Desired: Sharper Brain, Flat Stomach And Better Mood!

Learn how functional everyday food can change your life:

BETTER PERFORMANCE: Rye bread is fuel

That’s why it works:

Regarding diet, two things count stable blood sugar and enough energy. These are your most important resources when performing something extra – physically or mentally. In addition, the base must be in order. You would never go out and run a marathon without preparing and training, right? In the same way, you must also eat healthy and versatile in everyday life to perform optimally on special occasions.

You must eat:

Slow carbohydrates such as rye bread, lentils and coarse vegetables are your best muscle friends. They give your brain and your muscles gunpowder. The muscles need energy from carbohydrates but go for the slow ones, so you don’t get a blood sugar dip. Always eat them with a good portion of protein from meat, poultry, fish and eggs and healthy fat from avocado, oil, nuts or pesto. The fat strengthens the body’s hormone system and joints.

When the base is in order, you can boost by grabbing an espresso or a piece of fruit.

If you know that you have to run a long way or have a few hours of physical activity ahead of you, dried apricots and 85 percent chocolate can be a real help. Fruit is easily transferable energy; it works quickly and contains healthy nutrients. But if it is long-lasting, the fruit must be eaten with a handful of almonds for blood sugar stability.

Caffeine is also invigorating, and it counteracts the substances that normally make you lethargic, so the brain cells are encouraged to be more active. But… too much caffeine causes the pituitary gland to overreact. It triggers adrenaline production, and adrenaline is a fight-flight hormone. So while, on the one hand, you become more awake and your brain works fast, you also become nervous, which destroys your ability to think clearly.

TIP! A single espresso makes you battle-ready, while a double affect your ability to think clearly.

 

BETTER MEMORY: Eggs break the brain

That’s why it works:

Our ability to remember depends on the brain cells’ ability to connect with each other and establish new connections. They do this most efficiently when they are up and running. Therefore, we generally remember best the experiences that occur when we are emotionally or intellectually stimulated. But memory is a very complex interplay of signals in the brain. Remember that the next time you’re cursing yourself far away because you can’t remember “what-her-name-was-who-co-starred-with-Brad-Pitt-in-that-movie-that-you-don’t- can-remember-the-name-is-called”.

This is what you should eat:

The vital substance that keeps the brain cells up and running is acetylcholine. Substances in the same family as acetylcholine have been seen to have a beneficial effect on Alzheimer’s. Acetylcholine is formed by the body from the substance choline, which i.a. found in eggs, liver and soybeans.

Vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower also have a positive effect on memory. Clinical trials show that people perform better in memory tests after eating choline-rich foods. The same applies to estrogen, the female sex hormone, which also has a positive effect on memory. 

 

FLEXIBLE SKIN: Get beautiful with tomatoes and olive oil

That’s why it works:

Beauty comes from within – but you can help it along the way by choosing the right foods. The substances lycopene, carotene, selenium and vitamin E, which are found in, among other things, tomatoes, carrots, rapeseed oil and sunflower seeds, have a protective and strengthening effect on the skin. They create a healthy and good working environment, where the skin can take care of itself and the natural rejuvenation processes. The substances mentioned above are so-called antioxidants that keep the skin beautiful and partially protected against UV rays, thereby preventing wrinkles and impurities.

You must eat:

You must hunt in the vegetable department for fresh tomatoes, tomato juice and tomato concentrate. Tomatoes contain the substance lycopene, which protects against sunlight and pollution. Carotene is the active “skin substance” in carrots, dill, spinach and parsley. The carotene is converted to vitamin A, which protects the skin against free radicals and ageing processes due to sunlight and pollution.

Selenium is obtained by eating offal, shellfish and sunflower seeds and has a “beauty effect” together with vitamin E. Vitamin E is found in rapeseed oil and wheat germ oil and has a strengthening effect on the cell wall.

In recent years, sugar in the diet has been suspected as an ageing factor for the skin. Therefore, you should strive for stable blood sugar and a stable hormonal balance. When the insulin level in the body is too high – due to too much sugar – the body’s hormones change and become imbalanced. The consequence is that the level of male sex hormone increases, and voila − skin problems! Impure skin and increased hair growth can also be caused by too much male sex hormone.

TIP! Eat tomato, carrot, shellfish and olive oil every day. It’s better than a face mask.

