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Boost Your Brain Power with 5 Easy Dietary Changes

Many people today have become quite concerned about their memory.  We often go into a room and wonder what we went in for, having to return to the point of origin to regain that “aha” moment of why.  We often misplace things or put them in a new area and believe we will remember where we put them, but then forget.  We run into friends we have known for years and forget their names feeling quite embarrassed and wonder if we have “lost it!”

In a way, we have lost it.  As we age brain function begins to change and it often takes longer for the memory connections in the brain to catch up to our activities.  As we slow down from lack of exercising, general aging, illness, or   any kind of trauma, so does the brain slow down.

The good news is that we can rev it up again by providing the brain with powerful nutrients supporting cellular function and connection.  Quoting Patrick Holford in his book, New Optimum Nutrition for the Mind (2009),  “How you think and feel is directly affected by what you eat.   . . . eating the right food has been proven to boost your I.Q., improve your mood and emotional stability, sharpen your memory and keep your mind young.”

Holford shares the five essential brain booster foods to regularly include in one’s diet.

1.  Balance glucose as this is fuel for the brain.  Lower intake of highly refined sugary foods and increase intake of natural sugars from fruits and vegetables (yes, many vegetables contain natural sweetness such as beets, carrots, and parsnips- a better source of glucose.)

2.  Essential fats.  The brain requires both saturated fats and mono- and poly- unsaturated fats for structure and flexibility.  Plant based saturated fats such as coconut oil or palm oil are good choices and Omega 3 essential fatty acids from deep cold water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines are good choices.  Make sure your oils come in dark bottles and are freshly pressed.  Light and air causes most vegetable oils to go rancid.  Olive oil is always a good choice.

3.  Phospholipids.  These are fats containing phosphorus in their molecules and make up a large portion of fats in brain cells. They support memory storage functions.  Phospholipids are the Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish and are also found in flaxseeds and walnuts.  Combining apples and walnuts for a snack provides at least two of the recommended brain foods.

4.  Amino acids.  These acids support the brain’s ability to send out its chemical messengers.  Proteins provide amino acids.  Good sources of proteins include fish, lean meats, eggs, legumes (peas and beans), grains, nuts, and seeds.

5.  Intelligent nutrients.  Vitamins and minerals are included here as they enable the fine tuning activities of the brain.  Purchase professional grade vitamins and minerals manufactured from natural food sources without synthetic or chemical ingredients.

Undertaking just these five important changes to our diets will improve our memories as well as our moods.  Once feeling better, it seems assured we will become more active, happy, and live a longer optimally healthy life.

Krystle Shapiro, LMT, MSHN owns Touchstone Massage Therapies and Nutrition Plus!  She is the founding member of the Sandpoint Wellness Council and can be reached at 208/290-6760.

Photo by sporkist

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