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10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

 

Who doesn’t want to become smarter? Who wants to look better or feel  healthier? Many recent studies have shown how certain nutrients can positively  affect the brain, specifically in areas of the brain related to cognitive  processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a  healthy diet  for your brain that will lead to strong blood flow, maintenance of  mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative  diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

We know that foods play a great role in our brain, as concluded in several  studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.

According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA  (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes  neuronal growth.

Food and nutrients represent fuel to our bodies the same way that when we use  our car we need to fill the gas tank. Unfortunately, we generally take better  care of our cars than our bodies. Why is that? We are hearing frequently that  consuming the right nutrients can help our health, aging process, and more  efficient brain-body functioning.

With that said, I want to share with you ten foods you must keep in your diet to maintain brain health:

1. Apples: Eating an apple a day protects the brain from oxidative  damage that causes neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  This magical nutrient that acts as protection is quercetin, which is a phytonutrient.

2. Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the  metabolism of the long chain fatty acids in your brain.

3. Lean Beef: Lean beef is rich in vitamin B12, iron and  zinc. These vitamins and minerals have been shown to maintain a healthy neural  tissue.

4. Blueberries and strawberries: Studies show that people  who eat berries improve their memory and their motor skills. In addition, their  antioxidant properties can protect your brain from the oxidative process. (Leesa recommends Chews4Health!)

5. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate offers incredible concentration powers. It is  a very powerful antioxidant containing natural stimulants that increase the  production of feel-good endorphins. Trick: you need to find dark chocolate with  less than 10 grams of sugar per serving for optimal benefits. (Have you tasted this dark, decadent, delicious organic chocolate? http://tinyurl.com/orgdarkchocolate ?  It’s the one Leesa recommends and it’s 85% dark chocolate!)

6. Salmon: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which  studies have shown to be essential for brain function.

7. Dried oregano: Certain spices have powerful antioxidant properties. In  several studies, this powerful spice has shown to have 40 times more antioxidant  properties than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges,  and 4 times more than that of blueberries or strawberries.

8. Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in protein and contain omega-3  fatty acids, vitamins E and B6 which all promote healthy neural tissue.

9. Whole grains: Whole grains deliver fiber and vitamin E  that help promote cardiovascular health, which helps improve the circulation to  the brain.

10. Yogurt: Yogurt and other dairy foods are filled with  protein and vitamin B that are essential to improve the communication between  nerve cells. (Leesa recommends Coconut Yougurt by Raw Sprout Foods found at Return to Eden in Atlanta, GA.)

Make sure that from now on you select and plan a great menu that include  these brain foods. Life is about choices and selecting the right  nutrients can play a key role in your health.

By Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, who is the author of Super Body,  Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

14 Foods that Fight Inflammation and Pain

Some of the best healing remedies to overcome inflammation also taste  fabulous (I can’t say that about any prescription medications). Plus, foods  won’t cause the nasty side effects common to most pain medications.

1. Blueberries: Blueberries are also excellent  anti-inflammatory foods. They increase the amounts of compounds called  heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age.  When heat-shock proteins  are in short supply inflammation, pain and tissue damage is the result.

2. Cayenne Pepper: Ironically, cayenne pepper turns DOWN the  heat on inflammation due to its powerful anti-inflammatory compound  capsaicin.

3. Celery and 4. Celery Seeds: James Duke, Ph.D., author of The Green Pharmacy, found more than 20 anti-inflammatory compounds in  celery and celery seeds in his research, including a substance called apigenin,  which is powerful in its anti-inflammatory action.  Add celery seeds to  soups, stews or as a salt substitute in many recipes.

5. Cherries: While many people opt for aspirin as their  first course of action when they feel pain, Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor  of natural products and chemistry at Michigan State University, found that tart  cherry extract is ten times more effective than aspirin at relieving  inflammation.

6. Dark Green Veggies: Veggies like kale and spinach contain  high amounts of alkaline minerals like calcium and magnesium.  Both  minerals help balance body chemistry to alleviate inflammation.

7. Fish: According to Dr. Alfred D. Steinberg, an arthritis  expert at the National Institute of Health, fish oil acts directly on the immune  system by suppressing 40 to 55 percent of the release of cytokines – compounds  known to destroy joints and cause inflammation.

8. Flax seeds and Flax Oil: Flax seeds are high in natural  oils that convert into hormone-like substances in the body to reduce  inflammatory substances. Add ground flax seeds to smoothies, atop pancakes or  French toast, and many other foods.  Do not heat.

