Brain Boosting Nutrients
Ever have that moment when you walk downstairs to get something, but by the time you get there, you forgot what it was you were planning to get? That tends to happen more frequently as we age.
Since scientists first discovered that many diseases affecting the brain like alzheimer's and even depression1 were influenced by lifestyle, the race to adapt was on. Media surrounded the idea that playing games such as sudoku or word puzzles would boost long-term memory, and that exercise was also a front-runner to these necessary lifestyle changes. What many don’t realize is that food plays an important role, not just to your physical health, but your mental health as well. You may be thinking, how important is food to my mental health? Very important actually.
What we eat is primarily responsible for the health of our gut. Our gut health keeps inflammation and immune response in control. The healthy gut produces hormones that enter the brain and serve to enhance cognitive ability and response to hunger and fullness signals2. Additionally, the risk of brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's and others, can be reduced by eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and healthy fats. Provided below are some examples of the brain boosting foods 3,4:
Avocados and Salmon- Being a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, these foods help maintain brain function, both memory and concentration. The dietary fatty acids are crucial for the plasma membrane of your brain, making it permeable to neurotransmitters and hormones. These foods also contain vitamins that help prevent against blood clots in the brain and help regulate blood sugar.
Berries- especially dark berries like blueberries, are a rich source of flavonoids and antioxidants that boost memory function, reduce chronic inflammation, and may protect against diseases like cancer and type 2 diabetes.
Walnuts- because of their high level of antioxidants, vitamin E and other vitamins and minerals, walnuts can protect against Alzheimer's, improve mental alertness and as a bonus, are good for your heart.
Broccoli and Leafy Greens- these and other vegetables may have an impact on memory by keeping it sharp and protecting against dementia by utilizing the antioxidant properties to protect against free radicals. These vegetables are also high in vitamin K and full of fiber which will keep you fuller longer.
Not only will these foods promote brain and gut health, but they are also representations of a diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals, promoting weight loss and longevity.
Current research shows an increase in brain diseases like depression and Alzhiemers, but these preventative measures could lower your risk of such future impairments. If you have any concerns about how your gut or brain is being affected by your diet, contact Thrive Nutrition today and let us help you determine a healthy lifestyle for you.
Walnut Flour Pancakes
2/3 cup ground Walnuts
1.5 tablespoons coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons almond milk
Spray a pan with non stick and heat over medium heat. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix. Add the egg, vanilla and syrup to the dry ingredients. Mix.. Batter should be sticky. Add in the almond milk and mix until combined and the batter has thinned slightly. Portion the batter out into three even circles. Cook uncovered for around 6 minutes until edges are starting to brown. Flip and cook another 3-4 minutes until they look mostly done
Paleo Broccoli Salad
4 cups broccoli florets
6 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Salt & pepper to taste
Whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, and honey in a small bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Place broccoli, bacon or ham, raisins, onions and sunflower seeds in a large bowl, add dressing and stir until all ingredients are evenly coated with dressing. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
California Sushi Bites
1 Juice of 1 lemon
1 large cucumber, sliced into 1/4" coins
8 oz. lump crab meat
1/2 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. sriracha
3 green onions, thinly sliced (plus more for garnish)
Sesame seeds, for garnish
Thinly sliced avocado then toss slices in lemon juice. Top each cucumber slice with avocado and season with salt and pepper. In a medium bowl, combine crab meat, mayonnaise, Sriracha, and green onions. Season with salt and pepper, and squeeze more lemon juice into the mixture, if desired. Top each cucumber sliced with a small scoop of the crab mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds over each serving. Serve with soy sauce.