Hello, 2019! You’re probably sprinting out the gate. Let’s keep that momentum up, shall we?
Dawn's Big Three This Week:
1) 🥑 Food For Thought
Expand your memory. Consume choline-rich foods like it’s 1998.
2) ☔ Make It Brain:
You need a power anthem. Booming bass leads to booming performance.
3) 🥇 Motivation Station:
What the world needs now is the sound of silence. (Isn’t it ironic?)
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
🥑 Food For Thought 💭
WE ALL SCREAM FOR CHOLINE
If you want to make 2019 a year to remember--as in, you’d like to improve your memory so you don’t forget 2019--it’s time to lay off bonbons and lean heavily on choline-rich foods.
Research backs this essential nutrient’s impressive ability to improve and preserve memory.
Choline is a relative newcomer. Despite being an essential element for neurodevelopment, it was only recognized by the Institute of Medicine in 1998.
Choline is a precursor to acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter responsible for memory and cognitive function.
It can offset damage caused by traumatic brain injuries and it helps expectant mums and babies thrive.
Take it from these little furry friends.
In one study, researchers gave choline supplements to expectant mama rats and witnessed radical results.
The supplement-fed babies were all around sharper students. They also possessed larger brain cells and demonstrated life-long memory enhancement. Physical differences were so impressive that scientists could spot the control group simply based on brain scans.
I want in. Where can I source choline?
Your liver kicks in a bit but you’ll need to ingest the difference. Beef liver tops the charts. Dig in, soldier.
I’d rather forget 2019 than eat beef liver.
Us too. Let’s eat broccoli instead.
The brain-shaped veg packs a choline punch. Even its leaves are scientifically proven to boost memory.
Just remember to keep those glorious greens nutritious. If you can’t stomach raw broccoli, be sure to keep the good stuff locked in as you cook.
Keep the leaves on as much as possible and steam or sauté your florets—never boil. (Note to self: Follow my own advice.)
FOR THE NERDY: Read up on Choline
☔ Make It Brain
PERSONAL POWER ANTHEMS
Here’s a reason to splurge on first-class speakers: Music has the power to unleash your inner superhero and increase your performance.
No joke. Curating a list of hype-you-up songs and listening to it frequently is scientifically proven to increase self-confidence and feelings of power.
All about that bass
In one study, 78 students were asked to listen to an instrumental piece in two consecutive rounds.
For the first go, researchers played the music as per the original recording.
The second time around they cranked the bass like moody teenagers with something to prove.
The result? Participants felt noticeably powerful, determined—even dominant.
Does this mean enduring “Eye of the Tiger” on repeat for days?
Thankfully, no. But maybe. It depends on what you like.
Whatever revs your engine is perfect. Just make sure it’s full on and then crank the volume.
Next time you need to impress an investor or dazzle a crowd, pump yourself up with your power anthem and go get 'em, Tiger.
FOR THE NERDY: Read the lab report
🥇Motivation Station 🏃♀️
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Have you heard? It's a noisy world out there. People are beginning to crave silence. Noise-free airports are on the rise. Meditation apps are big business.
And now the troubling ramifications of non-stop noise are deafening too.
Research proves silence is more than a hot commodity. Our cognitive health depends on it.
A Duke University biologist set out to measure sound’s effects on adult mice’s cognitive function.
She used differed types of audio stimuli, juxtaposed her findings with silence, and monitored the rodents’ brains.
Her experiment didn’t go as planned. She made an unexpected discovery.
Mice exposed to two hours of silence per day developed new cells in the hippocampus, the brain region associated with memory, emotion and learning.
Other research backs that noise harms cognitive function at work and school. Excessive noise is linked to decreased motivation and poor performance.
Attention, memory and problem solving also take a hit when our ears are battling auditory assault.
Keep it down
Silence can be hard to come by but you’ll figure it out.
Maybe you wake early to spend time alone with your thoughts.
Maybe you go all in and indulge in floatation therapy.
Maybe you hike the Lake District with a handful of sheep to keep you company.
Whatever you choose, block it into your calendar this week. Your hippocampus will thank you.
FOR THE NERDY: Read the study
What We Love This Week
🎧 Looking for some tunes to get in the zone? We created this "Power At Dawn" playlist to get you in the mood and made it collaborative so our community can add to it! We'd love it if you added some of your favourite feel-good tunes too to inspire us...
📖 The Stress Solution by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. Fresh off the press this week, Chatterjee’s new book provides simple steps to reduce stress. You too can look as chipper as he does on the cover.
📽 You’ve probably heard Kevin Spacey got axed from House of Cards… but are you aware of this video? We revised the title. Ladies and gentlemen, What Not To Do, an independent film by Kevin Spacey.
You’re talking. We’re listening.
“There is a lot of noise around mindfulness and betterment, so it’s refreshing to be able to start the week with a clear quick read and focus on what really matters, armed with new tools”
- Connie Di Gennaro, COO at Bio Beats
“The short-form content is insightful, interesting and always useful - optimisingmy focus and productivity for the week ahead."
-Sophie Scott, Founder of BALANCE
There you have it. Get quiet. Live loud. Eat broccoli. (Bonus points for beef liver.)
Until next week,
PS. Wanna give the gift of Brain Food? Forward this to a friend.