Happy 4th of July to all my U.S. friends!
As I mentioned early this month, I’ve been fascinated and learning more about the brain, brain types, patterns, and brain function. Dr. Knott, one of my Professors would be proud that I am finally using what I learned from him.
As a left brainer, I love finding facts and research about the topics I am covering. This week’s article is not your usual DQ tone but very interesting none the less.
So…”What does sugar have to do with your success?”
How you feed your body not only impacts how you feel, but how you think. Brain function is as susceptible to a poor diet as your waistline. If you want to stay focused, alert, and calm, you need to make sure your brain has the food it needs to function properly.
Avoid the brain drain!
Sugar is a big factor in how your brain functions throughout the course of the day. Excessive sugar consumption can create serious brain fog, and create a “crash” effect once the high wears off. This can create or exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety. Over time, continuously elevated blood sugar levels can weaken and even kill your pericyte cells, the cells that make up your capillary walls. This leads to conditions like diabetic retinopathy, in which blood leaks onto the retina through ruptured capillaries; and to other bleeding disorders, most commonly in the feet. What you may not know is that hyperglycemia (a.k.a. elevated blood sugar) can also impact the pericyte cells in the blood-brain barrier, causing loss of cognition, confusion, and memory issues. This in turn can affect your productivity at work and your relationships with your clients.
The bottom line is, too much sugar isn’t good for you, or your business. But before you go replacing your sugar with substitutes like Sweet & Low, Equal, or Splenda, do some serious research. These sugar substitutes have been linked to all kinds of nasty diseases, including Lupus, cancers, and fibromyalgia. Instead, exercise your right to choose, and lay off all the sweet stuff for two weeks. If you must have your sugar fix, try stevia, which is totally natural and side-effect free. You’ll be amazed how much clearer and happier you feel once you’re off the blood sugar roller coaster.
Our household diet has changed dramatically since my husband was diagnosed with Celiac disease. Now that we’re replacing all the white flour and wheat products we used to use, I’m noticing a huge difference in my mental clarity. After all, wheat, white flour, pasta, and other processed grain foods are nearly as high on the glycemic index as sugar or fruit juice, and have just as big an impact on the brain. Don’t believe me? Try writing your next blog article or reading a trade magazine right after you’ve eaten a croissant! Although I’m not Celiac myself, a mostly gluten-free diet has literally changed my mind about sugar!
Dr. Daniel G. Amen, author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, and Change Your Brain, Change Your Body, notes that most people don’t eat anywhere near the 5+ recommended servings of fruit and veggies every day. He also recommends that everyone take Omega-3 fish oil supplements in order to enhance brain function. Again, do your research. Spend some time keeping a food journal, and ask yourself where you can cut back on foods that aren’t good for your brain.
Just like you exercise your body on the treadmill, you need to feed and care for your brain lovingly and properly. Think of it as preventive maintenance—like changing the oil on your car, or cleaning the lint out of your dryer. No matter what business you’re in, your mind is your most powerful tool, and your greatest asset. Knowing how to feed your brain can help you keep things running smoothly!
Learn more about the brain and bridge the gap between business and your intuition on BrainTalk airing July 7th 12pm EST.
Tags: boston career coach, brain based coaching, brain talk, BrainTalk Radio, Business Coaching, left brain, Left Brainer, neuroleadership, right brain, Right Brainer, self care, tips for gaining more focus, your brain and sugar