Smart food for a smart brainNutrition
Photo credit: Allan Ajifo, Creative Commons
By pH health care professionals
Turns out that the old saying of “You are what you eat” is true, and especially so when it comes to your brain. It’s no secret that the foods you consume have an effect on your body, but exactly how can what you eat make you smarter?
Food’s impact on your health began before you were even born, when you received your nutrition from your mother. Nutrients were critical to your physical and cognitive development before birth and they continued to be after, as you matured. Now that you are responsible for your own nutritional needs, pay special attention to foods that will help you achieve optimal brain health.
Some “brain foods” to make sure you include in your diet are:
- Fish – Fish provides you with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients improve mental performance.
- Blueberries – They are jam-packed with antioxidants, which reduce damage from environmental free radicals that cause aging. They also can help delay age-related memory loss and combat inflammation.
- Nuts and seeds – These little guys are full of essential fatty acids, protein and amino acids. They stimulate the pituitary gland to release a growth hormone, which you need throughout your life, but which unfortunately is not produced in sufficient amounts after you turn 35.
- Green tea – This healthy tea enhances working memory and boosts brain plasticity (the brain’s ability to change, adapt and remap itself throughout your life – it’s “moldable”).
- Veggies – Broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are high in choline, a vital nutrient for memory and brain health.
- Vitamins – Consuming vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin B12 can lower your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease.
- DHA – DHA is the most common omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, but your body is not good at making it, so you need to get it mostly from dietary sources. It is crucial for the growth and development of the brain in infants and is required for the adult brain to work properly. It improves learning ability and has a positive effect on diseases such as diabetes and some cancers. In fact, a DHA deficiency is associated with depression, ADHD and cystic fibrosis as well.
There have been many studies conducted about dietary influences on brain function. In fact, a study published in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience suggests a direct relationship between access to food and brain size. Research also suggests that even small differences in diet can have dramatic influences on brain health and even reproduction.
So what can you do?
Pay attention to the foods you eat because they affect the health of your brain and body. Eating the foods above, and ensuring you get the proper amount of vitamins, will help your brain function at its best.
Come to Proactive Health Labs to find out if your body is absorbing all the nutrients you need for optimal brain health. Call us at 855-PHLABS1.
Enjoy Your Healthy Life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.