Does the sight of your favourite food or even its description literally make your mouth water?
That’s no accident. It’s known as the gut-brain axis…
Your gut and brain are a double act, working together night and day to keep you healthy in body and mind. Treat them right and they’ll treat you right. But it all starts with that mighty fuel repository…
The gut is where we put our fuel. The better the fuel you put in the tank, the better you will function and the better you will feel.
For gutness sake!
Eat the wrong foods and you’ll wind up feeling sluggish and agitated. Eat the right foods and eat the right snacks, and your body will thank you by enabling you to think more clearly, make better decisions and have more energy to stay focused when life and circumstances demand it.
The gut-brain axis is also at the root of our emotions. Among other key neurotransmitters, it produces serotonin, which helps regulate our circadian rhythms (the 24-hour life cycle of sleep and wakefulness) and is also responsible for feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Therefore, to experience healthy emotions, taking good care of your digestive system is crucial. The inextricable link between the digestive system and the brain means that to look after one we must look after the other. There can be no half measures.
Small brain with a big appetite
Further food for thought is that although the brain accounts for just 2% of body weight it consumes a staggering 20% of all calories. Make no mistake, the brain is a hungry beast. Even when resting, it maintains its voracious appetite, placing more intense demands on the gut than any other organ.
This is why it’s important to limit consumption of foodstuffs comprised of refined sugar and empty carbs, and increase the intake of plant-based and protein snacks full of superfoods, whole grains and other vital nutrients.
Time to get nutty!
Other things to look out for in the best snacks include plenty of nuts and seeds. Rich in good oils and vitamin E, they help brain function and cognition.
#SNACKBOOST has no fewer than five nut-and-seed-fuelled offerings including Nature’s Nibbles, Spicy Protein Crunch, and Raw Protein Power. And Healthy Ideas Hanging Bags have products that deliver plenty of nutty goodness such as Take the Trail Mix, Let’s go Nuts, and Super Fruit Nut & Seed Boost. Snacks, such as these, rich in good oils and antioxidants are known to assist brain cell repair while also helping reduce stress.
And then there’s…chocolate?
An anomaly in the pack? Not so. Reaching for the dark chocolate is good for you. Unlike most commercial milk chocolate snack varieties that are packed with sugar, dark chocolate contains high levels of flavonoids, an antioxidant that helps reduce the impact of damaging free radicals in the body.
Cacao, notable bearer of these fine flavonoids, is rich in antioxidants, and increasingly features in disruptive snacks, such as Perk!er’s Quinoa Cacao & Cashew bar, and TRIBE’s Infinite Energy Chocolate Salted Caramel.
Research shows that eating chocolate containing 70% or more cacao is a boon for the brain and memory. So if you’re looking for chocolate that’s good for you, in addition to those products just mentioned, why not try Seed and Bean?
Of the bars available, one of them packs a massive 80% cacao punch! If it didn’t weigh just 45 grams, you might call it a heavyweight in the antioxidant department.
There are also in the Seed and Bean range other adventurous flavours such as Organic Cornish Sea Salt & Lime, and Organic Orange & Thyme, making eating chocolate not just an indulgent but also a mentally and physically rewarding experience.
The fact that Seed and Bean is Fairtrade, has a 100% ethical accreditation, 100% Organic soil association accreditation, and 100% home compostable packaging, including the NatureFlex inner foil, ensures that snacking on Seed and Bean comes entirely guilt-free—and ‘guilt free’ is proven to be good for the mind.
More chocolate health checks…
Eating good quality chocolate also releases endorphins, which reduce pain and stress, and it contains tryptophan, which stimulates the release in the brain of serotonin, which acts as an antidepressant.
But for an all-round snacking experience that’s great for mind and body, your best bet is always going to be plant-based protein snacks that have nuggets of cacao tucked away inside them. That way you really get the best of all nutritional, chemical, mind supporting and body sustaining elements.
When you’re on the move, eating plant-based snacks is the best way to ensure you’re getting a healthy dose of vitamins, slow release energy goodness, and those all-important antioxidants to keep those nefarious free radicals at bay.
So, why not check out TRIBE Infinite Energy bars selection and products such as the Protein Chocolate Brownie Bar, or Chocolate Salted Caramel for a hit of energy with a feelgood factor?
Or Eat Natural Bars where you’ll find free from delights such as Dark Chocolate, Macadamia and Cranberry, or the Protein Packed bar with peanuts and chocolate. On top of these, there are Nakd bars, Kind bars, and Perk!er, to name just a few, all of which contain healthful, tasty ingredients that are great for body, mind and spirit!
To order boxes of any of these products and more, get in touch with Delicious Ideas today.
All of these snacks avoid the inclusion of refined sugar, poly-oils and artificial ingredients to make sure that every mouthful gets efficiently transferred into what the body really needs.
Sugar – saint or sinner?
While some sugar in a healthy bar is okay, too much of the refined stuff sends both mind and body on a rollercoaster ride, delivering a short burst of energy before bringing us down to earth with a bump. To avoid such disorientation, it’s important to eat snacks that release energy over time.
To keep the mind on an even keel, instead of reaching for big brand chocolate bars with high sugar content, look instead for products containing alternatives such as coconut sugar, brown rice syrup, and natural unprocessed fruits, like dates and apples.
For people with gluten intolerance or Coeliac Disease, avoiding foods that contain gluten is imperative for physical and mental health. The great news is that there are hundreds of gluten-free products available today. So whether for serious health reasons or it’s simply a lifestyle choice, going gluten-free needn’t be a misadventure into a world of substandard taste.
These days, gluten-free products can be every bit as tasty as their gluten-containing counterparts. In Bakeshed’s gluten-free repertoire are the Orange and Vanilla, Black Cherry and Almond, and the Ginger Lime and Parsnip slices. All are 100% gluten-free, many are vegan, and all are BIG on mouthwateringly moist flavour.
Want to know more? Why not read our blog, Gluten Free For All : The most flavoursome snacks for people with (or without) coeliac
Ultimately, as this article has hopefully explained, taking good care of your mental wellbeing starts with taking good care of your digestion. And taking good care of your digestion means making the right food and snack selections—repeatedly. Hopefully, these insights give you some idea of what to grab before you go, and what not to. Also to recognise that even those food types that sometimes get a bad rap, like chocolate, can actually contribute to a diet that keeps you fit and well, in both mind and body.
To order any of the products mentioned or any of the other healthy products we stock, contact Delicious Ideas Food Group and speak with one of our friendly customer service team.