You may be surprised to learn that some foods actually CAN help motivate you. The foods you eat, whether healthy and wholesome or processed and chemical-laden, can make a difference in your motivation, particularly if you are trying to become healthier.
An added benefit to eating the foods in the list below, besides helping to motivate or keep you motivated, is that they also help you control stress, fight anxiety and depression, and increase your ability to focus.
TUNA – This fish can help you fight depression during the colder months because it provides vitamin B6. And, since it’s unlikely you’ll feel much like doing anything when you’re depressed, increasing how much tuna you eat, particularly during the colder months, can help combat depression. According to many research reports, Tuna has 69% of your daily requirement of vitamin B6. Some research also indicates that you can also treat, and possibly prevent, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with vitamin B6 which can affect being able to focus or stay on task.
SPINACH – Harvard Medical School research indicates that spinach, or other leafy green vegetables, reduces the rate of cognitive decline or the speed at which the brain functions. Eating spinach also improves the ability to learn and a person’s motor skills.
WHOLE GRAINS – Whole grains contain vitamin B, or folate. This vitamin boosts the flow of blood to the brain. It can also be used to treat short-term depression.
BLUEBERRIES – Not only can blueberries help improve focus and engagement, but they can also help motivate you to lose weight. A recent study showed that people eating a cup of blueberries each day for two weeks scored higher on classroom tests over those who didn’t eat them. It is believed the reason for the improvement is because brain cells in the hippocampus region of the brain increased while eating the blueberries.
PECANS – Choline, found in pecans, can assist with memory, depression, and fatigue following working out. It can also improve brain development. Recent studies show that taking 2.8 grams of choline before a race helped athletes run faster when compared to not taking choline.
SUNFLOWER SEEDS – Not being able to sleep and depression are major roadblocks to becoming or remaining motivated. Eating a handful of sunflower seeds can help fight both of these issues. The seeds contain tryptophan which is converted to serotonin in the brain.
GREEK YOGURT – The brain uses neurotransmitters to mobilize the brain and ready the body for action. Yogurt contains the compound tyrosine which is an amino acid producing both noradrenaline and dopamine. Greek yogurt also builds muscles and contains calcium which helps nerves function better.
FLAXSEED – Flaxseeds contain alpha-linolenic acid which is a healthy fat used for improving how the cerebral cortex functions. The cerebral cortex processes sensory information. So, if you add flaxseeds to your pancakes or a smoothie, they will help you reach your goals.
GREEN TEA – This beverage can help you attack your goals when it is time to do so as well as help you to step back and regroup because it has catechins which allow you to chill out mentally. It can also help you maintain an outlook that is positive, enhance your memory, boost your ability to focus, and combat mental fatigue.
GRASS-FED BEEF – Having a healthy iron level will help people perform better on mental tasks as well as complete them faster. Grass-fed beef is high in iron as well as being lower in calories. You also don’t have to worry about artificial hormones with grass-fed beef.
KALE – Manganese, a superfood found in kale, increases the brain’s function as well as increasing concentration. You’ll also find the amino acids necessary for better alertness and mood in kale. You may also be surprised to learn that kale contains 1180% of your recommended daily allowance of vitamin K which is necessary to reduce mental decline.
WALNUTS – Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids that provide fuel for the brain and helps increase serotonin levels in the brain. Appetites and mood are controlled by serotonin so eating walnuts regularly can help you stop binging on foods that are bad for you, help you sleep better, overcome depression symptoms, reduce your desire to overeat, and overcome compulsive behaviors.
PUMPKIN SEEDS – Even though they are small, pumpkin seeds contain your full day’s requirement of zinc. Zinc is helpful for memory and keeping thinking skills healthy. When you’re alert, you can handle whatever life throws at you.
COFFEE – Although coffee contains caffeine, it also increases the amount of dopamine in your brain. Dopamine allows you to plan ahead, as well as resist any unhealthy impulses which could keep you from reaching your goals.
DARK CHOCOLATE – Most people like chocolate, but dark chocolate (bars that are 70% or more cacao) is actually healthy for you. It can reduce the chance of developing cancer as well as promote weight loss. It also improves the production of endorphins and serotonin in the brain. On top of that, dopamine is also released which makes you feel good as it increases focus and concentration. What’s even more surprising is that you don’t need to eat an entire bar of chocolate. A small square is all you need.
WATER – If you’re dehydrated, it is difficult to function properly. Since the body is more than 73% water, it’s important to drink enough fluids. Being dehydrated can impair your ability to gain knowledge or understand. It can also cause you to become lethargic, distracted, and irritable.
Which are your favorite motivational foods?