Food For Thought
Fuel Your Brain With These Foods
The old adage says “you are what you eat”, so a recent study on the effect food has on the brain reminded me of this.
Eating certain foods can vastly enhance our cognitive processes, thereby enabling our brains to work faster and more efficiently. Maintaining a clear, oxygenated blood supply is fundamental to one’s health, and for the brain across the lifespan – an active, healthy brain can avoid dementia.
There have been many old wives’ tales regarding the power of certain foods. Some of these have been disproven, whilst others have since been scientifically attested.
What foods can we include in our diet to enhance our brain health?
Fish oil, especially from deep sea fish such as wild salmon, is rich in Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Omega 3’s are touted for their anti-inflammatory effect upon the body, so this is a very good protein-rich food that is also low in environmental contaminants.
Go nuts for nuts! Interestingly, “The Doctrine Of Signatures” likens the walnut to the brain, so it is no surprise that walnuts are on top of the list for brain foods. Walnuts, cashews, almonds and hazelnuts are loaded with essential nutrients, protein and Omega 3’s!
Sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and flax seeds are being promoted by health professionals for their brain-boosting powers. Containing minerals such as magnesium, which is known to assist the brain, it is no wonder.
Theobroma cacao; the food of the Gods. This is raw, unadulterated cocoa – not the highly refined, sugary variety found on supermarket shelves. Raw chocolate is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins, vitamins and minerals that not only improve your health; they also enhance your mood!
These are now a well-known superfood, rich in antioxidants – having the highest ORAC levels known! They are nutritionally dense and also assist weight loss due to their satiating effect.
Fresh or frozen, blueberries are fantastic for their mind-boosting nutrients.
Selenium-rich eggs can improve our mood, and choline has been linked to boosting the memory-centre of the brain.
Mono-unsaturated fats increase blood flow to the brain; the more oxygen transported throughout the body, the better it operates.
Not processed powder coffee, but pure ground coffee beans. Up to two cups per day may actually boost your memory, and give more clarity. Do not negate the effects by adding sugar, syrups or whipped cream! Research showed that coffee reduces the risk of dementia.
Brilliant for inducing a sense of wellbeing due to the catechins, as well as making the mind sharper and clearer.
Rich in lycopene, this assists in the prevention of free radicals that are detrimental to brain cells.
Rich in Vitamin K, broccoli is brilliant when paired with tomato, as they enhance the health benefits of one another.
EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL:
An elixir of good health, it is known for assisting with clear thinking and good memory.
Contains potent antioxidants that protect the brain from free-radical damage.
The Brain Foundation recommends that the brain be nourished with top-quality fuel. Their recommendations are:
- A well-balanced, low-cholesterol, low saturated (animal) fat diet
- Regular timing of meals and including breakfast
- Protein and unsaturated fat for developing brains, they reiterate the importance of fish
- Vitamins and minerals
- Antioxidant Vitamins E and C
- Avoiding excessive calorie intake
It is important to note that none of these foods in isolation will assist with a healthy brain; it is advisable to use combinations of these foods throughout all meals each day. Eating an abundance of local, fresh produce daily can only be beneficial to one’s health. Live enzymes with vital, oxygenated blood flowing freely through clean blood vessels to nourish organs; this enables our mind and body to experience clarity of thought, general wellbeing and an abundance of health throughout our entire lifespan.