Food for Thought
What do we feed our most complex yet delicate organ? Everything! Well, almost everything. According to recent studies, a brain healthy diet consists of foods that increase blood flow and are low in cholesterol, and high in antioxidants. Such a mix is not only beneficial to the brain but also to the heart, the aging process and diseases conditions such as diabetes.
Providing good nutrition for our brain is a must. As we move towards our golden years we realize that our minds just do not work the way they use to. Progressive aging of our brain can trigger symptoms of dementia, which can lead to diseases like Alzheimers. According to the National Health Institute (NIH) 4.5 million Americans suffer from this disease.
Free radicals have been identified as a major cause of the loss of cognitive function associated with aging. Our brains are bombarded daily with free radicals from polluted air, unhealthy food, and lifestyle. They cause a low-grade inflammation, which damages normal cell structure and function. Thankfully, through an increase in scientific research, we now know the importance of good nutrition for brain health. So why not help ourselves in slowing down the aging of our brain by nourishing it with the right “brain foods”. We can then cruise through our golden years clearly and keenly.
The heart or cardiovascular system is a complex organ that plays a major role in nourishing and maintaining the blood flow throughout the whole body including the brain. In order to provide the brain with nutrients, the blood flow must be smooth and blood vessels must be clear of any obstructions such as from a plaque build up.
Our brain consists of 60 percent fats. Deep seawater fish such as salmon are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids helps to reduce inflammation and promote good circulation thus supporting nerve cell activity in the brain.
Chinese Medicine believes that herbs and foods that resemble certain body parts are actually beneficial to that particular body part. So it is not surprising that walnuts which is packed with vitamin E and antioxidants also resembles a brain. Walnuts are also the only nuts that contain a significant amount of Omega-3 fatty acids.
Foods that are small and compact in size tend to have an abundance of Qi, so the smaller the food, the better the Qi. It is no wonder that out of 50 fruits and vegetables blueberries contain the highest antioxidant properties. The phytonutrient rich anthocyanidins found in the blue-red pigments of blueberries protect the brain by neutralizing free radical damage.
For further information and a more comprehensive list of brain foods and herbs, along with healthy brain tips, visit our web site at www.taoofwellness.com/spr2007. For further questions or concerns regarding nutrition for a better mind and body ask about our nutritional counseling.