FRUIT – NATURE’S FUEL FOR THE BRAIN & BODY
I would like to share with you one of my favorite topics, “God’s Food.” No, not Twinkies--fruit. The body needs fruit. It is a medicinal glucose; it fuels the body and is loaded with minerals and antioxidants called polysaccharides or fruit sugar. It is this sugar or glucose that the body needs, wants, craves and must have for energy, brain function and survival.
The body, and especially our brain, runs and recharges on this critical form of glucose. The brain converts it into glycogen which is necessary for optimal brain function. If it does not get enough fruit sugar, the brain can shrink. So, how important is the brain? It controls the body’s entire system all day, every day; and since the brain cells cannot store glycogen, we must constantly replenish it through the foods we eat. Eating fruit throughout the day really helps the body and brain do their best work!
I must point out here that eating refined sugars like cookies and sweet cereal—which is what we tend to grab when we have a slump in energy—the body can quickly deplete the carbohydrate content, leaving it feeling sluggish, hungry and crappy a few hours later. Then it will want more and more, causing unwanted weight gain. The body craves to be nourished with good foods like fruit and will not be satisfied until it gets its nourishment. When we eat fruit, it slows the breakdown and release of sugar into our bloodstream, unlike refined sugar, which is quickly depleted.
As an amazing fruit example, let’s talk about a banana. It’s a brain food. Yes, it is a carbohydrate (carbo=fiber; hydrate=water). However, all carbohydrates are not bad or created equal. A banana is a perfect way to get a steady stream of brain fuel. A banana contains vital nutrients such as potassium and magnesium. It sharpens the brain’s focus, it helps with paying attention, learning, and improving cognitive function. A banana increases dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin—the feel-good hormones which make us happy. It also has melatonin and tryptophan which regulates sound sleep. A banana is a perfect brain food. Throw a banana in your child’s lunch box—take one with you to work.
Eating enough fruit helps maintain a strong immune system. An abundance of fruit can help in slowing down aging and combating pathogens and viruses that lead to chronic illnesses and brain issues such as memory loss. Don’t blame your age or your hormones if you don’t remember things. Eat enough fruit—the body and brain rely on it!
Food for thought: Eating the right amounts and the right kinds of fruit can begin to heal the pancreas—which is the organ mainly associated with diabetes. The pancreas knows what to do with fruit. The pancreas does not know what to do with the foreign, processed foods from the Standard American Diet (SAD). Be conscious of what you eat. Think. Is this nourishing or hurting my body?
Eat more fruit! Have fresh fruit readily available. Smoothies are a great way to start the day—bathing the cells of the body in nourishing, healthy fruit sugar.
Enjoy treating the brain and body to the food it requires to function optimally. Take fun seriously!