January 23, 2017

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.

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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

If I Only Had A Brain

 Proven Formula To Keep Your Brain and Life in Tiptop Condition

by Michael Tyrrell

As a child, the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayor epic film, The Wizard Of Oz fascinated me. You remember the Cowardly Lion, The Tin Woodsman, and the lovable Scarecrow? Each of these characters needed a miracle from the Wizard. The lion needed courage. The tin man needed a heart. And the Scarecrow… the poor fellow…why, he needed a brain.

For the Scarecrow the term, “brain health” was an oxymoron. Here are the lyrics to the song the Scarecrow sang to Dorothy:

“I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers

Consultin’ with the rain.

And my head I’d be scratchin’ while

My thoughts were busy hatchin’

If I only had a brain.

I’d unravel every riddle for any individ’le,

In trouble or in pain.

With the thoughts I’d be thinkin’

I could be another Lincoln

If I only had a brain.

Oh, I could tell you why the ocean’s near the shore.

I could think of things I never thunk before.

And then I’d sit, and think some more.

I would not be just a nuffin’ my head all full of stuffin’

My heart all full of pain.

I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry,

If I only had a brain.”

Obviously, the Scarecrow had a brain, but he felt insecure in using it. It would literally be impossible for him to live without a brain let alone, sing, dance and carry on a conversation with his friends. Perhaps what the Scarecrow felt is what 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 18, feel every year who suffer with mental illness.[1]

Think about it… about 43.7 million American adults, or over 18% of the total adult population in the U.S., are suffering from mental illness. And to add insult to injury, this statistic only includes those enduring conditions such as depression, bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, OCD, and autism.

When you add neurological diseases such as, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis the statistics are staggering!!! This doesn’t even take brain conditions like PTSD and TBIs (traumatic brain injuries) into account!

Like the Scarecrow, all of these precious people just want a healthy brain.

Brain Damage from Your Medicine Cabinet

Drugs will also wreak havoc on your brain. While it is obvious that street drugs are dangerous, you may be surprised to see the devastating effects that prescription drugs and over-the-counter (OTC) medications have on brain health.

Here is some scary research that made me throw out a couple of items in my medicine cabinet! According to a recent Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine study, certain medications both prescribed and OTC, can increase a person’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.[2]

The study, conducted at the University of Seattle in Washington, looked at common drugs that have an anticholinergic effect on the brain. This means they interfere with the ability of a crucial brain chemical called acetylcholine (ACh) to attach to nerve cells. Without ACh doing its job transmitting messages between brain cells, you would become drowsy, forgetful and confused.

anticholinergic medicines that cause dementia 2People with Alzheimer’s often lack adequate levels of acetylcholine. Click to Tweet.

Some of the medicines that have anticholinergic activity and can increase the possibility of developing dementia are:

  • Tricyclic antidepressants, such as doxepin
  • Antihistamines like Benadryl (diphen-hydramine)
  • Advil PM
  • Detrol (tolterodine), which treats overactive bladder

The data was based on 3,434 participants over the age of 64 that did not suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. After seven years of follow-up, researchers found that 797 participants who had taken the anticholineric drugs developed dementia. Of those that developed dementia, 637 participants (18.5%) eventually developed Alzheimer’s disease.

For a more complete list of which drugs have anticholinergic effects, please visit here. Do you have any of these drugs in your medicine cabinet? If so, you may want to do what I did….throw them in the garbage.

Do you remember the anti-drug ad campaign from the late 1980s that equated eggs being fried with frying one’s brain on drugs?[3] “This is your brain. This is drugs. This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” Turns out they were right.

Unfortunately, as you can see, a large percentage of brain damage results from drug use. This is true not only of illegal drugs, but also of prescription and OTC medication. The truth is we need to know the long term effects of what we put in our bodies. I am preaching to myself as well!

Help Your Brain by Staying Hydrated

In fact, let me tell about a recent incident in my life. What I did demonstrates that just because we “know” a lot about health and wellness, supplements, proper diet and exercise does not mean we always do everything by the book.

For a few months I have been feeling “off.” Because I wasn’t sleeping well, I started taking Advil PM to help me sleep at night. I also started taking pseudephedrine for my allergies, every night. But when I coupled those medications with a crazy schedule, working long hard hours, and training to become a certified diver, it all became a recipe for disaster!

Staying hydrated in Florida (especially in the summer heat) is one of the most important factors for staying healthy. Well, I made a critical error on my second day of scuba diving certification. I forgot to hydrate before my beach dive!

Even though you are in water when diving, the ocean’s salt and the oxygen tank’s dry air dehydrate you. So if you forget to drink water before you dive, you could have a problem. Immediately after my morning dive I felt fine, but by the middle of the night I was on my way to the emergency room!

You see, I created the perfect storm.

  • For months I was burning the candle at both ends.
  • I was using OTC medications on a regular basis.
  • I failed to properly hydrate, especially before going outside to dive and exercise.

