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.

MARCHing into Spring

With so much change in our climate, I’m not sure that the saying, March Comes in Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb is still true. This morning when I went to yoga it was and still is cold with a slight wind. But the day is sunny and clear, so it feels less like winter in The Northeast. And Spring is only a few weeks away, so hopefully March will go out as a lamb!

With Earth Day coming up next month, I am sure there will be many stories about weather changes and I hope the media will show more positive overtones about icebergs calving and floods and fires in unexpected places. Our wake-up calls from Mother Nature cannot go unheeded. But more of that in April….

This month I will feature something on International Women’s Day (March 8th) and perhaps investigate to see where and in the world voting for women became a part of the politics of that country. It is a focal point in the movement for women’s rights. Women’s rights and voting will be the focus in August on the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment. YAY!