We often eat for a trimmer waistline, or to assist a weakened immune system. But have you ever considered eating foods that promote brain activity? We use our brains in everything we do, so why not feed it the nutrition it deserves? Today I’m going to share with you some foods that you should be including in your diet to promote neural health.
Topping the list of brainfoods is blueberries. “When researchers from the University of Reading in Pennsylvania and Peninsula Medical School in England supplemented rats’ regular diets with blueberries, they noted dramatic changes in the rodents’ cognitive function.
Animals treated with blueberries exhibited an 83 percent improvement on tests of memory within three weeks, and the improvement was maintained for the remainder of the 12-week study” … “It is widely believed that blueberry-derived flavonoids may help improve learning and memory by enhancing communication among brain cells. Some experts speculate that these beneficial compounds may even stimulate the growth of new brain cells.” – Dr. Rallie McAllister
Being the third largest organ in the human body, the brain requires a great deal of energy. To supply it with the energy it requires, we should be adding whole grains to our meals. Whole grains provide a steady stream of glucose which feed the brain long after you’ve taken your last bite. This is most definitly one of the foods that promote Brain activity.
Foods such as quinoa, brown rice, and millet are considered whole grains and are excellent at improving concentration and focus. While whole grains are a great source of glucose, many people have allergies to certain grains. If you fall into this category, don’t worry – a new study has shown that our brains can adapt to life without carbs, replacing glucose with ketones as a fuel source.
Broccoli is high in lignans, a phytoestrogen compound that has been shown to benefit cognitive skills (thinking, reasoning, remembering, imagining, and learning words. A 2005 study by researchers at King’s College London (United Kingdom) revealed that broccoli also is high in glucosinolates, a group of compounds that can halt the decline of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, which is necessary for the central nervous system to perform properly (low levels of acetylcholine are common in those with Alzheimer’s Disease).
If you’re not fond of broccoli, try other glucosinolate-rich foods such as: potatoes, oranges, apples, radishes and other cabbage-family vegetables like Brussels sprouts.
Nuts and Seeds
Vitamin E has long been associated with reducing cognitive decline in aging adults. Nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamin E, and adding even an ounce a day to your diet could keep your mind sharp for years to come. Pumpkin, flax, and sunflower seeds are all loaded with this vital nutrients to keep your memory fresh. Other sources of Vitamin E include: almonds, pistachios, walnuts, and pecans.
This beautiful green delicacy of a fruit is not only tasty, but can improve blood-flow. Avocados are often deemed healthy fats among those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet. It’s a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow.
Related Recipe: Avocado Lover’s Soup
Not only do they contribute to healthy blood-flow to the brain, but they also lower blood pressure. “Because hypertension is a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities, a lower blood pressure should promote brain health.” says Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life. To improve your brain powers, add 1/4 to 1/2 an avocado to one meal per day. Your taste buds (and brain) will thank you!
How many of these amazing brain foods are you consuming each day? Tell us your favorites!
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I eat all of them but my favorite probably is avocado because I use it to make a creamy salad dressing. The creamy dairy dressings were always my favorite and oil and vinegar just doesn't do it for me. The great thing about avocado is because they are a bit bland you can make a lot of different kinds of dressings with it.
I would love to hear your recipes. My favorite dressings are balsamic vinegar (by itself), garlic expressions, and spicy mustard. I never thought to use avocado before. Thanks for the idea, and recipes to follow 😉
I usually don't work with recipes so give me a little time to try and have some measurements 🙂 One that I like to use a lot is guacamole, make a salad and add black beans, organic frozen corn and cilantro to it. I think it revs up a boring salad, use lime juice in the guacamole because it is better than lemon in black beans and corn. I would cut up tortillas and bake them and have chips and salsa with the Mexican salad. I also make a guacamole spinach dip, I can't remember everything I put in it right now but I chop up a bunch of baby spinach and add it to the guacamole and dip baked tortillas in it. I really like it and it's an extra way to get spinach in my diet (I don't eat it cooked because I don't like nasty slime, lol).
This is what I use instead of ranch. This is not exact because everyone's avocado will be different. I also added a few shakes of the ingredients to adjust it but this is the basic recipe. I really like it and I get healthy fats in it also.
Mash one avocado with lemon juice, I used about half a lemon and you want it to have some tang like sour cream. Make sure to get all lumps out. Add about the same amount of veganaisse along with about 1 tsp(at least) of granulated garlic, 2 tsp of onion powder, 1/4 tsp of ground thyme, pepper to taste(I use a lot), few shakes of dill( most use more but I prefer less dill in ranch), 1/2-1 tbsp of dried parsley depending on taste( I used 2-3 tbsp fresh because I love it) and salt to taste. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes before eating, it keeps well for at least 24 hours also. This was a dip but can easily be thinned just add extra seasoning.
I'm going to add blackened seasoning mix to the avocado/vegan mayo mix and use it on a portobello mushroom burger. I also like onion dip so I'm going to caramelize a bunch of onions and add it to the mix. Hope you like it and hopefully I didn't leave any ingredients out 🙂
You are making me HUNGRY! This sounds so good. I'm going to have to fix some of this to add to.. pretty much everything. Especially would be great on a portobello mushroom burger! Thanks for the recipe. I'll let you know how it turns out.