January 23, 2017

How to Overcome Multiple Sclerosis with Nutrition

A Diet to Fight MS

by Amanda Box, N.D.

Multiple sclerosis is a thief. It slowly steals a person’s mobility, eyesight and ability to think clearly. It is an unrelenting disease that is progressive and deemed incurable. This devastating disease is diagnosed in thousands of Americans each year. These victims are often left with minimal options for help and little hope for recovery.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a chronic autoimmune disease that occurs twice as often in women as in men. It is also more common among Caucasians than any other ethnic group. MS slowly deteriorates the protective myelin sheath that surrounds the nerves in our brain and spinal column. This leads to:

Once diagnosed, MS may steadily worsen. Or, acute attacks may occur followed by remission of MS symptoms. The protective myelin is damaged in multiple sclerosis due to its autoimmune destruction. The specific cause of MS is not known, but exposure to and accumulation of heavy metals and other toxic compounds can induce MS.

The good news is that there is hope for those diagnosed with MS! Dietary changes and proper nutrition can dramatically improve MS symptoms. In some cases, MS symptoms can be eliminated completely! The body has the innate capacity to heal itself when given what it needs.

When addressing MS, it is also important to stop habits that disrupt and damage the immune system. Don’t forget that your body is made from natural materials and incorporates a system that needs natural products such as food to constantly build and heal.

Many of our modern day foods contain artificial ingredients that aren’t safe for human consumption. Some of these ingredients alter the normal activity of your nervous system, resulting in disease. So, it is important to understand the dangers and side effects of these artificial additives.

The Dark Side of Diet Soda

Many people with good intentions forego sugar-laden sodas and desserts in favor of their sugar-free counterparts. However, artificial sweeteners have a dark side. Aspartame in particular, the primary sweetener used in diet soda, has a distinct connection to MS.[1][2]

ASPARTAME in diet soda kills brain cells and lead to MS v2Aspartame is composed of aspartic acid and phenylalanine. Aspartic acid raises the levels of both aspartate and glutamate in the blood. Once these compounds reach the brain, they can cause an influx of calcium into the brains cells. This influx excites the cells to the point of their death! This is why aspartate and glutamate are often referred to as excitotoxins. If you suffer from MS, these excitotoxins can freely enter the site of injury, magnifying the damage produced from MS.

Aspartame can also rapidly break down into methanol, which can easily crosses the blood-brain barrier. Once methanol reaches the brain, it converts to formaldehyde and begins to break down the protective myelin sheath that surrounds our brain cells. This demyelination can lead to MS symptoms and other diseases such as:

Several other processed foods are also high in methanol and should be avoided. Some of the most common include:

  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Smoked foods
  • Overly ripe fruits and vegetables
  • Tomato sauce

Always read labels and be on the look out for aspartame and other artificial ingredients. These chemical additives cannot only cause symptoms of MS, but other diseases and chronic health problems as well. The damage caused by chemical preservatives and sweeteners can be catastrophic to the human body. These man made ingredients trigger a chain reaction of unnatural responses in the body, which ultimately lead to disease. MS is one of many diseases that can result from putting unnatural substances into our natural bodies! None of us would think of drinking formaldehyde, wood alcohol or other toxic substances. And yet, when we consume diet sodas or other processed foods that contain toxic chemicals, it’s like drinking poison!

MS and Leaky Gut Syndrome

Though rarely talked about, there is an intimate connection between the intestinal tract and autoimmune disease. A disorder called Leaky Gut Syndrome can play a role in the occurrence of MS.

Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal tract becomes permeable due to inflammatory damage and destruction from the overgrowth of microbes and yeast. This permeability allows toxins and microbes that your body would normally eliminate, leak from the intestinal tract into the bloodstream! Once these toxic substances begin to circulate in your system, inflammation can occur in other areas of the body. This can lead to autoimmune reactions, like MS, where the body attacks itself. This self attack mode is set off by the presence of toxins that would not be present if the intestinal tract was not leaking.

