27 Apr 2016, 10:02 — 6 min read
In this era of cut-throat competition, impressive networking skills have become an important aspect of a successful career. It is therefore important that we choose the best diet that would keep our brains sharp and focused.
Foods that are especially high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties for example, are helpful in warding off dementia and improving overall brain health. Entrepreneurs who are extremely busy, need to travel frequently and work late, are more prone to brain fatigue leading to lack of concentration. Choosing fresh fruits and vegetables over processed and canned foods will help combat diseases such as hypertension and cardiovascular disease, due to the lower sodium and increased fibre content.
Blueberries and strawberries are high in flavonoids, which have key antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Stress and neuro-inflammation contribute towards cognitive impairment. Hence the consumption of flavonoids could help in mitigating the risk and reduce oxidative stress on the brain.
Phytochemicals are essentially responsible for rendering natural colours to fruits and vegetables. However, blueberries and strawberries containing high concentrations of phytochemicals, much like capsicum (red pepper) and curcumin (turmeric), provide protection against prevalent neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
A low glycemic diet rich in fibre and containing moderate amounts of fat/protein is broken down slower than food with high glycemic content, such as sweeteners, white starch, aerated drinks, and sugary juices. A high glycemic diet results in a quick spike in insulin and blood sugar levels, and significantly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes and other cardiovascular disease. A steady digestion process leads to a balanced and reliable flow of energy to the body and the brain.
Fish is rich in essential fatty acids, such as omega-3s, which play a vital role in proper brain functioning. Cold-water fish such as mackerel, trout, tuna, salmon and halibut are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Increasing your DHA-omega-3 could significantly lower brain cell-strangling beta amyloids in our blood streams, keeping the brain sharp, healthy and focused. Alternative sources of omega-3 fatty acids are grass-fed animals and flax seeds. Coconut is also a tasty and healthy source of is omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Vegetables and fruits are easy to prepare and full of micronutrients for a healthy brain. They contain natural sugar that helps the brain function at its best, as the brain uses carbohydrate for fuel, with sprouted and whole grains also being rich in fibre. Avocados are also rich in good fats, and Vitamin E, which serves as an anti-oxidant protecting the cell membranes from oxidative damage due to free radicals.
Busy entrepreneurs, can opt for quick prep alternatives such as bananas, avocados, lima beans, legumes, which are also sources of Vitamin C and E. Daily supply of Vitamin C is important for better memory, IQ and mental function.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners working late or travelling frequently are typically over-dependent on processed, packaged and fast food. Such “junk” food overstimulates the secretion of dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitters in our body, which in turn increases our craving for processed food.
Make time for sleep & exercise regularly
While proper nutrition is very essential, proper sleep is equally needed for a healthy brain. Sound sleep is crucial for good mental, physical health, a sharp and focused mind. Lack of sleep, might cause troubles in decision making, problem solving capabilities, exercising emotional control, and coping with constant change. Lack of sleep is also linked to heart diseases, kidney troubles, stroke and diabetes.
Avoid using the elevator and spend some time walking or jogging. This regular incidental exercise will get you one step closer to preventing chronic illness, and simultaneously improving your overall fitness and mood.
The secret to a sharp and attentive mind is a mix of proper diet containing nutritious meals, proper rest and adequate exercise. Busy entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners, tend to lead a lifestyle that involves pressure, stress and strain. The above points can be applied whatever your role. Consider applying some or all, to take extra care of your health.
If you have been struggling to lose weight, find it hard to make time to formulate a daily routine for health and fitness, or traveling is keeping you busy and away from home, an online nutrition programme such as ExecFuel provides you with invaluable information, such as videos, downloadables and infographics on how to maintain a healthy routine, by eating right and performing quick and effective exercises. You can even keep healthy while entertaining clients and attending corporate events. The ExecFuel programme is the non-diet approach from the comfort of your laptop or mobile 24/7.
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