Fitness Magazine

Food For Brain Health!

By Sarahohm @sarahohm
Hey loveys,
As I've mentioned before, this year I'm volunteering with Memory Ball with the Communications/Social Media team. Part of my job is to write a couple of guest posts for the Memory Ball blog! Obviously, I was all over this!!
Like I've said before, I think it's important to volunteer your time for a good cause and I think bringing awareness to Alzheimers/dementia is important because it's kind of a disease that has been overlooked in the past. Brain health and mental health is slowly becoming bigger and bigger and is being made aware more and more in the media (remember the Bell TV commercial with Clara Hughes? All about talking about mental health!). I'm so, so excited to be a part of this awesome team and to help out with promoting this cause and the awesome event we're holding!
Food For Brain Health!
We announced our date yesterday, so for all my Torontonian readers, it's March 29, 2014... and tickets go on sale January 1, 2014!! Make sure you save the date because it's going to be an amazing event. Want to know (one of) the best part? The event is open bar with the purchase of your ticket... ummm.... I know some people who would really put that ticket to good use! :)
So my blog is all about foods you can eat to help promote brain health! I hope you likey! :)
When it comes to health, not so often does “brain health” come to mind first. Most people focus on eating to lose weight, or eating to gain muscle mass... but what about eating for brain health? Do you know that certain nutrients in food can help improve memory, or improve the area of the brain that processes feelings and emotions? How about eating foods that will decrease the chances of developing any form of dementia? 
I want to take you through 10 of the best foods that you can eat, not only to increase overall health, but to increase your powerhouse.. the brain.
1. BerriesBerries are full of antioxidants. That means that they help fight free radicals in the body (which sometimes lead to cancer) and it also protects your brain from the oxidative process. 
2. SalmonSalmon is FULL of health fat’s called Omega-3’s. Omega-3’s have been shown to be crucial in maintaining brain health. 60% of a healthy brain is Omega-3 fats, they help transport the chemicals sarotonin and dopamine (they make you happy) to your brain! (source)
3. Whole GrainsWhole grains provide the body with fiber and vitamin E, which help improve cardiovascular health which helps promote circulation of blood in the brain.
4. Dark ChocolateDark chocolate is a very powerful antioxidant (the higher the % of cocoa, the better) which contains natural stimulants which helps increase the production of endorphins. The best dark chocolate for health will have less than 10g of sugar per serving.
5. WalnutsLike salmon, walnuts are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which help promote brain health and happy chemicals in the brain! 
6. AvocadosAvocados are full of monounsaturated fats which help promote good blood flow in the body, which in turn means good blood flow in the brain. The better the blood flow, the healthier the brain! They also help prevent hypertension which has shown to be a risk factor for cognitive abilities and therefore lower blood pressure equals better brain health.
7. Fresh Brewed TeaFresh tea can provide the body with a modest amount of caffeine which (which used appropriately) can help boost brain power and enhance overall memory, focus and mood. Tea is also full of antioxidants which, like berries, help protect the brain from oxidative process.
8. BeansBeans help to stabilize blood glucose levels. The brain is dependent on glucose for fuel and since it can’t store it’s own glucose, it relies on a steady stream of glucose from the body... which beans can help with!
9. Tomato JuiceThis is a personal favorite of mine. Tomato juice contains folate and lycopene which helps keep the arteries in the body young. Always opt for fresh juice instead of canned (the less heavy metals in our brains the better).
10. OilsA lot of people are scared of oils due to the high caloric value they have. People who avoid oils though are missing out on heart and brain healthy monounsaturated Omega-3 and Omega-9 fats (if you don’t know why these are helpful, you need to reread this article!).
Not only are these foods great for your brain health, but they are ALL so delicious.. I encourage everyone to try and eat at least 1 of these foods per day to help with brain health (and overall health!). The more we can do to help keep our bodies and our minds healthy, the better! 
Neat huh? I love how food can do our body so much good.
Q: Out of the list I provided, which food is your FAV and why?? 

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