9. Ginger: Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava at Odense University in  Denmark found that ginger was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs  (NSAIDs) like Tylenol or Advil at alleviating inflammation.

10. Raspberries, 11. Blackberries, and 12. Strawberries: In  Dr. Muraleedharan Nair’s later research she discovered that these berries have  similar anti-inflammatory effects as cherries.

13. Turmeric: Research shows that the Indian spice  frequently used in curries suppresses pain and inflammation through a similar  mechanism as drugs like COX-1 and COX-2 inhibitors (without the harmful side  effects).

14. Walnuts: Like flax seeds, raw, unsalted walnuts contain  plentiful amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids that decrease pain and  inflammation.

Adapted from Arthritis-Proof:  The  Drug-Free Way to Beat Pain and Inflammation by Michelle  Schoffro Cook, PhD.

By  Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

3 Power Foods for Healthier Skin

3 Power Foods for Healthier Skin

 

Our skin is our biggest organ, which means it’s mega-important for all us beauties to keep it in top-notch condition. Luckily for us, we can do this by simply eating! I know, I’m excited about this concept too!

So what foods will give your skin that healthy, clear, youthful, radiant glow? Well, read on, sister, because I’m about to break down 3 of the best foods that will make your skin look better than it ever has.

Avocados

Mmmmm guacamole. It’s the first thing that pops into my head when I think about avocados, and maybe that’s because it might just be the yummiest way to ingest your daily intake of healthy fats. I usually use it as a side with egg whites to kick off my day, but you can also use them to top salads or as an alternative to mayo on sandwiches.

And not only do avocados taste awesome, but they are also one of the best foods to help with complexion issues. Thanks to their high (healthy) fat content, they help to keep your skin hydrated and are also packed with anti-inflammatory properties that help to calm down any puffiness your skin might be experiencing.

Tomatoes

If you want to turn back the clock on your skin and help battle premature aging, start incorporating tomatoes into your diet.

Not only are they a great source of vitamins, but they also help to promote the production of collagen, improve skin hydration, and strengthen your skin cells, all of which are necessary to help fight those annoying little lines and wrinkles.

Salmon

While summer weather makes us crave being outside, the sun damage can really take a toll on our skin. Luckily, we can eat salmon, which is rich in Omegas and antioxidants. They help to nourish our skin, fight against free radicals, and increase our naturally radiant glow.

And if you really want to amp up your Omega intake, consider leaving the skin on your salmon, as that’s where the majority of the fats and oils are found.

Not only will your skin feel healthy, but you should notice it feeling softer, firmer, and more hydrated, as well as having a more even tone to it.

And just in case that isn’t enough benefits for one little fish, salmon also helps to battle any PMS symptoms we ladies might experiences. Not bad for a tasty meal that can be eaten baked, grilled, pan fried, or broiled.

If you try to incorporate these 3 power foods into your regular diet, you should notice your skin looking healthier, younger, firmer, and more naturally radiant. Just make sure you combine these ingredients with a skin cleansing system that is right for your specific skin type. Now that’s one skin regimen I can stick to!

 By Molly, selected from DivineCaroline

At DivineCaroline.com, women come together to learn from experts in the fields, of health, sustainability, and culture; to reflect on shared experiences; and to express themselves by writing and publishing stories about anything that matters to them. Here, real women publish like real pros. Together, with our staff writers, they’re discussing all facets of women’s lives from relationships and careers, to travel and healthy living. So come discover, read, learn, laugh and connect at DivineCaroline.com.

10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

10 Foods That Promote Brain Health

Who doesn’t want to become smarter? Who wants to look better or feel healthier? Many recent studies have shown how certain nutrients can positively affect the brain, specifically in areas of the brain related to cognitive processing or feelings and emotions. Generally speaking, you want to follow a healthy diet for your brain that will lead to strong blood flow, maintenance of mental sharpness and reduce the risk of heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

We know that foods play a great role in our brain, as concluded in several studies led by a phenomenal neuroscientist at UCLA, Gomez Pinilla.

According to one study, the super fats your brain needs most are omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain converts them into DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which enhances neuronal communication and promotes neuronal growth.

Food and nutrients represent fuel to our bodies the same way that when we use our car we need to fill the gas tank. Unfortunately, we generally take better care of our cars than our bodies. Why is that? We are hearing frequently that consuming the right nutrients can help our health, aging process, and more efficient brain-body functioning.

With that said, I want to share with you ten foods you must keep in your diet to maintain brain health:

1. Apples: Eating an apple a day protects the brain from oxidative damage that causes neurodegenerative diseases such Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. This magical nutrient that acts as protection is quercetin, which is a phytonutrient.