A recent study found a connection with leaky gut syndrome and MS.[3] The study found that mice infected with an MS-like disease not only had leaky gut, but had intestinal inflammation before they even showed symptoms of MS! Dr. Terry Wahls, former MS victim and author of the Wahls Protocol stated, “More studies are finding that increased intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’ has a role in the development of multiple sclerosis and other autoimmune disorders.”

The good news is you can prevent leaky gut, as well as cure it! Following specific dietary recommendations can heal the digestive tract, and halt inflammation system-wide! This can actually resolve MS symptoms and help those with MS regain a normal, active life!

A Diet to Fight MS

Dr. Terry Wahls was diagnosed with MS in 2000. A medical doctor herself, she sought out the best care and took the latest and most effective drugs on the market. However, her attempts at managing her disease failed and her MS worsened in 2003. She then completed the recommended chemotherapy, but became bound to a wheelchair. Soon after chemotherapy, she became bedridden.

nutrients protect from multiple sclerosisThis is when Dr. Wahl began to take her health into her own hands. She started researching nutrients that would feed her brain and halt the progression of her disease. She noted that in MS there was shrinkage of the brain due to poorly functioning mitochondria. Mitochondria are our cell’s energy source. They need specific nutrients to function at optimal capacity. Through her research, Dr. Wahl identified 3 specific nutrients that are essential for mitochondrial function:

  • Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
  • Creatine
  • Coenzyme Q10

She then began to research the proper nutrients needed to prevent damage to the myelin sheath, the primary cause of MS. She discovered the following were important in the maintenance and proper function of myelin:

  • B1
  • B9
  • B12
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (from fish)
  • Iodine
  • Antioxidants

Dr. Wahl also went on to discover the nutrients essential for neurotransmitter functioning. Our neurotransmitters are chemical messengers, which send information between nerve cells. The two most important nutrients for our neurotransmitters are:

  • Sulfur
  • B6

Much of the typical American diet is totally lacking in nutrition. Instead of consuming nutrient dense food, most op for processed and fast foods that are void of nutrients, but rich in artificial based preservatives and additives. It’s really no wonder that our health is declining and obesity rates are skyrocketing.

Dr. Wahls recommends following a paleo style diet that is high in essential nutrition for mitochondria and myelin sheath function. This diet includes:

  • Unlimited green vegetables – these are high in B vitamins and minerals
  • Onions and garlic – rich in sulfur
  • Fatty fish – contains omega 3 fatty acids
  • Grass-fed meat – rich in creatine and healthy protein
  • Organ meat (liver, heart, etc.) – a source of CoQ10 and protein
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables – contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Seaweed – a source of essential iodine

The Wahls protocol also recommends avoiding:

  • Starchy vegetables (corn and potatoes)
  • Grains (gluten in particular)
  • Dairy
  • All processed foods

Once Dr. Wahls began to follow this dietary protocol, her MS symptoms began to improve. Within a matter of months, she went from being bedridden to walking again! She is now symptom free and travels the globe spreading the good news of how proper diet can reverse MS!

Interestingly, this diet not only feeds the brain, but heals the gut as well! The principles outlined in the GAPS protocol, which is a diet designed to heal leaky gut syndrome, are nearly identical to the foods recommended in the Wahls protocol! A diet that addresses leaky gut syndrome is a powerful ally in the fight against any autoimmune disease.

Following these dietary recommendations allows you to heal the brain, but also heal your inflamed leaky gastrointestinal tract, the possible source of MS!! This will help end the source of inflammation and put an end to autoimmune reactions throughout the body.

In addition to the Wahls protocol diet, I recommend adding a powerful, multi-strain probiotic such as Renew Life’s Ultimate Flora. Supplementing with a probiotic helps balance the intestinal tract by boosting beneficial bacteria and crowding out damaging microbes.

