The human brain is one of the most impressive, complex, and delicate machines on the planet. It is directly fed for operation through nutrition consumption. During the holidays we often embrace alcohol and sugar-based treats, leaving us in a cognitive slump as we enter into the New Year. This can lead to brain fog, poor sleep patterns, and mood irritability. Fortunately, there are a few nutrient packed foods that work with your body to best feed your brain, helping to clear any post-holiday brain stagnation.
The most well-known healthy fat fueled items are avocados and coconuts. Avocados contain monosaturated fatty acids (MUFA), a type of fat that has been proven to lower LDL cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. An increase in monosaturated fatty acids significantly lowers inflammatory chemical markers in the body such as C-reactive proteins (CRP). CRP levels are commonly used as a marker indicating overall body inflammation. MUFAs association with declined inflammation throughout the body, increases blood flow, and most importantly increases blood flow to the brain.
Coconuts are often synonymous with medium chain triglycerides (MCT oil). Normally the brain calls on glucose (sugar) for energy but your brain does have a backup plan for energy if needed. Ketones, MCT oil breakdown, can be used by the brain for its secondary fuel source. The brain is made up of neurons protected by a fatty shield shielding all of the messages firing back and forth throughout brain cell signaling. The fatty shield is constantly being repaired and replaced. Incorporating healthy fats like coconut oil will provide better building blocks for these protective brain cells.
A sweet and nutrient packed brain treat is blueberries. Blueberries are high in antioxidants. Specifically, flavonoids containing anthocyanins. The body benefits from antioxidants to aid against unstable molecules called free radicals that cause damage to your cells. The negative impact of free radicals leads to oxidative stress, adversely impacting brain function. It quickens the brains’ aging process and lowers cell signaling. A high antioxidant concentration in blueberries counteracts this oxidative stress-induced aging process by aiding brain function and delaying mental decline.
Finally, one of the most neuro protective foods available are walnuts. Walnuts contain a significantly higher level of DHA, a type of omega-3 fatty acid. DHA is often recommended for pregnant women due to its crucial involvement in fetal brain protection. Even as individuals age, walnuts still provide promising brain-boosting health function, and help lower cognitive decline. With all of the post-holiday clutter, make eating to clean your brain a priority in the new year.
Brooke Graves is the CEO of Kaleidoscope Juice and is earning a PhD in natural health and holistic nutrition. Kaleidoscope Juice currently has five locations: Gilbert (60 W Vaughn Ave Suite 105), Phoenix (7878 N. 16th St.), North Scottsdale (8977 N. Scottsdale Rd. Suite 506), Downtown Scottsdale (7119 E. 1st Ave.) and Scottsdale’s Optima Sonoran Village (6835 E. Camelback Rd). The health and wellness concept will open its sixth Valley location this year in downtown Chandler. For more information on Kaleidoscope Juice, visit www.kaleidoscope.love or follow on Facebook.