutrition"?It may change the way you eat forever

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W.Farren Morgan was in the top of his 30s when he signed up for life in the military. Surrounded by other recruits to the military, he realized he needed to overhaul his diet to maintain his physical peak. He knew the best foods to eat to protect the brain and help it function optimally, a so-called “cognitive nutrition” diet. started research on

Cognitive nutrition, which is becoming increasingly popular among men, is being touted by nutritionists as the food trend that will dominate the next decade. Just as important, what we eat becomes important.

Loosely based on a low-carb version of the Mediterranean plate, this diet introduces specific foods and ingredients to boost mental function and alertness. It may even help prevent disease.

Morgan, an Army unit commander, eats six small meals a day based on proteins high in amino acids, such as chicken and fish, to reduce fatigue. He eats a lot of green vegetables, which have a positive effect on cognitive function and prevent muscle damage from very physical work. All contain nutrients that activate the brain.

“I tend to incorporate walnuts into the salads and cereals I eat, switching between cooking fish separately and serving it on the side of my meal or adding it to sauces,” he explains. By being conscious of the food I eat, my mind and body have been thoroughly sharpened to perform my daily tasks and achieve the goals I set for myself.”

Morgan, now 36, who also runs a tactical training coaching business, said the diet transition had a “huge impact” on his life. “I have found that it contributes to my positive thinking and mental health, increases focus and focus, and improves athletic performance during daily workouts, marathons, and military training,” he claimed. “Thanks to the diet, the quality of my sleep has greatly improved. I can sleep a full seven hours.”

The difference is mental clarity. I am fitter, healthier and happier at his 40 than she was at 20.

In its Future Diet Trends report, meal kit company Green Chef identified cognitive nutrition as one of the five most prevalent ways to eat over the next decade. The survey highlights research showing that 37% of consumers now view food as a “functional tool” to achieve their spiritual goals, rather than just a source of energy. The study quotes Savannah Scott, Foresight her analyst at The Future Laboratory. “The pandemic is driving demand for products that support mental health and resilience, and we are entering a new phase of functional food,” he argues.

But what does that mean for the foods we choose to put on our table? According to nutritionist Penny Weston, the starting point for boosting brain power through diet is the whole body, including the brain. “Many studies have shown that poor-quality diets, including those high in sugar, can lead to worsening mental health. Food can affect mood, memory and behavior,” she says. “It can make you feel nervous, irritable, and tired. Instant and processed foods like baked beans, sauces, and pizza are all high in sugar and salt and can have negative effects on your brain.” , also warns against carbonated drinks and alcohol.

So what should be included? Weston lists a number of foods that are particularly beneficial for cognitive function. Blueberries, broccoli, kale, spinach and arugula all improve brain health and boost memory and focus. Fatty fish provide omega-3 fatty acids that the brain uses to build nerve cells.

“Additionally, pumpkin and sunflower seeds are great additions to your diet, as they are rich in minerals such as magnesium, zinc, iron and copper that aid in nerve signaling. Sunflower Seeds contains a significant amount of B1, which is important for memory and cognition,” she adds. When it comes to spices, turmeric is the keynote of the cognitive diet. Studies have shown that it can reduce symptoms of depression and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutritionist Pauline Cox, who trains GPs and other NHS health workers on the power of food to heal and improve the body, says there is a tendency, especially among men, to eat for mental clarity. Another expert who observed it gaining popularity. she said: It’s a trend that started in America, where men found the power of working long hours to boost their brain capacity. They realized that by adjusting his diet and increasing his healthy fat intake, he might get five hours of work done in two hours. They structured it almost like a business plan. “

A selection of essential foods for cognitive nutrition


But for many, taking this approach requires a complete overhaul of the Western diet and carbohydrate obsession. I feel like my cognitive abilities are declining, especially in the afternoon. Primal Living in a Modern World,I will explain. Her recommendation, again, is a Mediterranean diet. She eats “oily fish and salads, brightly colored vegetables, berries and other low-carb fruits, avocados, and olives a lot of her oils,” but adds supplements.

Cox tells clients to look specifically at sources of omega-3 fats other than fatty fish, such as hemp, flaxseed, and ahiflower oil.Other hacks for “cognitive nutrition” include medicinal mushrooms. , especially the lion’s mane mushroom, and the introduction of other more unusual supplements such as the traditional herbs ashwagandha and rhodiola.

She also recommends limiting meal times and finishing the last meal of the day at 6pm. That way, your body can fast enough time to go into ketosis, burning fat instead of sugar and producing blood byproducts known as ketones. “The brain loves ketones,” she says. “It’s designed to burn body fat. As hunter-gatherers, this metabolic flexibility was very important to us. Ketone bodies enter the brain easily. Baseline levels of ketones An indicator of fat burning, these ketones are highly beneficial in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.”

If your diary is filled with late business dinners that make a 6pm deadline impossible, another supplement – MCT oil – may offer a shortcut. It provides a form of fat that breaks down into ketones, giving the brain an immediate fuel source. Cox tells clients to add it to their morning coffee or smoothie.

Another example of someone who converted to this eating style is 40-year-old Dave Thomas. Jim His manager at The Foundry, Thomas, has overhauled his diet and started taking MCTs to ameliorate the side effects of a brain injury he sustained playing rugby when he was 16. He then began to suffer from depressive episodes. He continued to play sports, but found that the injuries he had sustained had lasting effects.He experienced episodes of angry outbursts, lack of concentration, and disinhibition. I had a problem, my thoughts and things got blurred, and again, I was generally a very resourceful person before this,” he says.

Thomas finally saw a neurologist after the COVID-19 pandemic and began changing his diet to see if it would make a difference.He followed a ketogenic diet to increase ketones in his brain. I take coconut derived MCT oil, I take 2 teaspoons a day [and] Within 30 minutes I can get these.

He clearly explains the difference in his perception. I’m healthier, healthier and happier when he’s 40 than I was when he was 20. I’m sure part of it was dealing with the diet. “

If all this sounds like incredibly hard work, there are some easier ways to boost your cognitive performance when you need it most, says high-performance psychologist Josephine Perry, Ph.D. , I always tell my clients to consume small amounts of glucose or caffeine, or both, before important events such as speeches or job interviews. In a situation, sugar’s influence can give the rational brain the upper hand, but a lack of glucose can lead to disappointment. says Perry. Caffeine, on the other hand, lowers the perception of effort. Pour yourself another cup of coffee and you’ll be pushing yourself a little more before you know it.