With the Covid-19 pandemic 5 months in full swing since March 2020 here in the United States, many of us feel stressed and overwhelmed with nowhere to go for an escape from stress in our homes, job stress, canceled travel plans, having to entertain our children more often, and less summer activities to enjoy than we are used to. I have been researching ways to counteract these stressors and found some information in the Health & Wellness Personal Journal of the Wall Street Journal, page A11, dated 7/28/2020.
"Foods to Fight your Pandemic Stress" author Elizabeth Bernstein asked Dr. Naidoo: "Is there an easy way to remember what to eat?" And Dr. Naidoo recommended using the mnemonic "BRAIN FOODS." Here, I will list what types of food are included as per to Dr. Naidoo's BRAIN FOODS, taken straight from "Foods to Fight your Pandemic Stress." First, let's analyze "BRAIN:"
B = Berries. "Berries give you fiber & antioxidants," says Dr. Naidoo. Enjoy those strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, golden berries (Costco sells dried golden berries similar to yellow raisins), goji, and others.
R = Rainbow. All "colors of the fruits and vegetables, which provide diversity of fiber and nutrients,"
are recommended by Dr. Naidoo.
A = Antioxidants. They "get rid of damaging compounds made in the body," Naidoo says.
Antioxidants are in fruits & veggies as stated earlier when we spoke about Berries. Other foods
high in antioxidants include: dark chocolate (need I say more!?), pecans, kale, red cabbage,
beans, beets & spinach. If you like smoothies, you can add kale or spinach to them. If you like
rice and beans, that meal provides antioxidants as well.
I = Include. Dr. Naidoo says remember to "Include lean protein," such as white fish like flounder, shrimp,
lean chicken & turkey, tofu, tempeh, beans, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, lean beef such as
bison, and other sources. Egg whites are good too, although there is a health benefit to add
the yolks in as long as your cholesterol is not too high. Personally, I love egg yolks and I
definitely feel more satisfied when I include them in my diet along with egg whites.
N = Nuts. Dr. Naidoo states nuts are "a good source of nutrients," and very tasty too! Include walnuts,
peanuts, almonds, cashews, soy nuts, pistachios and others!
Now, let's look at Dr. Naidoo's "FOODS" mnemonic...
F = Fiber rich & fermented. Let me tell you, I LOVE fermented foods including sauerkraut and yogurt.
Personally, my go-to fermented food is a drink called kombucha. I suggest you try this drink,
although it is a little bit expensive. Kombucha brands I love include: GT's at
O = Healthy Oil such as Olive oil. Dr. Naidoo says "olive oil has both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
properties." Try to reach for extra virgin olive oil.
O = Omega-3 fatty rich foods "such as fatty fish like salmon which also have an anti-inflammatory
effect, says the doctor." Personally, salmon is easy to cook. You can bake it and currently a
favorite prep method of mine is air fried salmon! And, did I mention sushi...sashimi anyone!?
D = Dairy "adds good bacteria to your gut," says Naidoo. Finally, a reason to eat your favorite cheese,
Sharon! (Calling out my sister, here!) Also, here is the category to include milks and yogurt
and even ice cream once in awhile! Take a look at my review section on Light Ice Creams!
S = Spices "because they have excellent brain benefits," says Naidoo. Spices I love include: turmeric,
saffron, rosemary, sage, nutmeg, ginger & pepper. My favorite Indian foods usually have some
turmeric and saffron in them such as curries. Thai foods are high in ginger especially when i
order foods sauteed in ginger sauce.. And I also add some pepper to my salads along with a
little sea salt and olive oil. Along with spices are hot peppers are also spicy, delicious and