Brain Fog? Nutrients to Feed the Brain

Are you tired of those ‘senior moments’ – even if you’re 20? Some recent studies specifically detail how nutrients positively affect mental clarity and the ability to process emotional responses.

Food has long been recognized as fuel for the body, a source of energy and for its ability to protect against illness. Now research shows that food goes a step further and assists the brain.

Among other researchers, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla of UCLA, has published studies that reveal dietary impact on brain health and mental function.  One example is the fact that the brain requires Omega-3 fatty acids (sometimes called super fats), which it converts to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). DHA promotes neuronal growth and communication.

Other nutrients that were found to affect cognitive function were:
Curcumin, Flavonoids, Saturated fat, B vitamins, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Choline, Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Carotene, Calcium, Zinc, Selenium, Copper, and Iron.  How do you incorporate those brain healthy nutrients into you diet?  It’s easier than you think and fits into every dietary lifestyle from vegan to carnivore!

Omega 3: Salmon, flaxseeds, krill, chia, kiwi fruit, butternuts, walnuts

Curcumin: Tumeric (curry spice)

Flavonoids: Cocoa, green tea, Ginkgo, citrus fruits, red wine, dark chocolate

Saturated fat: Butter, ghee, suet, lard, coconut oil, cottonseed oil, palm kernel oil, dairy products (cream, cheese) meat

B vitamins: Kombucha, whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans, molasses, turkey, tuna. (Vitamin B12 is not available from plant products)

Vitamin D: Sunshine, fatty fish, mushrooms, milk, soymilk, cereal grains

Vitamin E: Asparagus, avocado, nuts, peanuts, olives, red palm oil, seeds, spinach, vegetable oils, wheat germ

Choline: Egg yolks, soy beef, chicken, veal, turkey liver, lettuce

Antioxidants: (C, E, carotene) Vitamin C: citrus fruits, several plants and vegetables, calf and beef liver.
Vitamin E: see above

Calcium, Zinc, selenium: Calcium: milk, coral. Zinc: oysters, a small amount in beans, nuts, almonds, whole grains, sunflower seeds. Selenium: nuts, cereals, meat, fish, eggs

Copper: Oysters, beef/lamb liver, Brazil nuts, blackstrap molasses, cocoa, black pepper

Iron: Red meat, fish, poultry, lentils, beans

These nutrients coupled with moderate exercise can help erase brain fog and lift your emotional well being.

Dynamic Living Magazine Issue Vol. 7   Winter 2012 Jan-March Return to Table of Contents