The brain is made up of a variety of molecular structures. In addition to all the different types of neurons we have an entire support network: glial cells (they eliminate waste; recycle product; transport product; connect neurons with blood supply; recreate myelination/insulation for the neurons; regulate various chemicals; etc); neural growth hormone & other hormones; peptides; enzymes; etc.
When there is too much toxicity, which causes inflammation, in the brain or in the liver (which is the major support system to the brain) we suffer all kinds of apparent and not so apparent symptoms, disorders and diseases. Often physicians will claim that these symptoms, disorders and diseases are simply a result of “Aging”. When in fact, they are a result of the toxicity and inflammation that cause the aging process.
There are many foods that help eliminate various types of toxicities: from the chloride and fluoride in water; to the herbicides, pesticides, colorants, stabilizers, coagulators, etc in your foods; to the huge number of toxic chemicals found in skin care and cleaning products used regularly in the home. Our systems do not have the mechanisms to deal with the huge number of toxicities it is currently bombarded with and consequently we suffer from: Cancers, Cardio issues (eg. angina, congestive heart failure, etc.) Inflammatory disorders (i.e. osteo & rheumatoid arthritis, asthmas; autoimmune diseases); Hormone disruptions (i.e. hypothyroid, diabetes, adrenal insufficiency, etc); CNS disorders (i.e., schizophrenia, depression, bipolar, Alzheimer’s, etc.).
In fact, it is now recognized that most disorders, diseases and dysfunctions in the body are a result of toxicity and inflammation. Something that alternative medicine has said forever.
10 Super Healthy Foods for Optimal Brain Function:
So let’s look at some of the foods that help eliminate these issues in the brain:
1) Apples: Contains a flavinoid called quercetin which is a powerful anti-oxidant. This anti-oxidant is well known for protecting the brain against neurogenerative diseases like Parkinsons or Alzeheimer’s. Phenolics, also found in apples – also protect nerve cells from damage. In addition, apples aid the bowel movement and thus reduce colon cancers; but also aid in preventing prostate and lung cancers.
2) Avocados: 14 minerals including copper and iron – both of which aid in regenerating the blood – increasing oxygen content in the blood. Your entire support system of glial cells in the brain runs on oxygen – hugely important for optimal neural functioning. In addition, avocados have good fats that transport vitamins and minerals through the body AND break down minerals and vitamins so that the body can utilize them. Finally, avocados have high levels of anti-oxidants that prevent oxidative stress or inflammation from free radicals.
3) Berries – virtually any kind of berry is high in Vitamin C. But some berries provide specific molecules that are important to the brain.
- Black Currants, also contain MAO ( the natural source of anti-depressant that physicians prescribe for depression!!) The difference is that in it’s natural form – not isolated nor synthetic – it has a much better effect and is non-toxic to the body.
- Blueberries & cranberries are loaded with anti-oxidants – that eliminate various kinds of free radicals. Excess free radicals (from toxicity) cause inflammation. Berries provide the anti-oxidants that eliminate the free radicals. Blueberry molecules (anthyocyanins) also increases brain cells in the hippocampus – the primary organ in the brain that gets information from short term memory to long term memory. Thus not only affecting memory but learning and thinking capacities as well.
- Boysenberries – also contain polyphenols – which protect against oxidative stress in the brain.
- Strawberries not only contain the anthyocyanins but also contain quercetin, another important molecule as it controls inflammation in the brain.
4) Curry or Tumeric: Curcumin- an important molecule in Tumeric which is anti-tumor; anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory – not bad for one molecule. Is known for its ability to help patients with traumatic brain injuries and in particular it help counteract the cognitive impairment.
5) XOCAI Chocolate: Anti-oxidants- YES chocolate is good for you. But not the sugar filled milk chocolate. These are full of high fructose corn syrup and are deadly. Even “dark” or “bitter” chocolate is not what it is cracked up to be. Bitter chocolate has been “Dutch pressed” which loses all the wonderful fatty acids the brain needs, never mind all the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids the rest of the body needs. In addition, they lose up to 80% of that anti-oxidants that are so powerful.
However, XOCAI chocolate protects the flavonoid called procynanidin – another type of anti-oxidant that counteracts the damage caused by toxicity & free radicals causing inflammation and oxidative stress. And in addition, XOCAI chocolate protects the polyphenol: epicatechin – together these two molecules increase blood circulation in the brain which increases oxygen and all the nutrients the brain needs. In addition, increased blood circulation helps to take away all the toxicities.
6) Fatty Fish: Omega 3’s – natural anti-inflammatories that the body needs and that we get way too little of in our current diet. There are many types of omega 3s, but the kind that fatty fish provide are the DHAs. These play an important role in brain function and prevent problems with dementias, including Alzheimer’s, and strokes. These fats also provide transport systems for many vitamins and minerals AND they help to break down various vitamins and minerals so that the body can use them.
7) Grape Juice: Anti-oxidants- that reverse the sensitivity of certain neuro receptors that aid thinking processes or cognitive functions. In addition grape juice increases the production of dopamine (an important neurotransmitter) in the brain. In addition, red grapes contain “Resveratrol” which helps to reduce the plaque in the brain – which causes Alzheimer’s. Make sure it is not a cocktail or full of sugars.
8) Green Tea: Anti-oxidants- again anti-oxidants help to eliminate free radicals – the ones that cause inflammation and destruction. There are many different types of free radicals and likewise there are many different types of anti-oxidants. The type of anti-oxidant that green tea is well recognized for are the: polyphenols. In particular the polyphenols that protect the brain as they reduce protein build up in the brain (this becomes plaque and causes memory loss and nerve damage). There are many different types of Chinese and Japanese green teas – one of the better ones is Bancha tea.
9) Leafy Greens: Iron deficiency is now recognized in memory difficulties. Predominantly because your red blood cells need iron. Without iron they can’t take on oxygen – all your glial cells in the brain run on oxygen. Your brain cannot function without sufficient oxygen. Leafy greens like spinach, collards, bokchoy, kale, & dandelion etc are the best.
10) Olive Oil (& many other oils): Omega 3s – the right kind of fats – that are anti-inflammatories. Thus reducing inflammation in the brain (and in other parts of the body). It is important to know what types of oil: high in omega 3s; not GMO; cold pressed. Walnut oil, almond oil, grapefruit seed oil and coconut oil are good oils. Corn oil, Sunflower oil Safflower oils are mostly GMO and not good for you.