Written by: Leah Del Rosario
Your Sexiest, Most Powerful Weapon
Effectively executing any of the many moves required in mixed martial arts requires a trained, alert, and well-fed brain. The brain has been called the largest sex organ. It is also your biggest, baddest fighter. Makes sense, doesn’t it? But get this, it’s awesome: Your brain is only about 2% of your total body weight, but it demands 20% of your energy output every day! Whoa!
Yup, brains weigh in at about 3 pounds for the typical human. If we assume an RMR (scientific lingo for Resting Metabolic Rate) of 1300 calories per day for the average human to exist, the brain sucks up 260 of those calories. And that’s lounging in a hammock. It needs that many calories just to keep your “files” in order. When it gets going, it starts sucking up even more.
Feed Your Fat Fighting Head
So, how do you feed that hungry animal behind your forehead? Very carefully. Don’t let a finger stray too far into your ears – might get bitten! Just kidding. But you won’t get far feeding that magnificent machine on low-grade nutrition stuff. And guess what, your brain is very fatty, but it’s not anything near a slob – our little brains can function at levels far beyond our most sophisticated computers.
Our brains are almost 60% fat and that is mostly in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and AA (arachidonic acid). So, don’t avoid saturated fats in your diet. You need to figure out what your particular nutritional requirements might be. You must also get plenty of omega-3 to optimize your brain health. You should ensure that you get most of your brain food from sources such as these:
● Coconut Flesh and Oil, Avocados, Tree Nuts (these are easy to find)
● Grass-Fed Organic Beef and Beef Fat (if you can get it)
● Organic Raw Dairy Products – Butter, Cheese, Milk, Cream (if you can find it)
● Fish Oil, Krill Oil, Seafood (careful: many fish are contaminated with mercury)
Also, be informed that saturated fats have other important, life-giving properties. They are:
● The preferred food for you heart.
● Used by the body as antiviral agents.
● Good for dental health due to anti-cavity, anti-plaque, anti-fungal agents (lauric acid).
● Good for actually lowering cholesterol levels (stearic and palmitic acids).
● Modulators that prevent cancer and govern genetic reproduction (butyric acid).
Fighting Diets Avoid These
Often when discussing diets it’s easier to talk about what should be avoided. Some of these items may fly in the face of what you’ve always heard, but these claims are backed up by studies and research. If you have any doubts, do your own Web research; you may be surprised at what you find. Meanwhile, shun these items for your body’s sake and for your MMA prowess.
Even whole and organic grains will convert to sugar in your body. Also, gluten in grains is coming under more scrutiny as being the agent behind many common maladies.
Limit processed foods.
If it comes in a box and has a list of ingredients an arm long, some of which you cannot even pronounce, you probably don’t want to be putting the stuff in your body. Many food additives and artificial coloring just haven’t been tested enough and aren’t important to good nutrition anyway.
Be aware of harm from tofu.
Certainly the inclusion of tofu puzzles you. A epidemiological study put tofu on line as exacerbating brain aging. In cognitive tests, gentlemen who ate more than two servings of the bean curd every week displayed scores indicative of being five years older than others who had none or little tofu in their diet. Fermented soy foods, such as miso, are fine.
Don’t use artificial sweeteners.
Some of these substitutes have chemical structures close to bug spray. Aspartame actually kills brain cells. It also impairs memory response and damages hypothalami neurons in mice. Studies are showing that these substances actually push fat cell production. You need to consider all of this seriously the next time you opt for a diet cola or soda.
Avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
The very fact that big food processing companies in America do not want to label their products that contain any genetically altered organisms tells us immediately that there is something suspect about the stuff. If they were sure that these organisms were healthy, they should be happy to label them as such. Don’t eat GMOs until further research is done.
Stay away from high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
This product is not found in nature. Used as a cheap substitute for refined sugar, it does little for a body except provide a sweeter taste and then converts pretty much directly into fat. Health officials in the U.S. are pointing to it as one of the culprits in that country’s burgeoning obesity problem. It is used in practically every processed food you can find.
Fighting Diets Employ These
To maintain your fighting health, you’re going to want to pay attention to these items that will benefit your body and thus benefit your fighting abilities.
● Whey Protein
Get the best. It should be organic and made from the raw milk of grass-fed cows. It should be cold-processed with no artificial sweeteners, but containing medium chain fatty acids (MCTs), not long chain fatty acids. It should be rich and creamy. This is a great body builder if you take it about thirty minutes after your MMA workouts.
● Gut Flora
If you don’t have a healthy population of beneficial bacteria in your intestinal track (your gut), you yourself are not going to be healthy. These bacteria have evolved as our partners over the ages and our bodies depend on them. You should take a pro-biotic supplement and eat plenty of fermented foods such as kim-chi and homemade sauerkraut.
● Vitamin D
Daily get at least a half-hour of sun on as much bare skin as possible to keep your D levels adequate. If you can’t do that, take a decent vitamin D supplement. This vitamin is so important to many areas of your body and their proper functioning.
A Word on the Food Supply
Our food supplies are being more and more controlled by big agricultural and big pharmaceutical companies. Avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO). Did you know that nearly 80% of the corn and soy used in the U.S. is genetically modified? Other countries may suffer too.
Lab rats fed on a diet of these products have exhibited some horrible signs when fed GMOs. So, food conglomerates don’t want to label their genetically modified foods. Why not? If they think they are so good, they should be proud that their products are labelled so. They must want to hide that GMO’s aren’t good for us.
Finding raw dairy products that haven’t been over-processed is pretty hard in some nations. Milk and other dairy products lose much of their natural health-giving properties when they are pasteurized and homogenized.
Also, dairy cows are not very happy cows, pushed to conceive and abort many times to ensure that their milk flow remains steady. They are also pumped full of antibiotics to fend off disease that could run rampant through the densely packed populations. If you can, find a dairy farmer whom you can trust and buy your milk products from him or her.
A Word on Your Exercise and MMA Training
An old (Chinese?) proverb says: “Those who do not find time for exercise will be forced to find time for illness.” If you’re ever tempted to quit your exercise or MMA training, you might want to consider what you’re skipping, besides not being able to master your MMA moves.
Exercise affords you these very positive benefits:
● Improves Brain Power • Fights Depression
● Lowers Blood Pressure • Builds Strong Bones
● Fights Colds • Helps Weight Loss
● Helps Manage Arthritis • Reduces Cancer Risk
● Lowers Heart Disease Risk • Boosts IQ, Mental Clarity
● Helps Cure Insomnia • Relieves Knee Pain
● Lowers Diabetes Risk • Increases Energy Levels
● Reverses Pre-Diabetes • Slows Aging Process
Fighting Brains and Bodies
The diet do’s and don’ts shown above are not intended to supplant any diet, they are meant to guide a diet plan. You will have to learn which nutritional requirements you need to meet for your particular physique and for your particular MMA training. One good MMA diet isn’t good for every MMA practitioner. Now you should have a pretty good handle on how to treat the body and the brain that could bring you ever greater MMA success. Hai? Hai!
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