Iman Benet: What I Eat for Better Focus

When I moved to Peru in my early 20's in an attempt to escape the madness of the United States post the catastrophe that was 2020 - what I found was an opportunity to really look at my habitual eating patterns and reimagine a life and a way of eating that was fully in alignment with the relationship I wanted to have with my body. I couldn't see how much American eating culture had warped my perspective of what “Good food” was until I had a chance to step outside of the mold and reevaluate my relationship with myself, my body, and what I was eating.

 

Peru is known for its ceviche which is a traditional fish-based dish. While there is definitely a place for this tangy spicy delicacy - When I brought it back to the states I wanted to adapt it in a way that was not only plant-friendly and nutrient-dense, but also still tasted amazing and gave my body everything it needed for me to thrive.

 

My use of Lion's Mane mushroom in this recipe is intentional. Lion's mane, also known as "Bearded Tooth" Mushroom, Yambushitake, Shishigashira, and Pom Pom mushroom, is packed with all kinds of nutrients and includes benefits such as:

 

  • IMMUNE SUPPORT
  • COGNITIVE & NEUROLOGICAL SUPPORT
  • ANTIOXIDANT RICHNESS

 

Lion’s Mane is said to have been used as a tea for thousands of years by Buddhist monks to enhance brain power, heighten their ability to focus during meditation, and to generate “Qi” (vital energy or life force).

 

Fast forward to today, and one of Lion’s mane’s most extensively studied features is its impact on nerve and brain health and cognitive function.

 

Research on isolated cells, animals, and humans has demonstrated a number of neurological effects: in mice, prevention of recognition memory impairment in an Alzheimer’s model, and in another study, significant improvement in recognition memory. In cells, its ability to stimulate the production of a substance known as Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a specialized protein required for the development of sensory neurons. Finally, a trial performed on Japanese men and women diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment found that supplementation significantly increased scores on the cognitive function scale, although this improvement did not last after subjects ceased supplementation

 

Lion’s mane has been found to be a source of antioxidants, compounds that play a vital, health-protecting role in human life. Antioxidants have been shown to help protect against various metabolic diseases, heart disease, brain disorders, and age-related syndromes, as they help the body combat cellular damage caused by free radicals (reactive chemicals containing oxygen).

 

Lion’s mane has also been the subject of extensive studies to investigate a number of its reported health-promoting properties, including antibiotic, anti-cancer, cardio-protective, liver-protective, and neuroprotective actions, as well as its ability to support depression, anxiety, and cognitive function.

 

Sunchokes, on the other hand, are a root recently introduced to me by the Farmfluence team and are phenomenal for Gut Health, as they’re packed with inulin,* a non-digestible dietary fiber with strong prebiotic properties. Inulin contains fructans, which feed 'good' bacteria in the gut and can also help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

 

Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes. Meaning, your gut is communicating with your brain more often than you might think.

 

When we eat to heal our gut, our brain thanks us for it by providing us with more clarity and energy to take on our day.

 

For me, eating well and approaching food as medicine made living well so much easier.

 

This recipe has now become one of my go-to’s for lunch when I’m looking for something fresh and filling that will help me power through my mid-day brain fog and refocus on what’s important. 

 

Disclaimer: 

The health research presented in this article is for informational use only. It is not a replacement for professional health advice and should not be construed as a recommendation of specific products. The perspectives on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This information does not provide dosage or format recommendations or possible drug interactions, and accordingly, should be used with the advice of a qualified health care practitioner.