A great rule of thumb when boosting nutrition is to add a lot of color to your daily meals. Colorful fruits and vegetables are full of antioxidants which are essential in the health and integrity of our nerve cells. The following recipe incorporates the Wahls protocol by including grass-fed protein, green vegetables, sulfur rich onions and other colorful veggies. This recipe is so tasty you won’t even notice that it is grain free![4]

Tex Mex Paleo Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • tex mex paleo stir fry1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 oz white or baby portabella mushrooms, diced
  • 2 limes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper (optional for extra heat and flavor)
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 cups baby kale, chopped
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
  • 12 grape tomatoes, diced

Instructions:

  1. Brown ground beef with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Next, sauté peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic in coconut oil.
  3. Once these veggies are browned, add salt, pepper, garlic powder, cumin and paprika.
  4. Place chopped spinach, kale and half the cilantro in a food processor with grape tomatoes and carefully process by pulsing on and off and stirring if necessary until finely chopped.
  5. Stir browned beef into the pepper mixture, and then stir in the greens and tomatoes until greens are slightly wilted.
  6. Add the juice of two limes freshly squeezed and add sea salt to taste. Garnish with the second half of the cilantro, finely chopped.

Green smoothies have become all the rage, and rightly so! What an easy and convenient way to condense lots of nutrition into a single easy-to-consume drink! The problem that most people run into, however, is making a green smoothie that tastes good. Many times people will try and hide the “grassy” taste of a green smoothie with high sugar fruit juices. The added sugar in fruit juices defeats the purpose and increases your risk of diabetes and weight gain.

This smoothie recipe not only incorporates healthy greens and vitamin rich fruits, but also has the addition of lemon flavored fish oil. Don’t worry…this oil doesn’t taste fishy! Rather, it gives the smoothie a slight lemony kick that is also packed with brain boosting omega 3 fatty acids!

Omega 3 Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • omega 3 green smoothie 1 1/2 cups coconut water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp Carlson’s or Nordic Naturals lemon flavored fish oil
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1/2 apple (roughly chopped, seeds and core removed) OR 1 pear (roughly chopped, seeds removed)
  • 1/2 orange (peeled, roughly chopped)
  • 3 stalks of celery (roughly chopped)
  • 4 large kale leaves (ribs removed)
  • 6 romaine lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Serve over ice.

Those of you who are battling MS, you don’t need to lose hope! This is a battle you can win with the proper dietary choices and nutrition.

  1. Begin by eliminating artificial additives and sweeteners, including diet soda.
  2. Then fill your diet with nutrient dense foods that nourish your brain cells and help to prevent any further deterioration.
  3. Also, add probiotics to your daily regimen to help promote a healthy gut and quell system wide inflammation.

A healthy, rejuvenated life free of MS symptoms can be your future! Give your body what it needs and watch your life transform!

If you like this article, then you’ll love these:

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.truthinlabeling.org/Blaylock-AspartameAndMultipleSclerosis-Neurosurgeon’sWarning.html
[2] http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/11/11/aspartame-dangers.aspx
[3] http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0106335
[4] Recipe adapted from http://mamadweeb.com

Nutrition for Increasing Brain Function

Foods to fuel your brain, increase your mental performance and sharpen your memory

by Amanda Box

Although each of us is a person made of parts, there is a single part of our body that defines who we are—the brain. It governs our personality, our thought processes and our memories.

The brain is by far the most complex organ within the human body. However, often in our quest to keep our body healthy, we overlook our brain. Typically, our focus concerning health centers on preventing things like heart disease, cancer and diabetes. When it comes to diet, most of our healthy choices have to do with the cardiovascular and digestive systems. The reality is we are ignoring the very part of our body that makes us who we are!

Giving our brain the nourishment it needs should really be our foremost concern. This will preserve our memory, give us the focus we need for daily tasks and keep us in good spirits. Even as we age, having a strong, energetic brain is possible with the proper nutrition!

The brain is a unique organ in that it does not have the ability to store nutrients. This makes it imperative that your daily diet contains the proper nutrition that the brain needs. The brain requires a constant stream of oxygen and nutrients from the blood. What you eat throughout the day directly affects the health of your brain and its ability to function at maximum capacity.

Basing your diet around your brain’s needs can improve your:

  • Memory
  • Focus and concentration
  • Alertness
  • Mood

Just think, the food you’re eating could be contributing to that foggy feeling, depression, or anxiety that you battle. Furthermore, what you eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner can directly act on your brain’s capacity to remember.

