Eating for Brain Health - Memory Ball
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Eating for Brain Health

Eating for Brain Health

Written by: Sarah Ohm

06 10 2013 Brain Health berriesWhen it comes to health, not so often does “brain health” come to mind first. Most people focus on eating to lose weight, or eating to gain muscle mass… but what about eating for brain health? Do you know that certain nutrients in food can help improve memory, or improve the area of the brain that processes feelings and emotions? How about eating foods that will decrease the chances of developing any form of dementia?

I want to take you through 10 of the best foods that you can eat, not only to increase overall health, but to increase your powerhouse.. the brain!

Berries

Berries are full of antioxidants. That means that they help fight free radicals in the body (which sometimes lead to cancer) and it also protects your brain from the oxidative process.

Salmon

Salmon is FULL of healthy fats called Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s have been shown to be crucial in maintaining brain health. 60% of a healthy brain is Omega-3 fats, they help transport the chemicals serotonin and dopamine (they make you happy) to your brain!

Whole Grains

Whole grains provide the body with fibre and vitamin E, which help improve cardiovascular health which helps promote circulation of blood in the brain.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a very powerful antioxidant (the higher the % of cocoa, the better) which contains natural stimulants which helps increase the production of endorphins. The best dark chocolate for health will have less than 10g of sugar per serving.

Walnuts

Like salmon, walnuts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote brain health and happy chemicals in the brain!

Avocados

Avocados are full of monounsaturated fats which help promote good blood flow in the body, which in turn means good blood flow in the brain. The better the blood flow, the healthier the brain! They also help prevent hypertension which has shown to be a risk factor for cognitive abilities and therefore lower blood pressure equals better brain health.

Fresh Brewed Tea

Fresh tea can provide the body with a modest amount of caffeine which (which used appropriately) can help boost brain power and enhance overall memory, focus and mood. Tea is also full of antioxidants which, like berries, help protect the brain from oxidative process.

Beans

Beans help to stabilize blood glucose levels. The brain is dependent on glucose for fuel and since it can’t store its own glucose, it relies on a steady stream of glucose from the body… which beans can help with!

Tomato Juice

This is a personal favourite of mine. Tomato juice contains folate and lycopene which helps keep the arteries in the body young. Always opt for fresh juice instead of canned (the less heavy metals in our brains the better).

Oils

A lot of people are scared of oils due to the high caloric value they have. People who avoid oils though are missing out on heart and brain healthy monounsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-9 fats (if you don’t know why these are helpful, you need to reread this article!).

Not only are these foods great for your brain health, but they are ALL so delicious..I encourage everyone to try and eat at least 1 of these foods per day to help with brain health (and overall health!). The more we can do to help keep our bodies and our minds healthy, the better!
Sarah Ohm writes My Mostly Healthy Life, which focuses on living a healthy, balanced life. She is currently studying holistic nutrition, and she runs and lifts weights to stay fit.
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