Morning Moringa, Anxiety: Just Reframe It, & A+ For Vitamin D

POOF! It’s March. Time flies when you’re hustling. Let’s not lose momentum.

Dawn's Big Three This Week:

1) 🥑 Food For Thought 💭
Is moringa the supreme superfood?

2) 🥇 Motivation Station 🏃‍♀️
How to trick your brain out of anxiety.

3) ☔ Make It Brain
Why you shouldn’t be one in a billion when it comes to Vitamin D.

📸 BONUS: Guess who's on Instagram? We're dishing up 1 science-backed fact for your brain every day. Aesthetically pleasing intelligence awaits. Follow us!

Wanna give the gift of Brain Food? Forward this to a friend

🥑 Food For Thought 💭

MORNING, MORINGA

TL;DR
Moringa is the new(ish) kid on the superfood block. The moringa tree has been nourishing brains for centuries in places like India and Pakistan. Lately, its powder form is popular with the masses. (It’s even earned a cult-like following.)

If you’re unfamiliar, here’s a 30-second run down.

What exactly is moringa?
Most of what you see on the market is leaf powder. Your brain can benefit from almost any part of the tree but unless you’re in a tropical climate, moringa plants are hard to come by.

Which part of this plant is edible?
You should be asking which part is not edible. Leaves, pods, roots, seeds. They’re all up for grabs.

Did I read something about moringa and Alzheimer’s?
Probably. This study shows moringa can reduce symptoms of cognitive decline.

What’s all the fuss about?
Gram for gram, moringa is an overachiever with serious brain-boosting benefits.

  • It’s packed with antioxidants

  • It combats inflammation

  • It boosts memory

  • It normalises serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline to optimise mental health

Beyond that, it’s just plain good for you. It dishes up three times more iron than spinach. Protein, potassium, calcium—you name it.

Now I want a moringa forest.
Unless you’re reading this from somewhere steamy and have a knack for gardening, stock up on powder or pop these potent supplements. You don’t have time to grow trees.
 

FOR THE NERDY: More dirt on the miracle plant

🥇Motivation Station 🏃‍♀️

ANXIETY, JUST REFRAME IT

TL;DR
Fun fact for anyone who suffers from performance anxiety: That familiar crippling feeling can actually become your edge.

According to a study at Harvard Business School, all it takes is a little strategic paradigm shift.

You had me at Harvard.
Thought so.

Assistant Professor Alison Woods Brooks examined the relationship between anxiety, affirmations, and performance.  

She manufactured three stressful situations: speaking in public, solving math equations, and performing karaoke.

She asked half the group to repeat “I am calm” before performing. The others talked themselves off the ledge with “I am excited.”

And?
The results were dramatic. The excited bunch shone brighter. Some folks even said their anxiety lifted.

What’s the deal?
It boils down to something called interoception. Think bodily self-awareness.

Say you’re anxious. Your hands are shaking. Your brain knows it.

If you deny your butterflies and essentially lie to your yourself saying, “I am calm,” your brain knows better. Anxiety wins.

But by stating “I am excited,” you can fool your brain. Nervous energy and excitement are siblings and your brain can’t easily tell them apart. Enthusiasm takes over and you perform with confidence.

Got any other confidence-boosting tricks?
Sure thing. Here’s a quick read on the power of playlists. If you’re prepping for an interview, our three unusual tips will help you raise your game.

It’s true. Land a promotion, close a deal, secure more capital—maybe you’ll even break the internet when your karaoke opus goes viral.

First things first though. Repeat after me: “I’m so excited!”

FOR THE NERDY: Read the study

Make It Brain 

A+ FOR VITAMIN D

TL;DR
Over a billion people go through life with insufficient vitamin D. Maybe you’re one of them.

A lack of sunshine noticeably messes with emotions but upping vitamin D does more than elevate happiness. It also sharpens the brain.

Scientists have long known a link between vitamin D and cognitive performance exists. They just haven’t been able to pinpoint it.

But a fresh study reveals precisely how a deficiency impacts the brain. The stakes are high now, folks. Preserving plasticity with vitamin D should be on everyone’s to-do list.
 

What’s plasticity?
Plasticity refers to your brain’s ability to flex and change, for better or worse. Improving plasticity means boosting learning and memory.

So what did the study reveal?
Essentially, vitamin D strengthens supportive mesh that stabilizes neuron connections, or synapses.

Without a sufficient supply of vitamin D, both the number of mesh-supported neurons and the strength of the mesh were noticeably inferior. The results underline the urgency of preserving brain health with vitamin D.

Right. How can I do that immediately?
Shed some layers and let your bare skin soak in the sun. If home is an overcast city and Hawaii is out of the equation, tailor your diet. Gnawing on beef liver will do wonders.

Gross.
Yes. Go for fatty fish, cheese and egg yolks instead. They also do the trick. Of course, there’s always supplements. You decide.

FOR THE NERDY: Read the latest research

What We Love This Week

📽 WATCH: Here’s something we can all learn from Jim Carrey’s dad.

📖 READ: Meet the poster child for plasticity. This 12-year-old lost 15% of his brain but he’s more than okay.

🎧 LISTEN: This female billionaire was a total fraud. F*cked up winning psychology at its finest.

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There you have it. Pop some vitamin D supplements, wash them down with a morninga smoothie, and sing along with the Pointer Sisters.

See you soon,

Dan