Dawn's Big Three This Week:
1) 🥑 Food For Thought 💭
The dirt on Mother Nature's sexiest underground vegetable.
2) 🥇 Motivation Station 🏃♀️
Relationships and the other V-word.
3) ☔ Make It Brain
Well-aged love is all in your head.
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
🥑 Food For Thought 💭
BEETS: THE UNLIKELY APHRODISIAC
With Valentine’s around the corner, healthy aphrodisiacs are on the menu.
Dark chocolate is too obvious.
We decided to explore Mother Nature’s other sexy delicacies.
We weren’t expecting to dish up the goods on beets this week but those curvy root vegetables are surprisingly titillating.
Packed with nutrients to boost your brain and fuel your libido, we think beets deserve the top spot on this week’s shopping list.
According to the history books, beets got around. Ancient Romans believed the ruby vegetable stimulated desire.
Aphrodite feasted on beets to enhance her appeal and Pompeii’s dominant brothel displayed them in all their juicy glory. You can spot them on the erotica-infused frescoes.
Why? Beets are performance enhancers. Rich in nitrates, they increase blood flow. They also deliver boron, a trace mineral that ups the production of sex hormones.
Beets are also loaded with folic acid, which triggers the production of histamine. (This matters to you because a lack of histamine might keep orgasms out of reach. You’re welcome.)
And just when you thought they were finished...
Beets significantly crank up cognitive performance and overall well-being too.
They’ll also keep inflammation at bay and prevent your insides from oxidising like a forgotten apple slice.
So what if the flavour’s a bit of a turn-off? They still deserve affection.
Just beet it.
Head to your local juice bar. You might get lucky.
As for you romantics, why not fix up a mean roasted beet tartare with goat cheese and candied hazelnuts? We’d go to second base for that.
FOR THE NERDY: A healthy supply of beet deets
🥇Motivation Station 🏃♀️
MORE THAN A GOOD TIME
One night stands and shallow relationships are one thing; meaningful social connection is another.
One might put a spring in your step. The other keeps you alive and on your feet.
The trouble is, people are excellent at sabotaging relationships. Just ask Taylor Swift.
Human beings need connection—romantic and platonic—but we aren’t wired to pull it off.
What’s the solution?
Studies back that social connection is vital for psychological and physical health.
Scholars at the University of Utah even discovered that “social isolation is on par with high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise or smoking as a risk factor for illness and early death.”
So if it’s so important, why do we struggle to make it work?
We’ve all been hurt. Our hard-wired response to physical pain is defence. It’s no different in relationships. Self-preservation often overrides warmth and affection to thwart connection.
So if you’re serious about human potential and healthy living, chances are you’ve got work to do in this department.
We suggest becoming your own relationship expert.
Focus on the most meaningful connection first: your relationship with yourself.
1. Smarten up. Brene Brown’s epic Ted Talk on vulnerability is an absolute must if you haven’t already watched it.
2. Commit to solo dates. Stay centered by scheduling recurring alone time. Spend it however you see fit. We're not judging.
3. Figure your sh*t out. If connection is excruciating, get help. Find a therapist. It's far more normal than you might think. You need to love yourself before you can genuinely love others.
FOR THE NERDY: Reasons to get connected
☔ Make It Brain
LOVE ON THE BRAIN
It seems there’s an unspoken belief that all romantic love is destined to fizzle. The Brangelinas of Hollywood back it up. So does the UK Office for National Statistics.
Some might feel that if they’re not presently training to be that skinny-dipping elderly couple on greeting cards they may as well start plotting their conscious uncoupling strategy.
But a study out of New York proves people who report being madly in love even decades after saying “I do” are not living in an alternate universe. They’re legitimately madly in love.
Researchers at Stony Brook University performed MRI scans on couples who had been married an average of 21 years. They compared scans to those belonging to frisky new lovers.
The team discovered a striking similarity between the sets of scans. Each revealed intense activity in dopamine-rich brain regions.
The study suggests that the excitement attached to young love can remain long after fireworks subsides.
Good news for me, I'm only 6 months into this 'husband' thing.
It still takes two
Relationships require significant devotion and not everyone makes it to their thirtieth anniversary (or even past the seven-year-itch) but those who do aren’t necessarily slogging through some beige love-starved existence.
There’s hope for all of us.
FOR THE NERDY: The juicy details live here.
What We Love This Week
📽 This TED talk on horny bugs is a fun watch. Warning, these bugs are way too insectxy.
📖 Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray - 'Twas the bestselling work of non-fiction in the 90s and it’s sold 15 million copies since its 1993 debut. It's a must-read for understanding the other side.
🎧 Addicted to love? Maybe you'll like this Naked Neuroscience podcast. Oxbridge content sans red trousers and deck shoes.
Community Feedback (thank you, keep it coming 🙏)
“Amongst a sea of extreme diets and bad science, Dawn is a joyful reminder that real growth comes from choosing to make small, regular improvements in the right direction.”
Toby Moore, CEO Coach and ex CTO of Mindcandy, & Co-Founder Space Ape Games
“Dawn gives me weekly ideas on how to look after my mind and brain, citing latest research and condensing it into actionable advice. I look forward to it every Sunday morning.”
Evgeny Shadchnev, Founder of Makers Academy
Here’s a fun fact: Sexually rejected male fruit flies drink four times more alcohol than their friends who get lucky. Be kind to your neighbourhood fruit flies and put out beet juice instead.
Show yourself a good time and we’ll see you next week, and if you are feeling kind - FEEDBACK please - just hit reply!
PS. Wanna give the gift of Brain Food? Forward this to a friend.