Brains! We’ve got them. Zombies want them. Here are a few tips to keep your brain sharp and healthy so you don’t start feeling like you’ve entered zombie mode!
Vitamin D to the Rescue!
In addition to its role as a promoter of bone and oral health, vitamin D serves important functions in brain health. This sunlight vitamin is synthesized in the skin when ultraviolet rays from the sun hit skin cells, and it is thought to protect the brain against cognitive deficits that come with age.
There are vitamin D receptors spread throughout many areas of the brain and the rest of the central nervous system. Vitamin D also influences certain proteins that aid in neuron growth and development, and it takes part in many other important aspects of brain function, like synaptic plasticity, learning, memory, the activity of neurotransmitters, and specific motor processes.
Refrain from Junk Food for a Healthy Brain, Dude!
While it’s crucially important to add good, healthy fats (omega-3s and -6s) to your diet, it’s also important to cut down on the bad fats and other substances that can negatively affect your brain health. Research by Terry Davidson, the director of American University’s Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, shows that diets high in saturated fat and refined sugar impair your ability to learn and significantly reduce information retention. Other research has shown that simply eating too many calories can increase the amount of damaging molecules (like free radicals) that can build up in your brain. When these dangerous little particles become too numerous for your brain to remove, they can lead to problems in cognitive function.
You need to avoid eating foods high in refined, nutrient-stripped carbs and sugars. Complex carbs from whole grains and fresh fruit will help keep your glucose levels steady and fuel your brain throughout the day without the all-too-familiar crash that comes with processed grains found in white bread, cakes, candies, and cookies.
Hurry for the Curry
Curry powder usually contains turmeric, a golden-colored root that contains the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant curcumin. Research has shown that curcumin may help inhibit the accumulation of destructive beta amyloids in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients as well as break up existing plaques. Curcumin has even been shown to boost memory and stimulate the production of new brain cells. You can enjoy raw turmeric root or powder in a variety of recipes like smoothies, stir-fries, curries, and nondairy milks.
Turbocharging Your Brainpower!
Add healthy fats like omega-3 and -6s to boost brainpower while cutting the bad fats like saturated and processed trans fatty acids that harm your brain
Eat moderate amounts of complex carbohydrates from whole grains and fruit to keep your glucose levels steady throughout the day
Eat lots of fruits and veggies with vivid colors for a full range of brain-healthy phytochemicals and antioxidants. Blueberries, strawberries, spinach, kale, oranges, sweet potatoes, eggplant, grapes, and raw cacao are examples of nutrient-rich foods
Drink coffee, tea, and red wine in moderation for added antioxidants
Take a high-quality natural B12 supplement
Eat healthy, plant-based proteins like tempeh, sprouted tofu, nuts, quinoa, lentils, hemp seeds, or chia seeds. Or take a healthy plant-based protein supplement like Sunwarrior offers with their Warrior Blend.
Talk to a naturopathic medical doctor if you suspect you may be low in a nutrient. He or she can run a comprehensive blood panel test to determine if you have any deficiencies and make suggestions about how to get your levels up in a healthy and sustainable way
The interesting thing about brain foods is that nature sometimes gives you clues to find the most beneficial sources of nutrients. For example, a halved walnut looks incredibly similar to a cross-section image of the human brain. It’s no coincidence that walnuts contain a fantastic amount of brain-nourishing omega-3 fatty acids. Oh, nature, you’re just so clever!
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