You have the power to change the way you think, simply by changing your diet!

Eating the right foods can provide anti-aging effects inside your brain keeping you alert, focused and mentally invigorated long past retirement!

Macro and Micro Nutrition

high blood sugar leads to brain shrinkage and memory lossA healthy, optimal functioning brain needs nutrition from both macro and micro sources. Macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Micronutrients are much smaller molecules like vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Though most foods contain some sort of macro and micro nutrition, only a specific combination of these two forms can create the perfect combination for brain health.

The Macronutrients of Brain Function

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are important for providing a steady stream of glucose to the brain. Glucose literally acts as a source of fuel by powering the brain and keeping brain cells alive. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. It is only complex carbs like those found in whole grains and vegetables that keep your blood glucose levels stable. They provide a constant flow of glucose to keep the brain alert and functioning at maximum capacity.

However, simple carbohydrates like those found in refined grains and white sugar can lead to spikes in blood glucose. Over time, the brain can actually become damaged from chronically high glucose levels. Studies have shown that those with diabetes and unstable blood sugar are at risk for developing cognitive impairment and dementia![1] Another study found that high blood sugar led to brain shrinkage that resulted in loss of memory![2] Maintaining normal blood sugar levels is extremely important in preserving the brain’s functions and memory.

Interestingly there’s little evidence that consuming a lot of carbohydrates is necessary for fueling the brain. The brain can also run on ketone bodies, which are an alternative fuel when glucose is not available. However, you still must provide the brain with healthy fat in order to have ketones available.

Limit your carbohydrates to those found in whole grains, vegetables and fruits. Following the Barton Publishing Food Plate provides a great visual for how much of the diet should include carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The Barton Publishing Food Plate offers a great improvement over the outdated and unhealthy US Food Pyramid.

Proteins

Proteins are important in the diet because they are the building blocks of amino acids. Amino acids from proteins are used to make neurotransmitters, which allow your brain to network and communicate.

A common neurotransmitter is serotonin, which is helpful for sleep patterns, blood pressure and a calm mood.

Eating protein also increases the levels of the amino acid tyrosine in the body. Tyrosine converts into dopamine and norepinephrine, which contribute to alertness and promote mental energy.

Barton Publishing Food PlateIt is estimated that 86% of Americans have suboptimal levels of neurotransmitters.[3] Eating adequate levels of protein increases neurotransmitters and therefore increases brain activity.

Great sources of protein include:

  • Free range eggs
  • Grass fed beef
  • Free range chicken
  • Unsweetened organic yogurt or kefir
  • Quality whey, rice, or hemp protein powder

Most people require about 40-60 grams of protein a day according to their weight. Remember, although plant protein found in beans and nuts is beneficial, it is missing important amino acids. Vegetarian proteins are not complete proteins. Incorporate plenty of animal sourced complete proteins into your diet in order to maintain the levels of amino acids needed for the brain’s neurotransmitters.

As always, it’s a matter of balance. Eat foods that provide the full spectrum of amino acids your brain needs for an appropriate harmony of energizing and calming neurotransmitters. Pay attention to what you eat and how you feel afterward. Learn what works best for you according to your daily activities and need for rest.

Fat

Fat is the most important macronutrient needed by the brain. The human brain is composed of around 60% fat, making dietary fat incredibly important for brain health! The low fat diet trend in recent years has starved the brain of necessary fat and cholesterol. Instead, low fat diets promoted carbohydrates, which raised blood sugar causing both damage and atrophy of the brain.

Mayo Clinic research found that individuals who ate high carbohydrate diets had a remarkable 89% increased risk for developing dementia! Conversely, those whose diets contained the most fat had an incredible 44% reduction in risk for developing dementia.[4]

Two forms of fat are necessary for the brain:

  1. Saturated fat
  2. Cholesterol

I understand that promoting these two forms of fat in the diet probably goes against everything you’ve been taught about a healthy diet. However, facts are facts.

The brain uses saturated fats as the building blocks of its cells. Click to Tweet.

