The Brain Diet

Diets are usually aimed at our midriff. A recent episode of the Dr. Oz show revealed a new diet that is aimed at our head. The good doctor featured a guest, Dr. Majid Fotuhi, who discussed a Brain Diet. This diet is all about avoiding Alzheimer’s and keeping your memory sharp. Oh, and the diet is good for the rest of your body, too!

It sounds trite, but we really are what we eat. As we age, what we eat can have a profound impact on our quality of life. There have been several studies that relate obesity with reduced memory and short-term recall. That makes watching your weight a key as those golden years approach.

There are some “oh no” foods that are downright bad for your brain. These “oh no” items include those containing processed sugar and high cholesterol. These foods trigger vascular inflammation, which reduces blood flow to the brain.

On the other side of the spectrum, there are some “oh yes” foods that can actually help your brain. They do this by reducing vascular inflammation and increasing blood flow to the brain. Dr. Fotuhi calls these foods "Brain Superfoods."

Superfood number one: elderberries. They are not just for home-made wine, it turns out. Elderberries contain quercetin (a great Scrabble word) that is a flavonoid. As you no doubt remember, flavonoids reduce inflammation, especially vascular inflammation. This is great for supporting blood flow to the brain.

Superfood number two: pecans. Yes, the nut with several pronunciations depending on your geography, contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these mysterious chemicals are important for retaining cognitive function.

Superfood number 3: chicken giblets or clams. OK, so giblets aren’t one of the most glamorous foods around. However, they can be snuck into soups and chicken stocks and nobody has to know. The lowly giblet is packed with vitamin B12, a key supporter of memory function in the brain. If you can’t bring yourself to eat giblets, clams are a good substitute.

Superfood number 4: vegetable juice. Veggies are wonderful, and can make for a great juice cocktail. They are packed with vitamins and those wonderful antioxidants. Here’s a tip: avoid the prepackaged fruit juices that contain loads of sugar or corn syrup. Get out the blender and make your own juices. Fresh and easy, and you are certain that no evil ingredients are hidden in the juice.

Superfood number 5: beets. Sorry, I know that this will not be a popular entry. Beets contain nitrates and nitrates have been shown to increase the blood flow to the brain. Beet juice, when blended with other more palatable juices, can be delicious and you won’t notice the beet taste at all!

By adding these brain superfoods to your diet and following a moderate exercise regimen you can preserve and protect your precious brain function. Seems like a reasonable trade-off for many years of mental alertness!

No comments:

Post a Comment