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Whole Foods Create Whole Minds

February 16, 2009

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Eating healthfully really does do more than just fend off weight and cravings—it may also improve cognitive function. According to a recent study, those who follow a Mediterranean diet, rich in vegetables, fruit, fish and olive oil may be able to keep their brain sharper than those who eat more processed foods.

This idea makes complete sense. Whole foods, like vegetables and fruit, create whole minds. Do you remember when your parents or teachers used to encourage you to eat a good breakfast before taking a test? That’s because the foods we eat feed our minds as well.

When you eat grains, vegetables and fruit your body is able to maintain its blood sugar levels until it’s time to eat again. Immediately after eating, your mind won’t be worrying about where you’re going to get the next meal and will be able to focus on the task at hand. When you eat something more processed, you may be initially satisfied, but an hour later your mind will go into scavenger mode and want the next meal to bring your blood sugar levels back up. Think about the last time you had a doughnut versus whole grain bread. Do you remember how you felt?

Rather than always thinking about food because we’re hungry for nutrition wouldn’t it be nicer to focus on the other joys in life? In order to truly enjoy life we need to also incorporate more whole foods. What do you think?

About the author

Joshua Rosenthal is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. He has worked in the nutrition field for more than 25 years, teaching at the school alongside health leaders including Andrew Weil, Deepak Chopra and Barry Sears. At Integrative Nutrition students are trained as Health Coaches, receiving the holistic nutrition education necessary for them go out into the world and help others improve their health and happiness.