Six Brain-Friendly Foods


05 Jun
05Jun

Here are 6 simple foods to incorporate into your diet and why they are helpful to your brain.  If you are interested in additional foods that may support a healthy brain, check out Katherine Marengo's article on brain health friendly foods and Harvard Health Publishing's article on foods that improve brain function.


Dark Chocolate

Flavanoid containing cacao is a key ingredient in dark chocolate, and dark chocolate formulations containing 65% or more of cacao have brain-friendly health benefits.  

Whether you sprinkle cacao nibs over your morning yogurt or nibble on a square of dark chocolate after dinner, your brain will benefit from the anti-oxidant flavanoids it contains.  Brains are vulnerable to oxidative stressand flavonoids in chocolate seem to have a neuroprotective effect that counteracts this process.


 Blueberries 

and other berries contain also anti-oxidant flavonoids that may have positive effects on the brain including:

  • improving communication between brain cells

  • reducing inflammation throughout the body

  • increasing plasticity, which helps brain cells form new connections, boosting learning and memory

  • reducing or delaying age-related neurodegenerative diseases and cognitive decline


Dark Green Leafy Veggies

 like spinach, kale and collards are high in vitamin K, lutein, folate, and beta carotene and flavanoidsts .

A recent study conducted at Tufts University found that found that those who ate about one-and-a-half servings of green leafy vegetables per day had the cognitive functioning of people roughly eleven years younger than those who ate little or no leafy greens.




Coffee

Coffee drinkers rejoice!  Coffee, in moderate amounts, is good for the brain. 

It turns out that researchers discovered that its not caffeine but a compound created by the roasting process called phenylindanes that not only makes the taste of the coffee bitter but also appears to inhibit the amalgamation of tau and beta-amyloid. These are toxic proteins and excessive buildup in the brain is a key factor in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. 




Walnuts

English walnuts are high in are rich in numerous phytochemicals, including high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and offer potential benefits to brain health.  Although all nuts have these healthy compounds, walnuts have the highest concentation of DHA, a type of omega 3 fatty acid, important in brain development in children.


And last but not least,



Salmon

and other fatty fish like sardines, tuna, trout and mackerel.  These fish contain large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fat which are linked to lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, a protein that can form dangerous lumps in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. Experts recommend identifying fish with lower amounts of mercury and consuming only twice per week.  If you do not consume seafood, avocados, pumpkin and flax seed are good plant-based alternatives.  


There are also several other brain-friendly foods you can add to your diet like turmeric, eggs, broccoli, green tea and oranges.  


At Peak Training Center, we are committed to sharing brain-healthy, evidence-based information to help everyone achieve peak brain performance.

We are currently offering our clients LivBars, as a post-session snack, which contain pumpkin seeds and flax seeds.   Be sure to keep on the lookout for more brain-friendly snacks when you receive your training.


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