It’s hard to get through a social conversation anymore without hearing someone talk about brain fog, slowed processing, or just not feeling as “sharp.” Many factors play into the decline of our brain function as well as brain disease, but there is much we can do about it nutritionally. With the rise of processed foods, we as a nation have relied more on processed foods like crackers, breads, and cereals to fill our bellies, but not necessarily nourish our bodies in the way that they need to. When our bodies are left overfed and undernourished, we begin to develop symptoms that come seemingly from nowhere. So often, these foods actually come from a deficiency in the nutrients contained in whole foods. Read a great list below of the foods that are amazing for brain function.
- Wild caught salmon, anchovies, and barramundi are seafood choices that are low in mercury but beautifully high in omega 3’s. Omega 3’s are not only good for heart health, but they are wonderful for the brain. If you don’t like the taste of salmon but want the benefits of the omega 3’s, barramundi is a great alternative and has the highest omega 3 content of any white fish. If you like anchovies, go for it!! Just make sure to buy the kind in a glass jar to avoid the bpa in the canned varieties.
- Avocados are not only high in healthy, brain boosting fat, but they are high in vitamin E which has been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have also shown that the benefits of vitamin E are significantly more beneficial when obtained from whole food sources and not from supplements. Eat it sliced on a salad or with your morning eggs, or make some guacamole for your afternoon veggie dipping snack.
- Saturated fats – Read HERE for a great Heart In Motion article on the benefits of grass fed butter and coconut oil.
- Curry has been shown to decrease inflammation throughout the entire body, but especially in the brain. Studies have shown that the active ingredient, curcumin has been found to help clear artery clogging plaque from the brain. Don’t like curry? Here is a reputable supplement brand for curcumin.
- Pasture raised eggs have a TON of brain benefit with their high content of choline, vitamin A, and omega 3’s. If you are purchasing eggs from a farm, do your research. Farms associated with the Weston A Price method of farming are truly pasture raising their chickens to produce the healthiest eggs. If you are buying eggs from your local farmer’s market, make sure that the chickens are not being supplemented with GMO feed or given antibiotics.
- Grass fed AND GRASS FINISHED beef contains conjugated linoleic acid which is not only cancer fighting, metabolically enhancing, but also helps to stimulate brain balance out stress hormones and increase blood flow to the brain. This is a label that is difficult to trust from a grocery store, so purchasing from a local farm is best. If a label just says grass fed but doesn’t say grass finished, the beef has spent its last 2 years “finishing” on grains which negates almost any health benefits of the grass fed years. Visit eatwild.com to find a farm near you that raises their meat properly for these properties.
- Peppermint, whether ingested or inhaled through diffusion has been shown to improve memory, alertness, and general brain function. Doterra sells a wonderful essential oil that is amazing when diffused and is wonderful in tea or when making a peppermint mocha. It also works great for indigestion and makes a wonderful flavoring for homemade toothpaste.
- Swiss chard is a fantastic source of magnesium, a nutrient essential for brain function. Raw and cooked, this food is a super booster for the brain as well as helps with other conditions of the body that are linked to low magnesium like muscle cramping, headaches, and mood balance challenges.
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- BOOST YOUR BRAIN!! Make sure you are fitting in these brain boosting whole foods. Your brain will function more efficiently because of it! Stay tuned in the weeks to come for additional foods to add to your diet to improve the function of other body systems.