On a previous post Health Brain Healthy Body I shared 7 tips for maintaining a healthy brain. Having a healthy brain is essential to having a healthy body. Low fat diets and junk food diets do little to feed the brain what it needs to maintain healthy neurological function, memory and emotional well being. Environmental toxins like heavy metals as well as alcohol and drug abuse contribute greatly to loss of brain function and mental health.
This blog post will focus on eating right for your brain. Those of you with issues like anxiety, deppression, brain fog, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, dementia, autism, and addictions cannot ignore the impact of nutrition on the brain. Everyone knows the importance of nutrition when other organs of the body are ailing. But interestingly enough, nutrition for the brain and the ailments of the brain goes all to often ignored. I don't care what other treatments you may be using to deal with your brain issues, you cannot forget to eat foods for a healthy brain!
6 Foods For Healthy Brain
- Raw nuts and seeds: they pack a punch of healthy fats, Omega 3's, minerals and other nutrients. Eat a small handful daily.
- Wild-caught fish are high in Omega 3 fats and DHA which feed the brain. The brain is mostly fat! Most wild caught ocean fish carries lots of selenium which cancels out the negative effects of mercury. Just stay away from the fish that have more mercury than selenium like swordfish and shark.
- Organic, free-range, pastured, grass fed, antibiotic and pesticide free meats, poultry and their organs: are high in Omega 3 fats and protein that nourish your brain as well as iron and Vitamin B12. Iron is crucial to delivering oxygen to the brain, and B12 is critical in maintaining healthy nerve function.
- Eggs from organic pastured hens also feed the brain like the meats do with high Omega 3 fats, choline and healthy proteins. Raw is even better as the protein in eggs are easily denatured when overly heated. Just make sure they are pastured as the probability of bacterial contamination in these eggs is highly unlikely compared to commercially produced eggs.
- 5-9 servings a day of fruits and vegetables (emphasis on the vegetables): is probably the only recommendation in the nutrition world that we all agree on. The phytonutrient, live enzyme and vitamin content of these foods not only feed the brain, but protect the brain from damaging free-radicals with their amazing antioxidant power. The high fiber content of whole fruits and vegetables helps balance the blood sugar of your body. Avoiding the ups and downs in blood sugar is key to nurturing your brain.
- Extra-Virgin-Organic-Olive-Oil (EVOOO): is anti-inflammatory and full of antioxidant phytochemicals that are protective of your brain.
Important keys to maintaining or restoring a healthy brain are to control inflammation in the body, balance the blood sugar and protect the brain from damage by free radicals and other toxins. If you follow the tips above you will be doing your brain good!
I've mentioned Omega 3 fats a lot in this post, and that's for a good reason. These fats are anti-inflammatory in the body. Unfortunately, the American diet is very high in Omega 6 fats (from vegetable oils like corn) which are pro-inflammatory to the body. We need Omega 6 fats, but not in the quantity that we consume them here in the US. So reach for those nuts when you need a snack!