Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Did you know, your brain uses about 20% of your body's energy EACH DAY? Is your cheerleader lifestyle feeding your brain in the best way possible? Hmmm... let's find out!
The foods you eat play a strong role in your brain’s health, processing, and communicating with other parts of your body. Your stomach and your brain send communication all day long to tell your body when to eat, when you are full, and to crave specific foods. That’s why nourishing our brain is so important to our body’s health and performance. 🧠⚡️
Here’s a list of my favorite superfoods for your brain’s health:
1. Wild Caught Salmon 🎣
Wild caught salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids that provide the nutrients for brain development and function. One of the fatty acids, DHA is specifically known for its role in learning and behavior, especially when we are young.
2. Egg Yolks 🍳
Egg yolks are a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient that must be obtained through the diet. It is important for brain development as well as warding off brain decline as we age. It is especially important that males eat enough choline-rich foods in their diet, as males have lower estrogen levels that can help your body produce choline. Don’t toss the yolk next time you make eggs, that’s where all the nutrients are!
3. Leafy Greens and Beets 🥬🥦
Leafy greens and beets are rich in nitric oxide, a compound that increases blood flow to various parts of our body. Nitric oxide can help improve oxygen flow to your muscles during exercise as well as to your brain.
4. Avocado 🥑
Avocado is rich in a nutrient called lutein that has been shown to improve both vision and brain health. Research has shown that just 1 avocado per day can improve your brain’s working memory and efficiency in approaching a problem.
Blueberries, especially wild blueberries, are one of the richest sources of antioxidants in nature. The antioxidants in blueberries can improve motor coordination skills. Cheer requires an incredible amount of motor coordination. Just think of how many different body parts and muscle groups are used at the same time while tumbling, stunting, jumping, or even dancing.
6. Dark chocolate (>70%) 🍫
Dark chocolate is also rich in antioxidants and works similarly to blueberries within our brain. Research has shown that two hours after consuming dark chocolate, memory and reaction time improve.
Isn’t it amazing how specific foods can influence not only how our brain is developed, but also how it functions on a daily basis?!
Start by adding a couple of these foods into your daily meals and snacks to reap the brain-boosting benefits. Not only will these benefits help you in school, they also have proven impact on your performance as an athlete!
Tag us with your picture of your brain-boosting foods @cheerdistrict #CheerDistrictFueled.