Food is more than just fuel for our body. It is food for our brain.
Everything we put into our bodies has a purpose. Food is for energy and fuel, but it is also for joy, connection, nostalgia, and healing. However, not all food is created equal. In fact, the intentions behind the fuel we choose can be medicine for our mind, body, and soul. When choosing what foods we want to nourish our body with, it can be beneficial to think about what our minds and bodies are needing or craving at that time.
Food is Medicine.
Robert T. Jones of The Roots Food Foundation believes in the food as medicine movement and explains that “cheap food has created a very expensive problem” in the overall health of the United States. Jones likes to look at “food is medicine” and “food is poison.”
This may seem like a rather black-and-white view of the foods we choose to eat in our day to day lives, but it can be a baseline for the way that we treat our bodies and our minds. Of course, everything in life includes shades of gray. There is not a stand-alone all-powerful food that will immediately solve all of your health issues, prevent disease or aging, and support more brain power, but the intentional addition can have major impacts on your overall well-being.
According to the Harvard Health Publishing, there are a number of foods that have been proven to boost brainpower. Interestingly, the same foods that support a healthy heart, support a healthy brain. Foods such as “leafy greens, fatty fish, berries, and walnuts” are all examples of such.
Your Diet in 2023
The new year is in full swing and oftentimes the month of January is when people feel empowered to make a change in their lives. The most common New Year’s Resolutions year after year include goals along the lines of “exercising more” or “going on a diet” or “eating healthier.”
Instead of being hyper-focused on cutting things out of your life and adhering to a strict diet, why not try adding habits and foods into your life? When we focus on adding in good, rather than subtracting the quote on quote “bad”, goals can feel more manageable and tangible. Furthermore, instead of desperately trying to change our bodies, why not try to change our minds? The mind and body are directly linked, and the beliefs we have in our mind about our body and who we are can have a direct “impact [on] our mood and emotions, as well as thoughts and beliefs.” According to The Newport Academy, “all of these factors combined, play a major role in influencing our stress and physical health.”
Soups for Cognitive Wellness
In the spirit of focusing on addition rather than subtraction, and the mind-body connection, we are rounding up some winter soup recipes to support a healthier mind and healthier body.
Fish is one of the best brain foods that you can put into your body. This creamy soup includes vegetables, low-fat milk rather than heavy cream, and sports delicious, fresh herbs from your garden.
Beets are the star of the show in this soup. This brilliant red root vegetable can support digestion, reduce inflammation, and support brain function making the beet a truly super food.
This vegan take on a normally dairy-filled soup sports walnuts to create the thick and creamy texture. Nuts are one of the best brain foods out there, but they are also a great thickening agent – give it a try!
A simple, nourishing soup filled with greens and protein is the definition of egg drop soup. Go out to your garden and harvest some fresh greens to make this soup even more satisfying and delicious for your brain.
Decadent and divine, butternut squash has become a crowd favorite for soups in the past several years. This recipe includes greek yogurt, which is filled with probiotics. Probiotics are amazing microorganisms that support gut-health, which in turn affects brain and mental health, as your gut and your brain are directly correlated.