Our brain can sometimes be taken for granted, however it is one of the most important organs of our body. It’s our main source of storage for memories, learning and functioning on a daily basis.
We’ve put together a few tips to help you support the mind, and keep it active and healthy.
Getting a solid 8 hours of sleep a night will help your brain to process the days events. New research has suggested that the brain actually spends the time we sleep removing toxins from the brain that have built up during the day- a type of housekeeping. A good sleep will help your brain to create new memories, and concentrate throughout the day.
Get physical Even its its going for a short walk in nature, our brain benefits from physical exercise. Research has suggested that regular intensive exercise can improve the size of our hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for memory and new learning. Exercise also produces endorphins which help to maintain good mental health.
Diet Eating a balanced diet full of leafy green vegetables and omega 3,6 and 9, can help to support healthy brain function. Try to cut out eating too much sugar and alcohol as these can affect how well the brain is able to learn new things.
Managing Stress Stress can have a serious detrimental effect on our brain, allowing some self care and relaxation will help to relieve this. Allowing yourself to take regular time out to do the things you love and that will nourish you is vital.
Meditation A few minutes of meditation a day has been proven to help reduce mental health issues and improve clarity of mind, memory and focus. This can also be in the form of a regular yoga practice.
Keep the brain active The brain is a muscle, which thrives when it is being used. A great way to do this is to pick up a great book, practice sudoku or do the daily crossword to keep the muscle going.
Supplements Daily supplements can help to support brain function, here at detox trading I like to take
our organic Gotu Kola which improves blood flow to the brain and Lions Mane which is known for increasing memory. I can already notice a significant difference!
Dried berries such as goji berries, goldenberries (Inca berries) and mulberries are a fantastic addition to your store cupboard. They make delicious snacks throughout the day, and can also be added to a number of different recipes for sweetness and extra nutritional value. Provided the berries are processed naturally, and there are no nasties added to them, they are a fantastic way to up your antioxidant intake. They are our healthy snack of choice here at Detox Trading.
Take a look at some of the reasons why we love these delicious berries, and we've included our very own berry and cacao granola recipe as well...
Goji berries, also known as 'wolfberries' have been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. Traditionally they have been used for an array of issues ranging from mood lifting to eye, liver and immune system health. Goji berries have an extremely high nutritional value for such a small berry. The berries have an abundance of antioxidants, trace minerals and 18 amino acids (11 of which are essential). Every 4 ounce serving of dried goji berries provides 10 percent of your recommended daily intake of protein.
You can use goji berries as a healthy snack on their own, sprinkle them on your breakfast cereal or smoothie, mix them in with salads or use them in baking.
Potential benefits of goji berries:
Immune system support due to high antioxidant and vitamin c level.
Healthy looking skin as a result of beta carotene.
Help to stabilise blood sugar levels
Liver tonic and support
Golden berries, also known as Incan berries or cape gooseberries are a delicious balance between sweetness and tart. These berries originate from South America and belong to the same family as the tomato and the aubergine. They are bursting with nutrients and antioxidants, helping to reduce oxidative stress and the amount of free radical cells in the body. They have a higher level of vitamin A than other berries, with a lower amount of sugar making them a healthy addition to your diet.
Try adding golden berries to your breakfast porridge or smoothie, salads or use them as an ingredient in baking.
Potential benefits of Golden Berries:
High antioxidant content could help prevent certain diseases
Presence of withnalolides (also present in ashwaghanda) could help with inflammation, and could help the body cope with stress
They have a very low sugar and calorie content making them a wonderful snack
Black and white mulberries are a true superfood, they not only taste great, but each type has its own special benefit for our health. Both black and white mulberries are another great source of antioxidant rich food
White mulberries have a distinctive sweet caramel flavour, and a chewy fig like texture. They have an unusually high protein content for a berry, and also contain high levels of vitamin C, fibre and calcium. They have traditionally been used to help treat diabetes and lower cholesterol level.
Black mulberries are rich in protein and iron, which can help to increase energy levels by delivering oxygen rich blood cells throughout the body. They also contain vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and potassium.
Potential benefits of mulberries:
Studies are underway to test whether they can help lower cholesterol levels in the body
Support liver health
Could help stabilise blood sugar levels
Mixed berry and cacao granola recipe
1kg rolled oats
100g goji berries
100g golden berries
150g cacao nibs
50g coconut flakes
80ml coconut oil
½ tbsp cinnamon
2 tbsp cacao powder
200g extra virgin coconut oil
150 ml honey or agave syrup (add slightly more for a sweeter tooth!)
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g of almonds or other nuts of your choosing
50g flax seeds
This is a basic recipe which you can experiment with, by adding different ingredients and quantities to suit your taste.
The oil and honey will help the oats to crisp up and cluster, so adding more will give you more crunchy clusters.
Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 200C.
Mix the oats, agave/ honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract in a bowl and make sure all the oats are well covered.
Add the flax seeds, nuts, cinnamon and cacao powder and mix well.
Add the oats to the baking trays, spreading as thinly and evenly as possible (this helps to make the granola more crispy).
Bake in the oven for 20-30 mins or until golden brown.
Let the granola cool on the baking trays.
Add the berries, coconut flakes and cacao nibs and mix well.
Store in airtight glass container, (make sure the granola is completely cool before storing them as otherwise it may go soggy).
Enjoy with your favourite nut milk!
Detox Trading supplies premium quality organic superfoods, all certified by the UK Soil Association. Our family-run business is committed to selling affordable superfood products whilst maintaining their certified organic status and supporting a healthy lifestyle.