“You can mark the peak of civilizations when they start eating gold,” writes Josh Forman, MIT’s “entrepreneur in residence” and co-founder of Inkling, according to his Twitter bio.
We would have to disagree. Wall Street might find it obnoxiously thrilling to breakfast on a $100 gold-frosted doughnut and then lunch on a $2,300 hot dog or $5,000 burger, but, at the end of the day—they’re brain dead and someone would just take their piss and get rich off it.
The true peak of civilization will come when we balance the external with the internal—when we start getting the best out of our brains because we put the best in.
Your brain is the centerpiece of your temple—sacrifice to it and it will reward you. As a trader, you need this extra reward. So, put down your energy drink, if you’re reading this in the evening, or forego tomorrow morning’s breakfast pastry and opt for some brain foods.
Download a cheat sheet of STT superfood list for peak trading performance.
And, we’re not kidding about the gold donut:
Or the $5,000 burger:
With your brain (and your future earnings in mind), we offer up the STT Superfoods list. Make sure that you stick around to the end, because we’ll also make it easy for you—as we always do—with our very own recipe book for a successful day at the trading trough.
- Popping Chia (if you’re cool)
Some of the smarter Wall Street folks are already evolving away from sophomoric energy drinks and even giving up coffee—along with the long-time favorite pick-me-up, Adderall. Instead, they’re popping chia seeds for energy. Some have even opted to swap their cocaine for chia seeds, giving up the 80s and 90s kitsch to be better aligned with the healthier trends of this decade.
Chia (the Mayan word for strength) seeds hail from the Salvia Hispanica plant, which is related to mint and is natural to South America. And now, this historically sustainable energy booster is back—even if it took centuries to return to its glory.
Popping chia seeds gives you a huge dose of nutrients, without the calories, that are loaded with non-carb fibers, protein and tons of antioxidants—the kind that actually work.
- When it comes to the brain, you can’t beat beets…
Drinking beet juice restores blood flow, specifically to those parts of the brain that improve our cognitive function. Not only will it help you ring in a stellar trading morning, but it could also help fight dementia, as an added benefit. It’s all in the nitrates, which beets have a lot of. Nitrates open up blood vessels so that blood and oxygen can flow better—especially to the brain. (Celery, cabbage and spinach also do their share).
- Nuts: The empath brain food
Walnuts actually resemble a tiny version of your brain, so it makes sense. We’ll start here, because walnuts are the key nut that helps to promote blood and oxygen flow to the brain, boosting memory while also increasing learning and motor skill coordination.
But, overall, nuts across the board have high amounts of protein and fiber that make for an instant energy boost. Unlike energy drinks, however, the energy boost that you get from nuts is real and sustaining—not a spike and a crash. The complex carbs give you a boost, while the friendly fat and protein keeps you there.
And, when it comes to cognitive function—this is a top-notch brain food, because it’s packed with vitamin E. Walnuts rule the roost here, with the largest dose of antioxidants. But, almost all other nuts are a good mix as well, preferably organic and definitely without sweeteners or seasonings. The exception is peanuts—which don’t really compare, in terms of brain food value.
- The seeds of brilliance …
There is a huge selection of seeds from which to choose—all of which contain tons of protein, vitamin E, magnesium and antioxidants. Our favorites are sesame seeds, flax seeds and sunflower seeds, which taste good on just about everything you eat.
- Oatmeal … Packs a power punch
Everyone likely knows, by now, that oatmeal is a major heart superfood, but heart health is akin to brain health. Oatmeal packs a massive fiber punch and, if you choose to start out your morning this way, you’ll find that you can make it quite a long way through the day on natural energy. There’s no crash and burn with this grain.
- Back to the basics with beans …
Don’t be fooled by the humble nature of the simple bean. It’s cheap, so Wall Street might dismiss it as white trash, yet it’s anything but. It’s smarter than Wall Street. Beans are full of smart carbs and they sustain you all day with a slow release of glucose to your brain. And again, no crash and burn.
- Lentils, the lion of legumes
The folate and vitamin B that are packed into these tiny dots of nourishment are of the stuff of legends. Not only do they boost brain power, but the folate is known to reduce the amino acids that impair brain function.
- Garlic (only if you’re trading at home, please)
Garlic has been found to fight against some forms of brain cancer, by killing off malignant tumor cells called glioblastoma cells. The wonder cloves also protect the brain from inflammation that could lead to Alzheimer’s Disease, among other things.
- Brainberries … They’re blue
Blueberries can reduce the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and they protect the brain from oxidative stress. High in fiber, but low on the glycemic index, blueberries don’t spike your blood sugar level. In fact, many think that blueberries are the smartest brain food out there. They have been shown to improve memory and learning ability—so stock up as you take your trading up a few notches.
- Get your salm-ON
Salmon is all about boosting your cognition and alertness, as well as improving your everything, from memory to your mood. It’s Omega-3 fatty acids also help to reduce the risk of dementia and other degenerative mental diseases. If you’re depressed, stressed or anxious, salmon can actually help.
- Brown rice, when banal is brilliant
The latest on brown rice is that it can help boost your memory, along with maintaining cardiovascular health.
- Avocado, smooth out your thinking
Last of all are avocados, which improve blood flow to the brain with their loads of monounsaturated fats.
The STT Trading Guru Menu
Breakfast of Trading Champions
- The STT Power Bowl: One cup of cooked oatmeal (organic if possible), raw/organic coconut sugar, tablespoon of pure maple syrup, a tab of organic butter and a handful of seeds (we prefer chia, pumpkin, or sesame for the seeds in this one) and nuts (pecans, walnuts). You might even use blueberries as a topper.
- STT Brain Shot: Tumeric and ginger drops, a dash of chia seeds. Top it off and mix it up with a shot-glass size dose of green tea.
- The Trading Smoothie: Avocado, yogurt and a dash of lemon.
- STT Scramble: Avocado slices sautéed in butter. Add avocado slices to free-range eggs and scramble, with a dollop of organic sour cream (for the more serious breakfast trader).
- Lentil soup (we like it thick!), made with a bit of chopped carrots, fresh garlic, bay leaf and other spices to suit. Sprinkle with flax seeds and cashews when serving. This is a power lunch that will keep you going til the market closes.
- Bean soup (skip the pork)
- A shot of beet juice is a great addition, if you’re not keen on drinking an entire glass.
- STT Power Salad: Mixed greens, onions, baby tomatoes, carrots, celery and as many nuts and seeds as you can stack on top (the nuts and seeds make this more of a meal).
- Pop chia seeds in between meals, along with a handful of nuts and a pint of blueberries when you have the time.
We’ll leave the dinner up to you, but don’t forget the fish. Feel free to top off dinner with some dark chocolate and a glass of red wine, winding down the night with some green or black tea.
With everything you eat, we believe that all of the pesticides and artificial ingredients have been eating away at our brain power, so go organic and keep things simple. Humble is now cool again, even if Wall Street hasn’t figured that out, yet.