Nutrition For The Brain

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Unfortunately the nutrition talk didn’t happen since she disappeared, however, I went to a very informative talk last Friday about foods that support various aspects of the brain.  Here were some important key points:

*Certain amino acids support the neurotransmitters in our brains as well as our dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine.  Foods that support these amino acids are eggs, cheese, fish, milk and beef.

*Choline is an essential nutrient that our brain and nervous system need to regulate memory, mood, muscle control and the membranes that surround our body’s cells.  Foods that contain choline include milk, eggs, salmon.  People that have suffered from brain injuries need to make sure they’re eating adequate amounts of food with choline in them.

*Thiamine is used by nearly all the cells and is responsible for converting food to energy. Thiamine also affects our memory and hormone control.  Foods that contain thiamine include whole grains (brown rice for example), trout, pork and beans.

*Omega 3 Fatty Acids (EPA, DHA, ALA) are essential fats that the body can’t make from scratch so we must get them from food. They affect the cell receptors in the cell membranes and are a starting point for making hormones, regulating blood clotting, contraction and relaxation of artery walls and inflammation. Mackerel, salmon, and sardines are high in EPA and DHA.  Spinach, kale, brussels sprouts and walnuts are good sources of ALA.

*Vitamin K is needed for regulating the calcium in the bones and plays a vital role in blood clotting.  Foods containing vitamin K include broccoli, kale, asparagus, leafy green lettuce, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower.

*Flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites that provide antioxidant effects.  They also protect the neurons against injury.  This is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables as well as various nuts and seeds (almonds, sunflower, hazelnuts).

In conclusion, make sure you’re eating nutrient rich foods (I also found out that cooking your vegetables breaks down plant bonds which allows your body to absorb the nutrients easier) rotating your fruits/vegetables/proteins and eating a variety of colors.  Regular exercise also promotes cardiovascular health which gets blood pumping and boosts improvement of memory and learning.

I know I don’t have a “nutritionist” degree but hopefully these were some helpful take always!