The Health Benefits

Eating foods high in protein on a daily basis is recommended because proteins are needed for just about every body function. Our tissues, organs, muscles, and hormones are all made from proteins. High-protein foods offer many of the nutrients needed for our body to develop, grow, and function correctly.

Consuming enough protein every day provides a host of health benefits. Among other things, it enhances muscle mass, aids with managing our weight and stabilizing our blood sugar levels, and betters our mood.

Increases Muscle Mass

Eating enough foods high in protein is needed to build and maintain healthy muscle mass, along with supporting tendons and ligaments. High-protein foods are essential for “bodybuilding” and for developing leaner muscles too.

Aids With Managing Our Weight

Protein increases satiety to a greater extent than carbohydrates do so we are less likely to overeat or snack.

Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels

When we consume foods with protein, this has a minimal effect on blood glucose levels and it can actually slow down the absorption of sugar during a meal. This can aid with preventing spikes in blood glucose, which is especially good for balancing energy levels, and keeping our appetite in check.

Betters Our Mood

Some amino acids from high-protein foods are required to balance hormones naturally and control our mood. Proteins help neurotransmitters function and synthesize hormones like dopamine and serotonin, which is good for calming us and keeping our outlook positive. As protein aids with stabilizing glucose in our blood, it also staves off mood changes, irritability, and cravings that can happen due to fluctuating blood sugar levels.

On a Final Note

If we don’t eat enough high-protein foods, we become at risk of deficiencies in certain amino acids. This can lead to numerous health issues, such as low energy, mood swings, difficulty losing weight, poor sleep, low immunity, and unstable blood sugar levels. I make sure I consume proteins every day: eggs, fish, and/or various meats including organ meats – which are so nutrient-dense! What are your favorite types of protein foods?

Until next time!

Reference

Dr. Josh Axe. “23 High-Protein Foods (for Weight Loss and Muscle Gain).” Dr. Axe, 6 Apr. 2021, draxe.com/nutrition/protein-foods/. Accessed 25 Sept. 2021.

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“Premium Fuel” For Your Brain

One of my favorite childhood memories is when my brother and I would go on a ski trip on Easter with my grandmother. There is nothing like skiing all day to increase your appetite. And in the mountains, we would buy some delicious little blueberry pies at a local pastry shop. Of course, now I would only eat a pie if it was made with paleo-friendly ingredients, but did you know that blueberries are one of those foods highly beneficial to the brain? There is a group of foods that are proven to nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress. These foods are like “premium fuel” for your brain. Here’s a list of 10 of these awesome brain-boosting foods:

Avocados

Avocados‘ monounsaturated fat helps to support healthy blood flow. Avocados also enhance spatial working memory and attention span.

Blueberries

Blueberries, with their high amount of flavonoids and flavonols, can help protect the brain from oxidative stress. They help lessen the effects of brain aging and can aid with memory.

Bone broth

Bone broth is rich in glycine, an amino acid that can help with improving memory.

Broccoli

Broccoli is high in vitamin K, which is good for cognitive function and memory. 

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is good for focus and concentration. It can boost endorphin levels. The flavonoids in chocolate can help enhance cognitive function.

Eggs

The choline in the eggs helps with boosting the brain and improving memory, especially when it comes to both verbal and visual memory.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin E, which helps lessen the effects of brain aging. They are also a good source of folate, which helps to enhance memory. As a side note, kale, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce all have nutrients that can help with preventing cognitive impairment and dementia.

Salmon, Sardines, Caviar

Salmon, sardines, and caviar are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lessen the effects of brain aging too. Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the brain cells’ membranes and the synaptic connections between neurons.

Turmeric

Turmeric (with its active ingredient: curcumin) helps with lowering inflammation, increasing antioxidant levels, enhancing the brain’s oxygen intake, and improving cognitive function.

Walnuts

Walnuts are rich in antioxidants and vitamin E, good against brain aging, beneficial to the neurons. Walnuts are also rich in zinc and magnesium, helping with your mood.

In Summary

Consuming nutrient-dense foods like the ones mentioned above, full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants is a sure way to better your brain, your mood, your energy levels, and your overall health. I eat each of these on a regular basis, some of them every day. Most of these are simple whole foods, easy to prepare and can make great snacks too. To your brain health!

Until next time!

References

Greenfield, Ben. Boundless : Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging. Las Vegas, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, 2020, pp. 82-4.

Kwik, Jim. Limitless. Hay House Inc, 2020, pp. 130–32.

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The egg yolk and cholesterol

When I was little, I didn’t like the texture of the hard-boiled egg yolks, so I only ate the egg white. As I got older I believed that egg yolk consumption should be limited due to its cholesterol content. It turns out, as neurologist David Perlmutter states in Grain Brain, “Eating high-cholesterol foods has no impact on our actual cholesterol levels, and the alleged correlation between higher cholesterol and higher cardiac risk is an absolute fallacy.” Perlmutter adds that “dietary cholesterol actually reduces the body’s production of cholesterol, and more than 80 percent of the cholesterol in your blood that is measured on your cholesterol test is actually produced in your own liver.” Now knowing this, I eat eggs every day!

Egg yolk contains:

  • Omega-3 fats
  • Saturated fats
  • Vitamins A, E, K2, and B complex
  • Choline
  • Healthy cholesterol
  • A complete amino acid profile
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents

In order to get the full array of nutrients, animals have to eat what they are meant to eat. When it comes to chickens, they should be eating things such as bugs, lizards, worms, and grass. So if you buy eggs from pasture-raised chickens, the yolk is going to have a deep-yellow/slight orange color. This color is a sign of a nutrient-rich egg. If you buy eggs of mostly grain-fed chickens, the yolk is going to have a pale-yellow color. 

The best options

It is best to avoid eggs from CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations) chickens, just like CAFO meat. Organic eggs are the next best option if you can’t find eggs from pasture-raised chickens, but most organic eggs are from chickens that have been fed grains too. Also, eggs found in a store can be four to five weeks old. I like to buy eggs at local farmers’ markets, and I am also happy to find Pete and Gerry’s organic eggs at a nearby store.

We can prepare eggs in many different ways and even have them as a snack. As we now know that the yolk is perfectly fine to eat and that it brings us important nutrients, there is no reason to avoid such affordable healthy food.

References

Perlmutter, David, and Kristin Loberg. Grain Brain : The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. New York, Ny, Little, Brown And Co, 2013, pp. 72, 228-29.

Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, p. 109.


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