Power Food for the Brain

Alzheimer, Mild cognition impairment, foggy mind, dementia, bad memory and concentration problems become more and more frequent in society. Alzheimer affects about half of Americans by their mid 80’s. Doctor say it’s genetics or aging. However, recent research shows that it’s directly link with diet. Here’s what it shows.

Beta amyloid protein, is observed in the brain of victims of Alzheimer disease. The research examined the diet of hundreds of people and observed who, over the years, developed dementia and who doesn’t. The results showed that, those who consume the most saturated fats in animal products and trans fats were those who developed brain issues. It also showed that, even if you have the gene (APOE[epsilon]4 allele) that, apparently condemns you to Alzheimer disease, your risk of developing brain issues were cut by about 80% if you avoid the bad fats.

Iron & Copper also accumulates in the brain if you have too much. Those metals are in food, in the rusty pipes of your tap water, your cooking pans… They oxidize in your body and as they do, they cause the production of “free radicals”: molecules that are swimming in your blood-stream, get into your brain and act like sparks that seam to the connections between one cell and the next. But iron and copper is necessary for good health isn’t it? Yes, but this is a double edge sword. You need a little bit, but when you get too much it becomes toxic. Vitamins and supplement company sell all those Vitamins and minerals including iron and copper saying “well you need these”, not realizing that, we get enough from foods. So adding these supplements isn’t recommended. Now how can we avoid getting too much of those metals? Vitamin E. Not the kind you find as a supplement though. Nature has eight forms of vitamin E and supplements are likely to have only one form and if you get too much of only one form of vitamin E it reduces the absorption of all the others. So you want to get it from food. Nuts and seeds are the highest form of vitamin E. Use them to season your salads or your meals, don’t put too much, just a little handful to your diet is enough. Here’s a list of food high in Vitamin E:

variety of brown nuts on brown wooden panel high angle photo
Nuts:
Sunflower seeds 10 mg (66% DV)
Almonds 7.3 mg (48% DV)
Hazelnuts 4.3 mg (28% DV)
Pine nuts 2.7 mg (18% DV)
Peanuts 2.4 mg (16% DV)
Brazil nuts 1.6 mg (11% DV)

Fruits, Veggies & Greens
Avocado Half a fruit: 2.1 mg (14% DV)
Mango Half a fruit: 1.5 mg (10% DV)
Kiwifruit 1 medium fruit: 1.0 mg (7% DV)
Blackberries Half a cup: 0.8 mg (6% DV)
Turnip greens 1 cup: 1.6 mg (10% DV)
Beet greens Half a cup: 1.3 mg (9% DV)
Butternut squash Half a cup: 1.3 mg (9% DV)
Broccoli Half a cup: 1.1 mg (8% DV)
Mustard greens Half a cup: 1.3 mg (8% DV)
Asparagus 4 spears: 0.9 mg (6% DV)
Red sweet pepper 1 medium pepper: 1.9 mg (13% DV)

Researchers went further in the research and found out that the colour present in some fruits like blueberries and grapes called : Anthocyanins also play an important role. After putting a group of  people around the age of 78 having memory issues, they asked them to consume grape juice everyday for three months. Once in the morning, once in the evening. After three months, they tested everyone and their memory was better and their recall was better. Why is that? A grape has to sit on a vine all day long under the sun. Their natural protection is that purple colour, those Anthocyanins, happen to be powerful antioxidants, just like Vitamin E. You can easily find them by their dark colour. So next time you go shopping aim for colour-rich food. Here’s a list of high Anthocyanins food:

food forest blueberries raspberries

Açai
Blackcurrant
Aronia
Eggplant
Marion Blackberry
Black Raspberry
Raspberry
Blueberry
Cherry
Grape
Red Cabbage
Plum

 

Finally another simple thing to improve your memory: Exercise. Simple cardio, a brisk walk, running, cycling… Whatever makes you feel great, 20 to 40 minutes, three times a week. Study has shown that the Hippocampus who normally shrink as you get older becomes bigger and reverses if you simply begin to exercise.

Share this information with family and friends to bring awareness on the root problem.

Inspired by Tedx Talk by Dr. Barnard
Photo by Marta Branco
Photo by Public Domain
Photo by meo

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