 

FLAT STOMACH: Almonds make a difference

That’s why it works:

The research of recent years shows quite clearly that belly fat is not just about counting calories and strength training but about lifestyle and diet composition. Abdominal fat is often caused by hormonal disturbances, which in turn is unfortunately caused by a diet with lots of white bread, pasta, rice, sweets, cakes, alcohol and soft drinks. The body reacts to carbohydrates, stress and sleep problems by “storing” fat around the middle as a kind of safety depot.

You must eat:

The opposite of the above is MUFA (Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid), a healthy fat that you find in avocados, almonds, olives, rapeseed oil and pesto made from olive oil.

If you eat MUFA at every meal and in an amount equivalent to 100 calories, e.g. 10-12 almonds or two tablespoons of pesto instead and at the same time put the fast carbohydrates on the shelf, you will be slim around the stomach.

You lose up to approx. two cm per week. The explanation is that MUFA increases the body’s insulin sensitivity while at the same time affecting the feeling of satiety so that you don’t overeat so easily. Therefore, it acts as a fat melter on the belly.

 

MORE SEX: Salmon gives you pleasure

That’s why it works:

Basically, good sex is about pleasure − and you can eat yourself to get more pleasure. First of all, the blood circulation must get going because increased blood flow to the nobler parts is one of the decisive points. The more arousal, the better the orgasm. In the past, there was a lot of talk about oysters and chocolate having a positive effect on sex drive, partly because the two luxury foods cause the body to produce endorphins and trigger a feel-good effect, just like a run.

What you should eat:

As far as the feeling of pleasure is concerned, it is again omega 3 that you need. Start the day with an omelette rich in MUFA and protein, nuts and low-fat yoghurt products such as skyr with nut muesli. Vegetables, garlic, ginseng, soybeans, lentils and beans also help improve blood flow. They contain the substance L-Arginine, an important amino acid for the body. Soy is good for both men and women. In connection with menopause, soy can be used as an estrogen booster, which keeps symptoms such as dryness in the vagina and hot flashes down.

However, the very best sex booster can be something as boring as eating, according to the recommendations of the Danish Health Authority. It is often seen that sex drive increases in line with self-esteem when the weight normalises, and the extra kilos come off.

Being overweight can be a depressant and is known to cause sexual dysfunctions, unwanted childlessness and increase the amount of testosterone.

TIP! Feel the desire increase for every kilo you lose – and remember, we’re talking overweight, not vanity kilos.

 

GOOD MOOD: Eat in balance

That’s why it works:

When the body gets too much or too little, an imbalance occurs, and the hormones get confused. Popularly speaking – when your hormones are out of whack, you get out of whack – and it’s a vicious cycle made worse by sugar, oatmeal and white bread.

Therefore, avoid large blood sugar fluctuations due to an intake of fast carbohydrates and prevent mood swings and weight gain. Especially estrogen is important in mood contexts. Research shows that estrogen puts you in a better mood. E.g. PMS is caused by a drop in estrogen. Estrogen affects the brain, and it increases the density of serotonin receptors and transporters. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that triggers a feeling of happiness and well-being.

What you should eat:

Eat soybeans and tofu, which are rich in estrogen. For example, make hummus from soybeans and blend the tofu into your smoothies, or fry it in the pan in oil with curry and chili and sprinkle it over your salad.

Serotonin is a well-being substance that counteracts anxiety and restlessness. Sugar causes serotonin levels to rise, but – as you’ve probably discovered – you’ll be tired and out of sorts afterwards. Therefore, it is better to keep the level stable. The body also needs tryptophan to make serotonin. That substance is found in meat and eggs, and in fact, eggs and bacon can fill you with enough serotonin for an entire day.

TIP! Try eggs, lean bacon and edamame beans to stabilise your mood.

 

BETTER SLEEP: Fish and nuts are nature’s sleeping pills

That’s why it works:

A night of good sleep is natural, but nevertheless, there are many chemical substances involved. The substance melatonin appears in walnuts, among other things. Melatonin is produced in the pituitary gland and is popularly said to be the substance that helps control our internal clock, including our sleep rhythm.

