Eating clean, nutrient dense food helps to properly nourish your brain. Dietary choices directly affect brain function and can help stave off the brain’s enemy, Alzheimer’s.

Mitochondria are the powerhouse structures in every cell that provides energy. Impaired mitochondrial function is likely to increase oxidative stress. As one of the body’s biggest hogs of energy and oxygen, the brain is an organ that is highly vulnerable to mitochondrial decay. Both a cause and a consequence of aging, mitochondrial dysfunction is a primary cause of all neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. You need to eat a diet loaded up with phytonutrients, antioxidants, healthy fats, proteins, and fiber, to give your body the fuel it requires to repair the oxidative damage, which leads to impaired memory and mental function over time.

1.The Care and Feeding of Your Brain

High/Low diet: Eat a high-quality diet that is high in antioxidants, high in essential fatty acids but low inflammatory, low glycemic.

Dopamine is dope There is significant evidence to support the hypothesis that low dopamine can impair cognition. Our bodies manufacture dopamine by breaking down the amino acid tyrosine – which can be obtained from eating sufficient protein.

Heal your gut, trust your gut Keep eating probiotic-rich foods such as kimchi, kombucha, and miso in at least two meals this week. Limiting sugar, eating traditionally fermented foods, and taking a probiotic supplement is among the best ways to optimize your gut flora and subsequently support your brain health. Sip bone broth for the amino acid glutamine which helps to seal the leaks in your gut so that you can make those brain neurotransmitters happy.

2. Antioxidants, your trusty anti rusty BFF

Keep striving to eat 1-2 lbs of colorful veggies a day to get ample Vitamin C and E through food which helps wrangle those free radicals. And get your berry on. One of the most powerful antioxidants is called glutathione which is produced by the body. It is comprised of three amino acids – glycine, glutamate, and cysteine – and it contains sulfur, which is what makes it so effective. Foods that help your body to make more glutathione include walnuts, spinach, tomatoes. You can also support your body to make more glutathione by eating foods that are high in sulfur which include garlic, onions, and those cape-wearing superhero cruciferous vegetables broccoli, kale, collards, and cabbages.

3. Eat your leafy greens

Need another reason? Full of antioxidants and fiber, leafy greens should be a diet staple in your food code. They are also rich in folate. In addition to providing antioxidants, there have been a number of studies that show higher homocysteine levels are associated with higher rates of Alzheimer’s, and homocysteine is something that is found high in the blood when you have lower rates of B12, B6, and folate. More studies are now suggesting that a diet rich in B6, B12, and folate, such as a Mediterranean style of eating, should help lower your risk of getting Alzheimer’s.

4. Consume healthy fats like medium-chain triglycerides

A single serving of medium-chain triglycerides (the primary fat found in coconut oil) improves cognitive function in patients with memory problems. A small randomized trial showed improvement in cognitive impairment at a dose of 56 grams per day (about 1⁄4 cup). Use 1 tablespoon per serving while cooking at least twice this week, such as when you make quinoa with turmeric or roast veggies. Published clinical trials demonstrate that increasing ketone availability to the brain via moderate nutritional ketosis has a modest beneficial effect on cognitive outcomes in mild-to-moderate AD and in mild cognitive impairment

5. Up your intake of essential omega-3 fats

This means eating fish at least twice a week, seeds on most days and supplementing with omega 3 fish oils. The best fish for Omega 3 include sardines (1,000mg),anchovy (900mg), salmon (800mg), trout (500mg). Good seeds choices are flax seeds and pumpkin seeds. While technically providing omega 3 only about 5% of the type of omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) in these seeds is converted in your body into EPA. Walnuts might be small in size, but they pack a big nutritional punch. They are filled with Omega-3 fatty acids, the good kind of fat your brain needs.

6. Now, go make yourself a spinach salad with some salmon, blueberries, walnuts. It ALL helps. Stay brainy my beauties!

P.S. What is oxidative stress, really?

The process of oxidation happens as our bodies metabolize (or process) the oxygen that we breathe and our cells produce energy from it. This process also produces free radicals –molecules that interact with the molecules within our cells resulting in damage (or stress) to nearby cells, mitochondria, and DNA. Free radicals are normal and necessary to some degree. In addition to causing some damage, they also stimulate repair. It is only when so many free radicals are produced, and they overwhelm the repair processes, that it becomes an issue. That is what we call oxidative stress.

Oxidation happens under a number of circumstances including:

when our cells use glucose to make energy

when the immune system is fighting off bacteria and creating inflammation

when our bodies detoxify pollutants, pesticides, and cigarette smoke

It also increases when we are physically and/or emotionally stressed. 7References:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19703659.
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24062644
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27511994
  4. http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/folate
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26766547
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27164694
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4202787/

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