Brain Foods

In summer I posted two book reviews about the brain (Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Amen’s Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. I promised you information from these two books about food for the brain. But I also came across some other good sources, so during September I will post these additional sources and their information and perhaps see what overlaps, so you can choose the best of the best foods for your brain, especially the parts that involve memory and mental health.

 

The first additional source is an ebook about Alzheimer’s from The Science of Prevention called the Top 10 Brain Health Foods (www.scienceofprevention.com).

  1. Wild Caught Salmon: Salmon is rich in healthy fats called omega-3 fatty acids. These include fats like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) that help protect your brain by reducing inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been associated with decreased risk of depression and cognitive impairment….. Salmon also contains selenium, antioxidants, and potassium, making this fatty fish even better for brain health.” (Highlights are mine.)
  2. *Blueberries: These little berries contain antioxidants (flavonoids) that help to reduce age-related degenerative issues in the brain. (They also taste good!)
  3. Leafy Green Vegetables: These nutrient-dense veggies contain brain-healthy nutrients by reducing inflammation in the bowel lining. Inflammation does not allow the brain to work at its optimum level, so adding cabbage, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts are good veggies choices. These same foods are good to protect against cancer and heart disease and help with detoxification.)
  4. Avocado: The folate in avocados help make neurotransmitters that lead to cellular detoxification. Also, high levels of lutein (a dietary carotenoid: photoprotective agents preventing the harmful photodynamic reaction, and as accessory light-harvesting pigments, extending the spectral range over which light drives photosynthesis.) Also, good monounsaturated fat that facilitates healthy blood flow to the brain and the rest of the body.)
  5. Fermented Foods: Foods such as kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut contain enzymes and probiotics involved with digestion and gut health. With their high levels of probiotic bacteria they may help with mood and cognition while restoring good bacteria in the gut as well as benefit mental health and possibly improved immune function.
  6. Prebiotic Foods:Foods such as hickory root, Jerusalem artichokes, garlic and onions are fiber rich and act as food for good gut bacteria. This “brain fuel” also helps reduce inflammation.
  7. Nuts: The brain-boosting power of nuts comes from the brain-healthy fats and protein in nuts. Nuts also boost and protect the brain. Some nuts, like almonds lower blood sugar and reduce inflammation in type 2 diabetes (a key risk factor for Alzheimer’s).Note: This is only an excerpt, so go to the website for Bibliography and additional info.*P.S. When I reviewed the Paleo Harvest cookbook by Nicole Bond, I posted her blueberry muffin recipe. I hope to repost that soon.

Food Trends for 2017 in The Washington Post

My classmate Lois sent me this link below about food trends in the new year. Here is a brief summary and my thoughts on the topic. Please go to the article for more details:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/checking-the-crystal-ball-for-2017-food-trends/2016/12/07/ead326ac-ac2a-11e6-8b45-f8e493f06fcd_story.html?utm_term=.eada8f062d1a&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm.

 

Plant proteins, health fats and whole foods made convenient are the trends predicted by writer Christy Brisette in the Dec. 15th The Washington Post Wellness section. Predictions in brief:

 

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Sorghum growing in the field

       The “new quinoa” (what the author will predict about this super-popular grain being upstaged) is actually a gluten-free whole grain called sorghum, grown in the sorghum belt that runs between South Dakota and southern Texas.  The author claims it is an excellent source of fiber as well as being rich in protein, plus bone-building magnesium and phosphorus, and B vitamins to boost our immune systems.

img_3058Picture of my sprouted sunflower seeds already harvested and ready to eat

       Sprouted grains, beans and seeds is nothing new in my kitchen, but if you don’t want to grow your own, the article mentions foods that will be sprouted, some of which I already purchase from Tru Roots. Sprouting has many benefits, which I have listed in my articles, such as sprouting to deactivate “anti-nutrients” such as phytic acid (which protects the seed from bugs). The sprouting makes protein and minerals easier to absorb.

        Good fats (nuts, avocado,etc.) are in the limelight, replacing the low-fat, carbohydrate and sugar-rich foods of 2016. Good fats have already been in the market, but the writer predicts low-fat cheeses will disappear and more whole milk versions of yogurt will (re) appear. is

Please go to the link for the entire article by Christie Briquette, a dietician, foodie and president of
80-TwentyNutrition.com.

Happy, healthy eating for 2017!