2. Asparagus: Asparagus is rich in folic acid, which is essential for the metabolism of the long chain fatty acids in your brain.

3. Lean Beef: Lean beef is rich in vitamin B12, iron and zinc. These vitamins and minerals have been shown to maintain a healthy neural tissue.

4. Blueberries and strawberries: Studies show that people who eat berries improve their memory and their motor skills. In addition, their antioxidant properties can protect your brain from the oxidative process.

5. Dark chocolate: Dark chocolate offers incredible concentration powers. It is a very powerful antioxidant containing natural stimulants that increase the production of feel-good endorphins. Trick: you need to find dark chocolate with less than 10 grams of sugar per serving for optimal benefits.

6. Salmon: Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which studies have shown to be essential for brain function.

7. Dried oregano: Certain spices have powerful antioxidant properties. In several studies, this powerful spice has shown to have 40 times more antioxidant properties than apples, 30 times more than potatoes, 12 times more than oranges, and 4 times more than that of blueberries or strawberries.

8. Walnuts: Walnuts are rich in protein and contain omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins E and B6 which all promote healthy neural tissue.

9. Whole grains: Whole grains deliver fiber and vitamin E that help promote cardiovascular health, which helps improve the circulation to the brain.

10. Yogurt: Yogurt and other dairy foods are filled with protein and vitamin B that are essential to improve the communication between nerve cells.

Make sure that from now on you select and plan a great menu that include these brain foods. Life is about choices and selecting the right nutrients can play a key role in your health.

Written by Michael Gonzalez-Wallace, who is the author of Super Body, Super Brain. You can read more from him at www.superbodysuperbrain.com or pick up his book Super Body, Super Brain.

Leesa recommends choosing organic and local as well as wild and grass raised (beef) when possible!

Does Your Brain Need an Oil Change?

Does Your Brain Need an Oil Change?

Humans really are fat heads.  About sixty percent of the human brain is fat.  To maintain proper brain health, you need to get adequate fat from your diet.  But, not just any fat will do.  Some fats damage the brain.  The Standard American Diet (SAD) high in trans and hydrogenated fats worsens inflammation in the body, and this inflammation can damage delicate brain tissues.  These unhealthy fats are found in fried foods, shortening, lard, margarine, baked goods, and processed and prepared foods.

Healthy fats help keep the lining of brain cells flexible so that memory and other brain messages can pass easily between cells.  Both Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats are important to brain health and should be eaten in a one-to-one or two-to-one ratio to each other.  However, the average North American eats these foods in a twenty-to-one to a fifty-to-one ratio, causing a huge imbalance and resulting Omega-3 deficiency.  In this ratio, Omega-6 fats can cause or worsen inflammation, for which there is insufficient Omega-3 fats to keep inflammation under control.  The typical diet, if it contains any healthy essential fatty acids, usually includes fats found in meat and poultry, or occasionally from nuts and seeds.  Most of these fats are Omega-6 fatty acids.

Omega-6 fatty acids are found in the highest concentrations in corn, sunflower, and safflower oils.  But, you are more than what you eat.  I read somewhere that “you are what you eat eats.”  So that means if you eat a diet with meat or poultry that was fed corn, or other grains high in Omega-6s, you’re getting lots of Omega-6s indirectly.

The best sources of Omega-3 fatty acids include flax seeds or oil, walnuts and walnut oil, some types of algae, krill oil, and fatty coldwater fish, particularly wild salmon.  Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a type of Omega-3 fatty acid, makes up a large part of the lining of brain cells, helps to keep the cellular lining flexible enough to allow memory messages to pass between cells, promotes nerve transmission throughout the central nervous system, and protects the energy centers of the cells, called “mitochondria,” from damage.

Fish that contain high amounts of this Omega-3 fatty acid include mackerel, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, lake trout, and herring.  But be aware, some of these fish have become contaminated with mercury and, as you just learned in chapter two, some research links mercury to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.  So, it is important to avoid fish that consistently shows up high on the mercury radar, including predatory fish like swordfish and shark, as well as sea bass, northern pike, tuna, walleye, and largemouth bass.  Salmon raised in fish farms also frequently shows up with high amounts of mercury, not to mention that farmed salmon often contains antibiotic residues and lower levels of the important Omega-3 fatty acids.

Adapted with permission from The Brain Wash by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.  Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, PhD, is an international best-selling and seven-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, The Phytozyme Cure and HealthSmart News. Learn more at www.DrMichelleCook.com.

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