Eat This… Save Your Brain!

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Hi Peeps!!!  I have a great list of foods for you today as we begin the month of June focusing on ULTIMATE BRAIN HEALTH!!!  

On Wed and Fri I am going to outline for you the energy of the brain and how we can use our thinking to really facilitate keeping our brains flexible, adaptable and young.  You really don’t want to miss that!

 

In the meantime, I’ve read the latest studies in the medical literature and compiled a great list of foods for you to eat for maximum brain health.

Let’s commit to eating these types of foods this month and see if we feel more clear-headed, focused and alert by the time July rolls around.

 

Here we go… the list of top food PROVEN to keep you mind as sharp and focused as my beloved camera, pictured above:

1.  Fish

Studies have found that diets high in fish (such as mediterranean diets) are highly protective for your brain.  We are talking:

  • decreased rates of psychosis
  • decreased rates of depression
  • decreased post partum depression
  • decreased risk of suicide

If you are like me and just don’t eat as much fish as you’d like, consider Omega 3 supplementation… Omega 3’s are the main reason researchers believe that diets high in fish are so dang good for our mood and our minds.  Vegetarians may prefer flax seeds or flax seed oil to boost their Omega 3 for the same benefits without using fish based sources.

 

2.  Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, acacia berries and other darkly pigmented fruits and veggies have anthocyanins that slow down cognitive decline (that means a decreased rate of age related brain changes, yay!) and boost our cells ability to clear out old proteins and debris.

 

3.  Low but routine consumption of alcohol.

We are talking equivalent of one glass (or less) of alcohol a day was shown to decrease Alzheimers risk.

I’m thinking one to three glasses a week of your preferred alcoholic beverage is a good thing… I don’t think getting into a daily habit is a great idea because once you go past “low amounts” of alcohol (more then one glass a day) other detrimental effects of alcohol on the brain quickly overtake and obscure these benefits.

But toasting to your health once or twice a week?  Cheers… I’m with you!

 

4.   Coffee.

One to six cups of coffee a day was shown to cut stroke risk in HALF!

And not only that, but coffee was also shown to lower rates of depression in women.

Coffee is high in antioxidants and is anti-inflammatory, so this is the likely mechanism of action on these impressive brain boosting benefits.

I stick with decaf or else I just get addicted and wind up feeling crappily dependant on coffee to wake up.  But the smell, the taste, the health benefits of the coffee bean itself?  What’s not to LOVE!!!!

 

5.  Chocolate.

Yes, my favorite food on earth was shown to not only have the cardiac benefits I blog about here, but also to decrease risk of stroke.

Some studies say the darker the chocolate the better, some say it doesn’t matter.

The best tasting antioxidant I know is my favorite brain food!

 

6.  Unprocessed food.

Most folks these days to recognize that diets high in fruits, veggies, nuts and whole grains are brain boosting, and for a good reason.  Study after study shows that these types of “mediterranean diets” can provide a 30% decreased risk of depression and anxiety.  And unprocessed plant oils like olive oil have been shown to decrease not only stroke risk but Alzheimers risk as well.

Be aware that the key is UNPROCESSED foods… even a small change like being sure one meal a day contains absolutely no processed foods is a fantastic place to start.  Focus on unprocessed fruits and veggies and meats and eggs and if you are lucky enough to get it, raw milk.  Studies have shown that is it the processing of food that takes away it’s nutrition.

For example, studies on unprocessed red meat show the exact same level of brain boosting benefits, including decreased stroke rates and decreased depression and anxiety.  Yes, red meat!  I’d rather eat unprocessed fresh and local red meat that was pasture raised then some ultra processed. highly refined, filled-with-preservatives fluffy piece of white bread any old day.

But of course your diet need not include meat… just an emphasis on unprocessed foods, no matter what your diet preferences are, is the key.

 

Okay, what did I miss?  What are your favorite foods to boost brain health?

Let me know in the comment section below, and meet me back here later this week and all next week as we talk about the energetic componant to brain health, how to help prevent Alzheimers, and more!!!

xoxo, Laura