Better Diet, Better… Trader?

Bettering Your Trading Career Through Better Eating

Your brain is a big deal. In trading, it holds our answers to success and, if misused, it can guarantee our failure. Psychological toxicity also builds up here. And if you want to succeed, you have to keep it healthy.

As the control center of your body, it keeps your heart beating, keeps your lungs breathing and allows you to move, feel and think.

The foods you eat play a role in keeping your brain healthy and can improve specific mental tasks, such as memory and concentration.

Eating healthy does not have to be difficult or tedious. In fact, it can be easy and fun! Try adding these foods into your diet to ensure your mind and body are ready for peak performance

1. Fatty Fish #

When people talk about brain foods, fatty fish is often at the top of the list. This includes salmon, trout and sardines, all of which are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids. And, in general, eating fish seems to have positive health benefits. One study found that people who ate baked or broiled fish on a regular basis had more gray matter in their brains. Gray matter contains most of the nerve cells that control decision- making, memory and emotion. So, overall, eating fatty fish is an excellent way to improve your brain health.

Scientific studies have shown that fish in today’s oceans is not the same quality of fish that we had 50 years ago. An increase in radiation and parasites has been rampant. So it’s absolutely critical that you “go wild.” With certain products, it’s more important to go organic and while, which I’ll get to soon

2. Coffee #

If coffee is the highlight of your morning, you’ll be glad to hear that it’s actually healthy for you. Two of the main components in coffee — caffeine and antioxidants — can indeed help your brain function. The caffeine found in coffee has a number of positive effects on the brain, including increased alertness. Caffeine may also boost some of your “feel-good” neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, improving your mood.

Also, you may feel sharper. One study found that when participants drank one large coffee in the morning or smaller amounts throughout the day, they were more effective at tasks requiring concentration. And drinking coffee has been linked to reduced risk of neurological diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

It is critical to go organic with coffee because it is the most pesticide-filled crop on the planet. Tobacco comes second. So do not drink the office coffee. You will be loading your brain with toxic chemicals that the coffee was poisoned with when grown! If your office has a k-cup machine, simply buy organic k-cups.

3. Blueberries #

Blueberries provide many health benefits, including some brain-specific ones.

Blueberries and other deeply-colored berries deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Antioxidants act against oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases.

Some of the antioxidants in blueberries have been found to accumulate in the brain and help improve communication between brain cells. Blueberries may even improve memory.

Try sprinkling them on your breakfast cereal or adding them to a smoothie.

I recommend buying frozen organic blueberries from Canada. They have been shown to have the most nutritional value. I consume them frozen because when they thaw, they lose some valuable nutritional content!

4. Turmeric #

Turmeric has gotten a lot of buzz lately.

Turmeric is key ingredient in curry powder and has many brain-specific benefits.

It has been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning it can directly enter the brain and benefit the cells there. Turmeric is also a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compound that has been linked to improved memory, reduced depression, and new brain cell growth.

Try cooking with curry powder, adding turmeric to potato dishes, or making turmeric tea.

Fighting depression is huge in trading, especially when we have to deal with hard trades. Naturally boosting serotonin is key. I even sprinkle turmeric in my smoothies.

5. Broccoli #

Broccoli is packed with powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants.

One serving also gives you more more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, which is essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into your brain cells.

This can improve your memory. Broccoli also has compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits, which may help protect the brain against damage.

Broccoli is my go-to vegetable for pairing with proteins.

6. Pumpkin Seeds #

Pumpkin seeds are a delicious, healthy snack that contains powerful antioxidants that protect your body and brain from free radical damage.

They also have plenty of magnesium, iron, zinc, and copper, all of which benefit your brain health.

These micronutrients are where the real benefits lie, and pumpkin seeds are a great way to deliver them.

I like the “Woodstock Foods” brand of organic pumpkin seeds.

7. Dark Chocolate #

Dark chocolate and cocoa powder are packed with brain-boosting compounds flavonoids, caffeine and antioxidants.

Chocolates get these to your brain in a way that may help with learning and memory, according to a number of studies.

One study of over 900 people found that people who ate chocolate more frequently performed better in mental tasks compared to those that did not eat any.

One study found that participants who ate chocolate experienced increased positive feelings compared to those who ate crackers.

However, it’s not clear whether nutrients and compounds in chocolate are responsible — or if it’s just the yummy flavor.

I like the “Endangered Species” brand that donates proceeds to animals that are leaning towards extinction.

8. Nuts #

Research has shown that eating nuts can benefit heart health, and heart health is linked to brain health.

A 2014 review showed that nuts can improve cognition and even help prevent some neurodegenerative diseases.

Another large study showed that women who ate nuts had a sharper memory.

The healthy fats and vitamins in nuts may explain these improvements.

Walnuts may have an extra edge, since they also deliver omega-3 fatty acids.

Organic walnuts are my personal favorite health-wise, especially because they deliver omega 33 fatty acids. Macadamia nuts and Cashews are my favorite taste wise, but are very high in fat (which is good in moderation).

9. Oranges #

Eat one medium orange a day, and you’ll get all the Vitamin C you need.

Vitamin C-rich foods can protect against neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and help protect against age-related mental declines.

Seedless mandarins or tangerines are my favorite. I can peel them by hand with no knife and they are easy to carry around with me.

Leave one by your trading desk.

10. Eggs #

Eggs are a great way to get Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, folate, and choline, all of which are linked to better brain health.

Most people haven’t heard of Choline, but it is linked to improved mood and memory regulation.

And egg yolks may be the best way to get choline.

Choline is an important micronutrient that your body uses to create acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and memory.

B vitamin deficiency has been linked to depression, and a lack of folate is common in elderly people suffering from dementia.

There’s very little direct research on eggs’ impact on brain health, but the nutrients in eggs have been proven to be brain boosters. However, don’t overdose on eggs.

11. Green Tea #

The caffeine in green tea boosts your brain function the same way it does with coffee.

I’ll take a cup of green tea any time of day or night (but be careful with caffeine at night if you have sleep issues).

So you’ll get the same improved alertness, performance, memory and focus.

But green tea has other benefits, like L-theanine, an amino acid which can reduce anxiety and improve your relaxation.

And, like with coffee, make sure you go organic.

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