Brain Food

Happy September!

Now that school is back in session let’s take a moment to focus on the food that will nourish our brain health, support concentration and memory. Although our brain may not be our largest organ it consumes a lot of energy, about 20% of our caloric intake. To promote cognitive function our brain needs to be supported with nutrients to keep us fueled.

Our brain is enclosed in a hard shell, however, our brain is soft like butter. This is because our brain is malleable and able to change as we continue to grow and develop. Through a process called neuroplasticity our brains are able to form new connections and neurons. This is key for us to develop new skills, store information, and recall from our memory. Adequate brain nutrition is also associated with a boost in mood and alertness. Like the rest of our bodies, our brain is made out of the food we eat.

Here’s a couple key nutrients and food to incorporate into our diets.

  1. Fatty fish: tuna, sardines, and others are composed of omega-3 fatty acids which our brain uses to create nerve cells.
  2. Nuts and seeds/Avocado/Olive Oil: walnuts, pumpkin seeds, avocados, olive oils, and many others are rich in omega 3s and antioxidants.
  3. Berries: Dark colored berries, especially blueberries, are rich with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that help with communication among brain cells.
  4. Leafy Greens: Broccoli, spinach, kale, and others are rich in vitamin K that helps with formation of fat in the brain to create brain cells.
  5. Teas and coffee: the caffeine in coffee and tea helps to boost brain function but increases alertness. Green tea contains L-theanine which is able to cross the blood-brain barrier to increase neurotransmitter activity.
  6. Turmeric: Is known to cross the blood brain barrier to help reduce inflammation in the brain.
  7. Dark chocolate: Along with making you happy and putting a smile on your face, flavonoids in dark chocolate help improve blood flow to the brain. It is also rich in antioxidants to neutralize free radicals.
  8. Water: our brain is mostly made up of water! Adequate hydration supports all brain function.

Keep these foods in mind for the beginning of the school year to allow you to think and feel your best!

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