Don’t worry about your brain power after it’s been damaged! Take care of it now to keep your brain going strong.
When it comes to brain health, we often think of the aftermath of an illness or disease rather than the prevention of it. Many people don't see the association between cardiovascular health and strokes when they are, in reality, closely linked. Cardiovascular disease refers to narrowed or blocked blood vessels which lead to reduced blood flow to the brain and can result in a stroke.
Whole foods not only nourish our bodies, but have the power of prevention and healing! When you provide the right building blocks, your body can function optimally and incorporate these nutrients into structure at the cellular level. The foods listed below are great sources for nutrients that support healthy brain and cardiovascular function.
Healthy Fats & Minerals:
Did you know that the brain is nearly two-thirds fat? The fats we put into our body are crucial to brain health, especially essential fatty acids, the building blocks of cognitive function. Giving your body the right trace minerals supports healthy neurotransmitter function and the building of antioxidant enzymes, which protect cell membranes.
Flax, Hemp, and Chia Oil:
The brain is partially comprised of omega-3 fatty acids, which are the building blocks of cognitive function. Flax, chia, and hemp oils are rich sources of omega-3s and should be consumed regularly. Add them to salads, smoothies, and unheated recipes for your dose.
Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil served raw is a great source of unprocessed fats. It's high in oleic acid which is a major component of the protective layer of fat surrounding neurons. Olive oil is great for salad dressings, marinades, and drizzling on greens and whole grains. Do not ever heat olive oil too high! High heat can destroy the oil’s precious properties.
Nuts and Seeds:
Hemp seeds are saturated with healthy fats, which are needed for cognitive function.
These nuts are filled with selenium and potassium which are known to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
Walnuts are a source of omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce inflammation and oxidation in the brain.
Working raw nuts and seeds into your diet in sauces, salads, as a trail mix, or even as a nut butter allows for variety in nutrients and flavor! A serving amounts to 1/4 cup or roughly a handful to reap the health benefits and support cognitive function.