Just think about it. What is human breast milk primarily comprised of? Saturated fat! An infant requires this high fat content to meet the needs of its brain growth and development. This form of fat is not enemy #1, rather the form of fat that nature provides to promote growth of the human brain!

Cholesterol is essential for the brain as well. Often demonized as the culprit behind heart disease and even strokes, cholesterol actually protects the brain! The brain contains 25% of the body’s total cholesterol.

Therefore, it is no surprise that cholesterol-lowering medications now warn against memory decline. Click to Tweet.

Interestingly, those with the highest levels of cholesterol may have the lowest risk of dementia.[5] Remember, cholesterol isn’t the bad guy! It actually keeps your brain healthy and young.

When incorporating fat into your diet, always stay clear of trans-fats and hydrogenated oils. These are not natural forms of saturated fats and can cause damage and inflammation throughout the body. Margarine, shortening, and many fried and fast foods contain this dangerous fat.

healthy fats to enhance mental performance and preserve memoryDon’t be afraid any longer to add healthy sources of saturated fat into your diet!

Build your brain with fat! Click to Tweet.

Some of the best saturated fats to include in your diet are:

  • Extra virgin coconut oil
  • Grass fed beef
  • Free range eggs
  • Pasture butter (Kerry Gold is a great brand)

Putting these brain-boosting fats onto your plate and into your body will enhance brain function, increase mental performance and preserve memory.

Specialized Micronutrients for Brain Power

There are 3 very important micronutrients that provide the brain with specialized nutrition:

  • B vitamins
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega 3 DHA (technically, a fatty acid)

Each one of these specific nutrients has an important job in the brain by impacting the way we think, feel and remember.

B Vitamins

B vitamins are often referred to as the “anti-stress vitamins” because of their ability to increase our tolerance for stress. This group of vitamins also helps lift our mood and provides mental energy for the brain.

However, that’s not all! A recent study revealed that B vitamins slow brain shrinkage that can occur with age. Furthermore, these vitamins specifically slowed shrinkage in brain regions known to be most impacted by Alzheimer’s disease![6]

The B vitamins are your brain’s vitamins! Click to Tweet.

Vitamin B12, in particular, is of greatest concern because deficiencies in this important vitamin are associated with dementia, memory loss, depression and even schizophrenia. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include: fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea or constipation, problems concentrating and pale skin.

As we age, we often lose the ability to absorb B12 properly, so blood testing is important in maintaining proper levels. B12 shots may be needed to boost this crucial vitamin.

Vitamin B12 is solely found in animal products like meat, fish, dairy, and eggs. So it may be necessary for strict vegetarians and vegans to supplement B12, since it can be difficult for them to get enough of the vitamin.

Folic acid is another important B vitamin for the health of your brain. Folic acid is imperative for the nervous system at every age. However, folic acid deficiency contributes to aging brain processes, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia especially among the elderly.

folic acid food sourcesFolic acid is found in:

  • Leafy greens
  • Oranges
  • Oatmeal
  • Asparagus
  • Many varieties of beans

Keeping healthy levels of all of the B vitamins is extremely important for brain health. If you have any concerns about your B vitamin levels, it is a good idea to get them checked.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D, though not found naturally in many foods, is another important vitamin for the brain. Low levels of vitamin D can cause confusion, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating. Many tissues in the brain contain vitamin D receptors, which when activated by vitamin D, encourage nerve cell growth. Some researchers believe that vitamin D also helps repair damaged neurons in the brain![7]

Increasing your vitamin D is done easily by exposing yourself to sunshine for just 20-30 minutes a day. However, supplementation is also helpful if your vitamin D levels are extremely low. Taking 35 IU per pound of body weight is a great daily dose to keep your blood levels within a healthy range. Free-range eggs are also a great source of dietary vitamin D.

Protect your brain against cognitive deficits with vitamin D.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids, specifically DHA, are the building blocks of the brain. Brain cells, otherwise called neurons, transmit messages throughout the brain and to other parts of the body. The membrane around these neurons is made up of fat, 60% of which is DHA.

