Returning to work or school, after the long Summer and holidays, it can often raise a challenge to our brain which got used to a slower pace. Our brain needs to be nourished with the right nutrients to help it function best.
Additionally, some Brain foods also have anti-inflammatory properties. Imaging taking something that actually helps with your pains and aches in addition to make your blood more alkaline, which is one of the main ways to reduce inflammation in your body. When there is inflammation in the whole body a whole bunch of chronic conditions can develop from arthritis to eczema, not to mention how this can add to your stress levels and therefore, reduce or alter our brain function. It is an endless cycle! Therefore, eating food that nourishes your brain will also support your whole body.
Here is a list of some of the essential food items that everyone who cares for the health of their brain should eat daily:
Beets. Beetroot are in fashion! as the latest research by Wake Forest University shows that it reduces high blood pressure quite fast and increases blood flow to the brain due to its nitrates. In addition, it helps cleanse the liver and the gut, whilst being considered a brain food. One beetroot per day (fresh or cook) is the recommended dose.
Blueberries. They have been called “Brainberries” by Steven Pratt the author of Superfoods RX: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life. Pratt mentioned how research shows that blueberries help protect the brain against oxidative stress and may help with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Some other studies have supported how diets rich in blueberries can keep young the mind, as they had a noticeable improvement with the learning capacity and motor skills ageing rats. One cup a day is the recommended dose.
Wild salmon. The content of omega-3 essential fatty acids is very high, which is fundamental for the function of the brain and to reduce inflammation in the body, making wild salmon and other blue oily fish a must (such as sardines, fresh tuna, anchovies or herrings). 150 grams, 3 servings per week is the recommended dose.
Nuts and seeds. They are excellent source of vitamin E and research shows that high levels of it in the body correlate with less brain decline. Walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds sunflower seeds, sesame seeds or flax seeds in a natural form (none fried roasted as this can make the seeds/nuts to hydrogenate their natural oils and become toxic) and ideally not more than 30 grams per day, which is equivalent to a very small handful a day.
Leaving the best moment for last. The grand finally! Dark chocolate. It has great antioxidants and helps producing endorphins which keep us in a good mood. In addition, it contains a few natural stimulants such as caffeine, which aids concentration and mental alertness at the right dosages (in excess it can do the opposite!!). 30 grams a day will produce all the benefits needed. A note with dark chocolate, children under the age of 18 should avoid or moderate taking chocolate due to the caffeine content which is addictive.
For any other support regarding how to integrate or support your brain through food, a good naturopath specialised in nutrition should be able to help you. Enjoy your brain food!
Sources for this article:
- Magazine “Shape” www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/11-best-foods-your-brain
- BBC news
- Steven Pratt, the author of Superfoods RX: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life