Your second brain:
Here at the Music Diet we show you how a daily consumption of the right sounds can supercharge your brain and body health.
However, we are also big fans of nutrition. The connection between our gut and our brain is even more crucial to wellness than previously thought. They have a direct communication pathway.
Your wellbeing starts in your shopping basket
Did you know that over 90% of our serotonin (a key mood chemical) is produced in the gut. Our diet influences mood and brain performance as well as weight and physical health. So it's really important to think hard about what foods and drinks you pop regularly into your mouth.
Print out the shopping list below next time you do your food shopping.
Use this list as a guide when you shop for food and drink
Remember: first feed your brain with the fuel it needs and body health will automatically follow (as long as you're not adding too many fun items to your list)
1. FUEL ITEMS
(Put as many of these essential foods as possible in your basket first)
Oily fish (not smoked) & Seaweed:
Salmon / Mackerel / Sardines / Anchovies
Nuts & Seeds:
Walnuts / Almonds / Flaxseeds / Pumpkin seeds
Fruit (preferably not frozen):
Avocados / Blueberries / Blackberries / Bananas / Citrus fruits
Vegetables (preferably not frozen):
Kale / Spinach / Broccoli / Aubergine / Cabbage / Cauliflower / Sweet Potatoes
Milk / Natural Yogurt / Butter / Cheese
Dark chocolate - 80%+ Cacao
Dark roast coffee
Beans / lentils
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2. FUN ITEMS
(Now add a couple of these to your basket)
Meat (preferably lean chicken / poultry not red meats or meats in pastry)
Alcohol (preferably red wine)
Bread (whole grain preferably sourdough)
Peanuts (preferably unsalted)
Raisins / Sultanas
Avoid all processed foods and sugary drinks
Your brain will love you if you regularly feed it these ingredients that are all found in the Fuel list above. You'll notice that the Fuel items represent a 'Mediterranean Diet' which has been frequently associated with superior wellbeing results.
1. Essential Fatty Acids (Omega-3s)
These are required for brain functioning and healthy circulation. Oily fish is a superb source (*not smoked fish - smoked foods can damage your health) but it can also be obtained via nuts, seeds, algae and seaweed.
The cells in your brain and body produce a waste product known as free radicals. Antioxidants clear up free radicals. If you don't get enough antioxidants these free radicals build up and damage your cells, leading to a range of chronic health issues
3. Vitamin B Complex
The B Vitamins are crucial for health body and brain functioning and if you don't get enough a wide range of health consequences emerge.
4. Vitamin C
This vitamin also plays multiple roles and is essential is healthy brain functioning
5. Vitamin D
This vitamin plays a vital role in bone health but also is important to our brain health. We spend too much time indoors so get outside and roll your sleeves up so your skin can soak up the light. Use SPF sunscreen for protection.
6. Vitamin E
This is an important antioxidant. See point 2 above.
Our brain needs to be properly hydrated to work properly. If you drink a lot of tea / coffee / alcohol try and add extra water to your daily diet.You don't need to buy bottles of water, just filter your tap water. Add oranges / lemons / limes / mint / cucumber for flavour.
This mineral plays an important role in cellular function in the brain and body and is increasingly linked to stress and anxiety. Your food items above contain magnesium but there is also some evidence that applying this mineral to your skin (via approved lotions or bath salts) may also help maintain levels.