Chef Ellen


Brain Food, and Supportive Measures to Keep Your Mind Healthy

With optimal brain health, necessary cognitive functions such as basic daily activities can become most favorable to you and, perhaps, those around you. To maintain balance physically and emotionally, let’s look at the essential footing of one’s daily food supply on and off the plate. Either way, nourishment is the fabric of our brains, impacting how we look, feel, the inner workings of sustenance and its effect on comprehension, memory, and emotions.

Several critical cognitive core skills include collecting, storing, processing, and retrieving information, while our memory’s function is to store and retrieve data.

A mental workout can get those creative juices flowing and could be the awakening your brain needs to flourish. Feeding your brain with knowledge puts its vast capabilities into action in addition to mastering or brushing up on something that brings you joy. Information improves mental awareness, reduces stress, and often relaxes the mind.

  • Reading, crosswords

  • Continuing education

  • Challenging games like cards, scrabble, or a puzzle

  • A thought-provoking documentary

  • Learn a new language

  • Meditation

  • A new project or hobby. Even a new garden can mentally challenge the brain and inspire stimulus within.


On the other hand, let’s not neglect physical exercise and the impact a consistent regimen can have on an able, fit, and limber body. With physical movement, whatever that may look like for you, exercise increases blood flow and oxygenates the brain. So, get out there and ride a bike, walk the dog, practice yoga, or sign up for some tennis lessons. Most of these suggestions offer both physical and social benefits.

Furthermore, nourishing your brain with healthful food that does not cause inflammation will also affect performance. Remember, the connectivity between what nourishes your body and how your brain functions should be stable and sturdy. Eating poor quality, overly processed, and refined foods open the door to various health issues.


  • Superfoods (berries, spinach, broccoli, sweet potatoes, quinoa, goji berries, avocados, ginger, beets, and beans)

  • Antioxidant-rich foods (leafy greens, artichokes, cabbage, pumpkin, asparagus, squash, apples, cherries, plums, beans, and radish

  • Omega 3’s (chia, walnuts, flaxseed, seaweed, brussel sprouts, spinach, guava, and berries)

  • B’s for brain health (leafy greens, seeds, legumes, edamame, green peas, romaine lettuce, turnip, and bananas

  • Whole grains

  • Natural sources of lecithin. Lecithin is not only brain food but assists in breaking down cholesterol. Industrial-made soy lecithin is not the same. It is highly processed and made from cheap sources of soy (94% in the US), genetically modified often sprayed with glyphosate. Next time you pick up a protein bar, check your ingredients label for soy lecithin and pass. Look for: (organic, sprouted soybeans or tofu, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, and peanuts)

Also, mentioning lingering stress relief always has an upside. We live in a society that tends to be attracted to chronic stress. Sources can be anything from a relationship, career, money, or family. Stress will drain one’s emotional resources and damage their brains and bodies. If you have anxiety that lasts for weeks or months, this could indicate chronic stress that will impact your overall health. Swallowing and not addressing emotions like anger, sadness, or loneliness will manifest in a not-so-positive way in your body. Seek professional help if you feel these feelings are negatively influencing your spirit.
Ways to oust and release negative emotions that impact mental clarity include simple breathing exercises, a warm bath, laughing, massage, relaxing, and a great night’s sleep. Studies show that social media tends to cause more harm than good, so limit that time online and consider picking up the phone and calling an old friend for dinner, stimulating conversation, and an excellent meal. Win, win, win.
Lastly, stay hydrated! Dehydration equates with memory loss. Well-hydrated bodies provide more energy, better clarity, and better functionality to the brain. Drink up!
I am also elated to share another award presented to me this week from the National Indie Excellence Awards. Gut Driven won first place in the diet and nutrition category for 2023.