Boom! I put my health at risk with overexertion and the results were adrenal exhaustion and electrolyte imbalance.

Electrolytes are minerals in your blood and other body fluids that carry an electrical charge. Nerve function depends on the processes that electrolytes regulate and maintain. Without these electric transmissions, the brain could not stay in control of the body’s many functions … and I learned this the hard way.

The presence of stress in your life can cause your body to develop an electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes are part of the most basic of life functions, including nervous system control. Too much or too little of certain electrolytes can cause anxiety leading to a panic attack. I never knew what a panic attack was until I was on my way to the ER. Let me tell you, I don’t ever want to have another one!

When you crash and burn, don’t waste time looking for a culprit. Just look in the mirror, forgive yourself, and do what you know you need to do to get well.

My first choice to remedy the panic attacks was obviously to listen to Wholetones:

  • 396HZ (Open Door) is very relaxing and releases anxiety, guilt and fear
  • 741HZ (Great Awakening) brings the awareness of God for deep spiritual and emotional healing

To rehydrate I chose Electrolyte Stamina Power Paks, Everlast Hydrate Elite performance drink and coconut water. For adrenal support I took Cytozyme-AD and got lots of rest.

A New Mind

If you don’t take care of your brain, it can’t take care of you! Like the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, I had a brain… I just didn’t use it. And that is the problem with a lot of us…we know what to do but often, for one reason or another, we don’t.

The apostle Paul says something quite similar in Romans 7:19, “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”

Imagine for a moment having two hard drives on the desktop of your computer. One is filled with good, the other, evil. And since you own the computer, you can choose which one you want to access.

A follower of Christ actually has this ability to choose. We have the ability to think either with human reasoning, or with the mind of Christ! Click to Tweet.

“For, who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach Him? But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 2:16

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” Philippians 4:8

As you can plainly see, it’s up to you to decide what thoughts manifest in that wonderful brain of yours. Remember, as a man thinks, so he is! (Proverbs 23:7)

In writing an article about brain health, I would be remiss in my duty not to mention the Creator of our amazing brains…God Almighty. And since He created the brain, He knows what it takes to keep it healthy. You can eat right, exercise, take all the right supplements and still have an unhealthy brain. Stinking thinking can cripple the healthiest brain.

Here is a proven formula that will keep your brain and your life in tiptop condition. Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern (schematic) of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is…His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Without God’s mind all you have at your disposal is your human reasoning. How far do you think that will take you? Click to Tweet.

Remember, if you ask Jesus into your life…you now have His mind. That’s right…you have two hard drives to choose from! Here’s a hint: use God’s; it’s perfectly healthy.

Your whole life could change for the better right now…if you only had a brain! For me, giving my life to Jesus to run was a “no brainer!”

I urge you to give your life to Jesus Christ and let Him begin transforming your mind to become more like His.

Think about it.

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Michael TyrrellMichael Tyrrell, www.michaeltyrrell.com is the founder of the Network Center Inc., a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2001 which works as an advisory agency to local churches, faith-based ministries, Para-church ministries, schools, home fellowships and music ministries in connection with their outreach ministries or missions based activities.  Michael has been committed to training their key leaders and members to deliver the message of their Christian faith in order to reach the lost, the disenfranchised, the sick and the hurting through the organic roots of the Christian faith and other areas as needs arise.  Michael has been in full-time ministry for the last 27 years and is a writer music producer and well-known musician.

 

 

Sources:
[1] http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders
[2] http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2091745
[3] Script for PSA by Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1987

Adopting A Smart Brain Diet

According to current research, a smart brain diet is one that reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. This diet is designed to encourage good blood flow to the brain and is low in fat and cholesterol. Like the rest of your body, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients to function and perform properly, as well as to continue to function as we age. A smart brain diet is most effective when combined with continued physical and mental activity, and deep social interactions.

The brain is an extremely complex organ. It works non-stop and does an infinite amount of tasks. Even while we sleep your brain is working; we must feed it the right nutrients to help us concentrate, stay motivated, improve our memory and prevent mental deterioration.

Manage your body weight for good overall brain and body health

A long-term study of adults found that those who were obese in middle age were twice as likely to develop dementia in later life. Those who also had high cholesterol and high blood pressure had six times the risk of dementia. Adopt an overall food lifestyle, rather than a short-term diet and eat in moderation. A larger lunch is better than a big dinner.

Things to remember for keeping a healthy weight:

  • Eating a heavy meal before going to bed can disrupt your sleep, but a lighter meal will help you get more rest at night.
  • Eat in moderation
  • Adopt a long term healthy eating lifestyle

Reduce Your Intake of Foods High in Fat and Cholesterol

Studies have shown that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol clogs the arteries and is associated with higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease. However, HDL (or “good”) cholesterol may help protect brain cells. Be sure to add protein to help you sustain a good energy level. Protein breaks down in the digestive system into amino acids and research has shown that some types of amino acids can improve alertness and mental agility.

Things to remember for heating low fat:

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