Eating well is great for all aspects of your health, both physically, and mentally.
Boosting your brain health is always encouraged as it is the control center for the rest of the body. The old saying, “You are what you eat,” holds some validity to it. Every muscle, cell, tissue, and organ in your body is built from the food you put into it. Our bodies are constantly regenerating so it is never too late to start eating healthy. In fact, the entire body regenerates every 5 years. Every 3 years you will have a new heart, every year a new kidney, every 11 months a new stomach, and new skin is regenerated daily.
Now, I don’t know about you but I’d rather be an avocado than a hotdog! These next 9 ingredients you are going to read about have extraordinary brain health properties to help with your memory, as well as brain function and brain power!
Avocado (A Superfood)
Avocado has made a huge appearance on; menus, cookbooks, superfood lists, and fancy Instagrams over the past decade, and for good reason! The creamy fruit can be used in almost any capacity and in any meal, making it the most adaptable superfood yet. The creamy texture is possible because of its high content in monounsaturated fat, known as oleic acid. This fat is incredibly beneficial to the heart by decreasing inflammation and keeping your bad cholesterol (LDL) low and your good cholesterol (HDL) high. Avocados are also loaded with B Vitamins, which not only help reduce the effects of stress, but also help maintain healthy brain and nerve cells. Another hidden benefit is that the avocado has heaps of potassium (far more than a single serving of a banana) which helps lower blood pressure. What’s more, is that on top of all of these heart and brain health benefits, it also contains Glutathione, a component that helps break down damaging free radicals. The avocado can thus help strengthen your brain and heart from the inside, while combating free radicals coming from the outside, making it a superfood indeed!
Oatmeal is a powerhouse for your colon because it is loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber. The abundant fiber has tremendous gastrointestinal benefits and helps reduce the risk of colon cancer. The fiber also helps with keeping you full for longer periods of time and thus promotes weight loss. Oatmeal also helps the brain absorb more serotonin, which is responsible for mood stability and feelings of calmness, making it a great addition for good mental health.
Spinach is so packed full of different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that it is truly a miracle food for your body! This dark green leafy vegetable is rich in niacin, zinc, protein, fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, copper, and manganese. The list of beneficial components is long but certainly impressive! The high levels of magnesium help regulate cortisol levels, which in turn helps promote feelings of general wellbeing. The flavonoids in the leafy veggie act as antioxidants that help protect the body from damaging free radicals. All of these vitamins and minerals also help maintain healthy brain function, memory, and mental clarity. Spinach is also known for its high levels of iron and is often recommended to help keep your blood healthy and oxygenated. By eating an abundance of spinach you will also be naturally boosting your energy levels, which is always an added bonus!
Blueberries are the most antioxidant rich fruit to exist. Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that gives it that deep blue color you see in the skin. The antioxidant capacity also makes it a great tool to help support the brain with memory retention and overall function. This is possible because these little guys fight free radicals in the brain that can damage brain and nerve cells. They are also good for the heart as eating blueberries can help lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol (HDL). This helps to keep blood flowing in your blood vessels, which means they also help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Salmon / Tuna
These types of fish are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that help combat stress, boost brain function, and keep your blood sugar levels in check. The Vitamins A and D along with Selenium help protect the nervous system from damage related to aging, making salmon and tuna a strong resource for combating memory disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The Omega 3 fatty acids present in fish not only helps boost brain function by providing healthy fat to the neural cells, but it also helps combat stress as it prevents spikes in cortisol and adrenaline during stress. All of these combined help keep your blood sugar levels low as it slows the absorption of sugar into the blood. Overall, both fish are a heart healthy food choice as they keep your arteries strong and your bad cholesterol levels low.
Cauliflower is an excellent detox food and helps keep your digestive tract active and healthy. It is also beneficial in fighting cancer with its anti-inflammatory properties. Cancer is essentially excessive inflammation in the body and so the indole-3-carbinol, I3C, works as an anti-inflammatory compound that operates on the genetic level to prevent the inflammatory responses. Likewise, the sulforaphane in the cauliflower helps kill cancer cells and slow tumor growth. When combined with turmeric, loaded with curcumin and known for its cancer fighting properties, you not only have a delicious dish but also a powerful tool to fight prostate cancer. Cauliflower is also a brain booster as the Choline, and essential B Vitamin, helps not only with your brain connectivity but also brain development in fetuses during pregnancy.
Tart cherries are a delicious addition to many types of meals but are most powerful when consumed as pure juice. These cherries contain one of the most powerful antioxidant to exist, Quercetin, which helps kill free radicals associated with LDLs, the bad cholesterol linked with heart disease. They also contain anthocyanins, another type of antioxidant that helps fight disease, including those of the heart and brain. Tart cherries are also an anti-inflammatory food making them the perfect recovery food for athletes as it reduces inflammation and helps in rapid recovery. By consuming tart cherry juice athletes can help prevent muscle damage, soreness, pain, and protein breakdown in addition to preventing inflammation. Even more impressive is that they provide a natural source of melatonin, which aids in the sleep process, and could possibly add another 90 minutes of sleep to your night!
Tomatoes are such versatile vegetables that also pack a huge punch in fighting cancer and boosting your brain with “feel good” neurotransmitters. Tomatoes are packed with Vitamin C, a powerful tool in boosting your immune system and fighting free radicals. The lycopene present in tomatoes is a phytochemical that also helps prevent disease, most notably prostate cancer. The Vitamin C combined with fiber, potassium, and choline all support heart health. Tomatoes are also abundant in folic acid, which is known for helping brain development in fetuses during pregnancy. Folic acid is great for your brain as well, as it prevents an excess of homocysteine, which can interfere with the “feel good” neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. By having a steady production of these neurotransmitters your brain is able to regulate mood, sleep, and your appetite better.
Asparagus is well known for its diuretic properties thanks to the amino acid Asparagine. As a diuretic it helps your body flush toxins and excess salts, while also keeping your blood pressure in check. Its lesser-known anti-aging qualities are no less impressive though. Asparagus contains Glutathione, which helps break down free radicals. Free radicals are known cancer causing agents, and so with fewer of them available in your body the better. Asparagus also contains Folic Acid, an important B vitamin that helps prevent depression. It is also a brain food, as Vitamin B12 and Folate work together to maintain the structure of your brain cells, thus preventing them from deteriorating.
These ingredients, as well as many others, are all part of Dr. Shane’s new cookbook “Neurological Nutrition”.
You can get the first chapter by visiting our website and subscribing to our newsletter. Don’t forget to print this off, hang it on the refrigerator and start boosting your brain health now! Click below to SHARE this link with your friends and family. Comment below if you want to learn how certain foods can help prevent and heal other types of health conditions and we will write up a specific article just for you!