Brain health is essential to overall health. The brain is a “point of communication” that controls the body. Brain health has a direct impact on our thoughts, feelings, and movements. Nourishing the brain is paramount to maintaining proper health.
There is a group of foods that are proven to nourish the brain and help protect it from oxidative stress. These foods are like a premium fuel source for our brain. In a previous post, 10 Awesome Brain-Boosting Foods, I listed 10 nutrient-dense foods, full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help better our brain, mood, energy levels, and overall health. This time, the focus is going to be on 5 of those brain health foods: dark chocolate, nuts, fatty fish, turmeric, and green tea. I find myself consuming these almost every day!
Dark chocolate is good for focus and concentration. It can boost endorphin levels. The flavonoids in chocolate can help enhance memory and cognitive function by boosting blood flow to the brain. Go for at least 75% dark chocolate, organic and fair trade, if possible. My favorite is 90% dark chocolate (as I have to watch my blood sugar closely).
Likewise, eating nuts helps with memory and cognitive function. Nuts are loaded with brain-healthy fats including omega-3 fatty acids (in some) and nutrients like vitamin E, which are good against oxidative stress-related damage and cognitive decline. My favorites are pistachios, almonds, and walnuts. The latter offer quite a bit of omega-3 fatty acids.
Fatty fish, with its high omega-3 fatty acid content, is beneficial to overall brain health, including memory and learning. It also helps to stave off cognitive decline. Omega-3 fatty acids help strengthen the brain cells’ membranes and the synaptic connections between neurons. Look for environmentally friendly, low-mercury, and wild-caught fish like sockeye salmon and sardines.
Turmeric (which has the active ingredient curcumin) helps with lowering inflammation, increasing antioxidant levels, enhancing the brain’s oxygen intake, and improving cognitive function. Turmeric is great in a vegetable dish, soup, or smoothie. I have also been taking a curcumin supplement for years now.
Green tea aids with enhancing brain health in numerous ways, such as: preventing cognitive decline and bettering memory, anxiety, focus, alertness, and task performance. Green tea has antioxidant qualities, anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-tumorigenic effects, among other things. I love consuming green tea every afternoon.
So, which brain foods are your favorites?
Until next time!
Seymour, Jacqueline. “Health Coach Tip – Eat Your Brain Healthy.” Frank Lipman MD, 17 Nov. 2021, drfranklipman.com/2021/11/17/health-coach-tips-eat-your-brain-healthy/. Accessed 25 Nov. 2021.
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