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Top 5 Foods and Spices for the Brain

brain health nutrition Aug 03, 2023

While the brain only comprises approximately 2 percent of your body weight, it accounts for about 20% of your total energy requirements. It is an extremely energy-demanding organ, made up of billions of neurons that communicate in all of the body’s processes. The brain controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, vision, breathing, motor skills, hunger and temperature. Not surprisingly, what you eat can have a tremendous positive or negative response on brain health and cognitive functioning.

Foods that provide the brain with the nourishment it needs to function at a high level are those with omega-3 fats, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The brain needs these for energy and to keep inflammation low. The higher the inflammation, the less efficient the brain will function. 

Here is a list of five foods and spices that will help boost your brain power:

1. Fatty fish such as salmon. Choose wild-caught Sockeye or Alaskan for more omega-3 fats and less mercury.

2. Berries such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries. These have plant compounds in them, called flavonoids, which help with memory. Be sure to choose organic whenever possible.

3. Walnuts. For all plant-based athletes who do not eat fish, walnuts are also a great, plant-based source of omega-3 fats which improve brain health, along with being linked to lower blood pressure and healthier arteries.

4. Rosemary. One of the main ingredients in rosemary, carnosic acid, helps protect the brain from neurodegeneration by helping reduce oxidative stress. Add some rosemary to meat, beans or lentils.

5. Turmeric. More specifically, curcumin, which is the chemical compound found in turmeric. This beautiful compound has some great anti-inflammatory benefits but remember to add black pepper when you use turmeric as it activates curcumin. Try adding some turmeric and black pepper to scrambled eggs, soups, or even smoothies.

Aim to include some of these brain foods and spices at least 2-3 times per day. If you have questions about brain health and aging, please reach out to me via email.

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