If, as the saying goes, you are what you eat, then Americans are just too much. According to the website Mindfully.org, we eat 815 billion calories of food a day, roughly 200 billion more than we need. And those extra calories are enough to feed another 80 million people.
This over-eating is a weight (literally) on the planet, and it doesn’t do the chowhounds themselves any good.
Here’s another not so fun fact – according to statistics from the USDA, Americans spend almost 49% of their food dollars on eating out.
Since eating out is more expensive than making your own food, and it’s usually less healthy to boot, it seems to me that the smart thing to do in this tough economy is to prepare your own food and make healthy choices.
I also find that when I eat better, I feel better and I’m more productive.
Experts have identified the following foods as being smart in more ways than one. Not only will eating them help you keep your weight and budget within reasonable limits, they can actually boost your over-all thought process:
Blueberries – According to Psychology Today, these flavorful berries and their antioxidants can improve memory and motor skills;
Salmon, sardines & herring – Experts say a fish diet can help nerve cells communicate better, which boosts learning and memory;
Iron – The old Geritol commercial once warned of the dangers of “iron poor blood.” Turns out they might have been on to something. Your brain depends on iron to access and use the oxygen it needs to perform well. You can find it in meat, as well as cooked beans and dark, leafy greens;
Antioxidants – These handy substances ward off attacks from free radicals, which, over time, can wear down your memory and ability to think. But you can fight back by supplying your system with antioxidant defenses like orange juice, strawberries, carrots, dark colored fruits and veggies;
Caffeine – It’s not in your head, although, in a way it is; coffee and tea are stimulants which can make you more alert and increase your capacity for mental and physical labor. It’s important to use it in moderation, which means between 2-3 cups a day. But the trick is timing your caffeine use appropriately, and not drinking it with tons of sugar and cream.
Does this mean that brown bagging a salmon salad on a bed of dark greens, with blueberries and strawberries for desert will make you a star at work?
Why not try it and find out?
by Danielle Dresden