The Science Of Nourishment: How To Fuel Your Body And Mind
There are few greater acts of self-love than nourishing your body and mind. Take a second and read that sentence again. Food is our fuel. Without it, we would simply cease to exist, and when we fuel ourselves with low-quality foods, we tend to feel uninspired, lethargic, and low-vibe. We aren’t bringing our best selves to the table.
Planning your meals however and nourishing yourself with the most nutritious, energising food is a way of showing up for yourself. It’s a form of self-care that empowers you to put your best foot forward.
While processed and refined foods often leave us feeling sluggish, increase inflammation in the body, and impair brain function, high-quality food actually has the power to rewire your neural pathways (yes, really), boosts your cognitive function, and allows you to present your most shiny, happy, and confident self to the world.
We know for a fact that it’ll help you plan your day with ease and sustain a game-changing energy that propels you toward your goals too. Not convinced? Nutritional psychiatry is a growing field of scientific study, and it’s already proven a tonne of benefits linking nutrient-rich diets with improved mental and physical health. Here are just a few…
The Science Of Nourishment
It supercharges your productivity
Name something more satisfying than putting a big old tick on your to-do list. We’ll wait. When you nourish your body, it feels like there’s nothing you can’t do.
In fact, eating unhealthy food is linked to 66 percent decline in productivity, while eating more fruit and veg is shown to boost engagement and creativity.
Research shows that it all comes down to how our body processes food. Highly refined food choices not only cause our glucose levels (which give us energy) to crash, our body also has a harder time digesting them which leads us to feel groggy, sluggish and unable to focus on the task at hand. The more you know, eh?
Boosts your brainpower
Food can make you smarter. No, for real. Vitamin B for example is said to keep the mind sharp, while Vitamin A improves brain plasticity and learning skills.
That’s not all, eating a full spectrum of vitamins can stave off depression, improve problem-solving skills, boost mental energy, increase focus, and aid clarity, memory, and concentration. The list goes on and on. Planning your daily priorities just got a whole lot easier.
Improves your mood
Researchers have found that an astonishing 95 percent of the brain’s serotonin is produced in the gut. That means that what we eat directly impacts our body’s ability to produce this happy hormone.
When we look after our gut health - by absorbing nutrients from high-quality foods - we activate neural pathways between the gut and the brain that make it easier to sustain good moods. Mind-blowing, right?
It’s completely transformative
Did you know that there are between 50 and 75 trillion cells in the human body? Every one of these cells exists on a cycle. They die off and are replaced anywhere from every couple of months to every couple of years. In fact, according to researchers, the body replaces itself with a largely new set of cells every seven to 10 years! This means we have the power to renew our body every decade through the choices YOU make.
Here’s why this is important: low-nutrient foods increase dangerous free radical activity within our cells that can impair how the body functions.
Nutrient-rich foods, however, support our cells in carrying out every single function in the body you can think of, from breathing each breath to pumping blood to your heart. They are quite literally the building blocks of your very existence. Therefore, it’s not an exaggeration to say, nourishing yourself with good food helps every single function in your body continue to perform at its best.
How To Nourish Yourself From The Inside Out
Plan your meals for the week
Have you ever heard of decision fatigue? It’s the result of the many, many decisions, both big and small, we have to make in a single day. Often by the time we get to the end of the day, we’ve made so many decisions that choosing something healthy to eat for dinner feels like a monumental task. It’s why so many of us often go for the ‘handy’ option. That’s where a meal plan comes in. It frees up mental bandwidth, meaning you can save your precious mental reserves for the stuff that really matters.
Here’s our advice: arm yourself with a good cookbook, one that’s packed with lots of tasty, nutrient-packed recipes, and pick five or six meals you feel drawn to. Then grab your Nourish meal planner and add each one to your week. As time goes on you could aim to learn one new recipe each week. Pretty soon you’ll have a whole roster of healthy meals that you can whip up with minimal effort. Our Nourish meal planner makes shopping and planning easy with the removable shopping list and the pad magnet to hang it on your fridge as a reminder.
Add in plenty of the healthy stuff
Spoiler alert: Getting all those nutrients in doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to completely overhaul the way you eat. Nope, when it comes to nourishing your body, you can make the process as simple as you like. Add some cherry tomatoes or lettuce to your lunch, blitz up your favourite fruits and veggies in a smoothie to enjoy during the day, or sip on a green tea when you get out of bed.
Look at your current meal plan: where can you add a drizzle of heart-healthy olive oil, a scatter of good-for-you seeds, or a handful of juicy cherry tomatoes? The trick is to pack your meals with as many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals as you can. You’ll feel the difference – we promise.
Aim for a diverse diet
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘eat the rainbow’? It’s sound nutritional advice that encourages you to fill your plate with as many colourful fruits and veggies as possible. In short, it’s all about variety.
Cooking your meals from scratch is a surefire way to pack in lots of the good stuff, whether it’s healthy fats from ripe green avocados and crunchy cashew nuts or vitamin c from zesty oranges and vibrant cherry tomatoes. Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to load your plate up with a kaleidoscope of colour, while taking in the recommended amounts of protein, fats and carbs.
Need some encouragement? Get this: a protein-rich diet is scientifically proven to affect everything from your attention span to how well you sleep, how happy you feel, and how well you function.
Healthy fats, meanwhile, are packed full of a sustainable, slow-releasing energy that’ll keep you going the whole day through.
Remember you don’t have to be perfect
Repeat after us: when it comes to food, there is no such thing as good or bad. There is merely nutrient-dense or nutrient-lacking. Sometimes you’ll want food that’s nutrient-lacking, whether it’s a cold glass of wine with dinner or a few squares of chocolate enjoyed with a cup of tea.
You might like to factor little treats into your weekly meal plan or intuitively decide what little indulgences you’d like to include in your diet. However you go about it, remember this: it’s all about striking the right balance. Pay attention to the cues your body is giving you. Listen to what it needs, and you can’t go too far wrong
It all starts on the inside…
You deserve to function at your best. No, really you do, and no matter how you’re currently fuelling your body, you can choose this moment right now to make a positive change.
Imagine your cells buzzing with energy, your body performing at its peak, and the synapses in your brain firing on all cylinders and remember, when you nourish, you flourish.