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Welcome to Just Another Magic Monday. Today on the table we have whole wheat toast, almond butter and a big bowl of blueberries. Last Monday we discussed Getting Your Miracle Gro with exercise. Today we are going to boost your writer brain to the max by going after the superfoods.

Before we get started here’s a quick video of a writer brain in action:

Yes, our writer brain is often tortured by the decisions we need to make to tell our stories in an effective way. So what are these superfoods that will put us on the path to best sellerdom? Glad you asked. <G>

Number one on the list is blueberries. Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life, refers to blueberries as “brainberries.” 

photo by StormieB

Blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may reduce the effects of age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. 1 cup of blueberries a day and — guess what? It doesn’t matter if they’re fresh, frozen or freeze-dried. It’s all good.

Next —A 4 oz serving of fish rich in omega 3’s like salmon two or three times a week will keep your brain in tip-top shape.

Other foods rich in omega 3’s are tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring and lake trout, whole soy foods and omega-3 fortified eggs. One 4 oz serving is about the same size as a deck of cards. Easy peasy.

Nuts and seeds are good sources of vitamin E and high levels of vitamin E have been known to counteract cognitive decline as we get older. We all want to be old writing sages giving out advice to the young ones don’t we? I do.

Try cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, almonds, walnuts, and filberts. Non-hydrogenated peanut butter or other nut butters such as almond butter are delicious. Great on toast. An ounce a day of nuts or A TBSP of nut butter is all you need.

Proteins and complex carbs help neurotransmitters in the brain make the right connections for learning and behavior. Brain-friendly carbs are whole grains with at least 3-5 grams of fiber and less than  10 grams of sugar. 

Look for breads, cereals and pastas that have the whole grain symbol. 3 or 4 servings a day. Your work in progress with thank you. 

The brain is dependent on glucose for fuel, Dr Ann Kulze author of The 10 Step Diet : A Simple Plan for Weight Loss and Lifelong Vitality explains, and since it can’t store the glucose, it relies on a steady stream of energy which beans can provide.

Black beans, lentils, chickpeas, pinto beans are all great for providing this energy and help to avoid sugar lows and highs. Extra benefit? Beans are high in fiber. 1/2 cup a day.

Brain Boosting Beverages? Sorry, science hasn’t proven that sour apple martinis help your brain but they have decided that pomegranate juice offers potent antioxidant benefits which protect the brain from the damage of free radicals.

Since there’s usually a lot of sugar added to pomegranate juice 2 oz is the recommended amount. Dilute with water or try a little seltzer water for a zingy little drink. You can feel the antioxidants hitting your blood stream. Ahh…

Did you know that two to three cups a day of freshly brewed tea, hot or iced can boost brain power by enhancing memory, focus, and mood? Tea also has potent antioxidants, especially the class known as catechines, which promotes healthy blood flow. We need lots and lots of blood flow for edits and revisions. Drink your tea.

I saved the best for last! Dark chocolate, yes dark chocolate — has powerful antioxidant properties, contains several natural stimulants, including caffeine, which enhance focus and concentration, and stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. Don’t all writers intuitively know this? Yes we do, but it’s nice when science backs us up.

Science says one-half ounce to 1 ounce a day will provide all the benefits you need. More is not better. Sorry.

Darn it.

Stick to one ounce.

So there it is, the round-up of superfoods for your writer’s brain on this Magic Monday. What’s your favorite brain food from this list? Is there something on here you would refuse to eat? Do you have any special strategies for getting more of these foods in your diet? Is there anything on this list that you haven’t tried? I’ve never tried mackerel. If you’ve tried it let me know. I love hearing from you!

Hope to see you on Friday for Bangers and Mash-ups!