You must eat it:

When you eat walnuts, the content of melatonin in the body increases. It strengthens the body’s natural sleep cycle and improves sleep quality. Furthermore, there is a piece of old advice that you should eat walnuts to strengthen the brain. Try looking at a walnut… what does it look like? Namely, a brain.

Strangely enough, the active substances in walnuts are beneficial for some of the most essential functions of the brain, namely the ability to be sharp when it is required and to recover when the body needs it. The omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts help protect the brain cells. Furthermore, there are substances in milk that have a pleasant sleep-inducing effect. Feel free to choose a portion of yoghurt over a glass of milk, as yoghurt is also rich in healthy substances such as calcium, protein, B vitamins and lactic acid bacteria, which improve the body’s immune system.

Know them by the colours: How to eat your way to the important substances:

– Blue and purple foods, e.g. blueberries, blue grapes, blackcurrants, and blackberries = anthocyanin

– Dark red foods, e.g. cherries, raspberries, and wild strawberries = anthocyanin

– Red foods, e.g. tomatoes and watermelon = lycopene

– Yellow and orange foods, e.g. carrots, apricots, mangoes, oranges and peaches = carotenoids

– Green foods, e.g. spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and other green leafy vegetables = chlorophyll/sulforaphane

– White foods, e.g. onions, garlic and apples = sulphides and carotenoids

 

ZERO FOOD FLIP: Sugar is a no go

That’s why it works:

Do you have difficulty managing your diet? Do you feel that it is the food that controls you? The explanation is probably that you eat the wrong foods, which makes it extra difficult for you to control what you eat. Fast carbohydrates trigger food cravings – they throw your hormonal balance out of whack. The solution is to eat food that gives you control – instead of emotions!

Nervousness causes the body to produce stress hormones, also called glucocorticoids. They make the brain solve the sadness by giving sugar cravings and fat hunger. Experiments with rats show that stress and high levels of stress hormone in the blood develop abusive behaviour and make you want to drink sugar water and eat fat. In the short term, sugar and fat were calming, but the long-term effect of eating to calm the nervous system was that the rats became fat.

What you should eat:

Instead, eat a diet that satiates the maximum, and go for protein and slow carbohydrates, which stabilise blood sugar. The unwise thing about soothing stress and anxiety with food is that larger doses are needed. For humans, this means that a kind of addiction can occur in the same way as tobacco or other drugs.

It’s sickening but true: The only way to avoid addiction is to avoid the drugs and foods that trigger them. Avoid binge eating by eating protein and engage in other activities that promote dopamine production, such as reading or running.

SHARPER BRAIN: Proteins make you smarter

That’s why it works:

“The most incomprehensible thing in the universe is the human brain.” Quote from one of the brightest brain scientists in the US. The brain is one giant bundle of nerves assembled ingeniously, where messages from the whole body are sent, received and analysed around the clock. In the brain, the various cells and centres communicate with each other – even when you sleep…

Communication can only work if there is a proper connection, and that connection creates the so-called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are the signalling substances that ensure contact between the nerve cells, and they live on glucose and oxygen. 20 percent of the oxygen in your blood is used by the brain.

 

You have to eat that:

The brain needs energy – in short, sugar. However, some carbohydrates are better for your brain than others. Fast carbohydrates cause the mood to cycle up and down; therefore, you should avoid white bread, sugar, sweets, dried fruit, white pasta and white rice as much as possible. When you eat fast carbohydrates, the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin increases, giving you a feeling of short-term happiness. But after a quick upswing comes the downswing, and that’s why many people want to eat more of the fast and the sweet. So it’s a vicious circle for both mood and weight.

Fat is also vital for your brain. It acts as a kind of nerve insulation and protects the cells. Omega 6 and omega 3 are essential to brain oils, and omega 3, in particular, has a significant influence on mood. Studies show that omega 3 oil from fish oil improves children’s mental performance. Also, check out walnuts, pumpkin seed oil and flaxseed.

A balanced diet strengthens brain function and your mood. And the balance includes protein. 

Research points in the direction that we become more agile and better at using our heads when we eat protein-rich foods. Like protein, it has the advantage of stabilising blood sugar and satiating quickly and for a long time. We know protein best from meat, fish and poultry, but also remember cheese, quark, skim milk and eggs.

TIP! Eat regularly and three meals a day – this increases your concentration.

 

 

 

 

 

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