In order for the neurons to communicate properly, these membranes need to be flexible. If these membranes become stiff, molecules cannot pass through the neurons correctly and can result in mood imbalances, difficulty learning, and impaired recall. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can restore the flexible nature of the neuron cell membranes. This results in increased cell communication, memory and brain function!

Omegas also seem to ward off the cognitive decline that often comes with age. Omega-3 fatty acids with DHA are found in fatty fish such as:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Herring

Consuming a diet that promotes a healthy, focused and energized brain takes a diet that is balanced in both micro and macro nutrition. The Barton Publishing Brain Health Solution Kit contains a list of the top 20 memory boosting foods. This makes a great reference and shopping guide for those of you just beginning your journey towards a healthy, balanced diet.

Below are two recipes that incorporate foods that are low in carbohydrates, rich in healthy fats and brimming with vitamins and minerals. These foods will fuel your brain, increase your mental performance and sharpen your memory.

Start out your day right with a Brain Boosting Smoothie! This easy-to-make meal is great for breakfast or a quick on-the-go snack. It contains healthy fats, protein, vitamins and minerals, which nourish your brain cells and provide the mental energy it needs to focus.

Brain Boosting Smoothie

brain boosting smoothieIngredients

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder (no sugar or artificial sweeteners added)
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1 banana (optional)
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup ice
  • Flavor of choice: 1 TBSP organic cocoa powder, ½ cup strawberries, 1 tsp cinnamon, etc.)

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

This recipe can be adapted to fit your preferences.[8] You can use cold brewed coffee, tea, almond milk, or coconut water as the base and add other fruits or flavors.

Note on Egg Yolks: Many people feel uncomfortable using raw egg in any form. I believe you must trust the source of your eggs. However, do your own research before consuming any food raw!

This next recipe contains omega 3 rich salmon along with quinoa, a protein-rich grain. This healthy dinner provides you with the healthy fats, protein and vitamins to boost brainpower.

Salmon Kabobs with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad

Salad Ingredients:

  • Salmon Kabobs with Quinoa and Grapefruit Salad1 medium grapefruit
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 small serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 2 scallions minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Fish:

  • 1 1/2 pound skinless, center-cut salmon, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Wooden skewers, soaked

Directions

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a bowl and drain. Put the quinoa in a small saucepan with the water and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Cool.
  2. Segment the grapefruit over a bowl, reserving the segments and juice separately. Whisk 3 tablespoons of the grapefruit juice with the vinegar, honey, ginger and salt to taste in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in 3 tablespoons the olive oil, starting with a few drops and then adding the rest in a stream to make a slightly thick dressing. Season with pepper to taste.
  3. Toss quinoa with the dressing, chiles, scallions, and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Preheat a stovetop or outdoor grill to high heat. Thread the salmon cubes onto the skewers. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon grapefruit oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the skewers, turning as each side browns, while keeping the salmon moist, about 3 minutes.
  5. Toss the grapefruit segment into the salad, divide among 4 plates, and top with the salmon kebobs. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Are you looking to improve your brain function, preserve your memory and increase your focus and concentration? Begin by changing your diet! Your brain will respond to the macro and micro nutrients you feed it.

Incorporate healthy fats, protein, omega 3s, B vitamins and vitamin D into your daily life and feel your mind transform. If it is truly our brain that makes us who we are, then in fact we truly are what we eat.

If you liked this article, then you’ll love these:

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area. Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.neurology.org/content/63/4/E9.full
[2] http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-discussions/general/16604-blood-sugar-and-brain-damage
[3] https://www.neurogistics.com/TheScience/WhatareNeurotransmi09CE.asp
[4] http://advances.nutrition.org/content/4/3/294.abstract
[5] http://www.neurology.org/content/64/10/1689.abstract
[6] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23690582
[7] https://beta.mssociety.ca/research-news/article/cell-based-study-reveals-that-vitamin-d-can-drive-the-activity-of-neural-stem-cells-that-promote-myelin-repair
[8] Recipe adapted from Wellnessmama.com

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