We all know that food is key to healthy living. And when we look to foods for a healthy diet and a healthier life we often concentrate on the nutrition that are best for heart disease or to control weight.

Brain Foods: but what about brain function?

After all the brain is constantly working even when we sleep in the voluntary and involuntary movements and in all processes and thoughts, conscious and subconscious states. Brain function is so important when considering stress and relaxation but especially with the new awareness of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Dementia and Alzheimer’s.

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There is much concentration on such things as heart health and back health – quite rightly as these are critical to our physical function – but brain health is vital and without it we are truly debilitated in mind and body.

The following brain foods are wonderful for all round general health, but they are particularly beneficial for proper brain function, brain response and maintaining the tissues of the brain.  These are easy to add to your diet and food intake and taste great.

1. Oil based dressings:  use olive oil, canola oil based dressing rather than heavy dressings for salads or marinades.  Oils have antioxidants to fight diseases of the brain and promote healthy brain tissue maintenance.

2. Oily fish – salmon, trout, herring and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids which help protect the brain and enhance brain function.

3. Dark green leafy vegetable – dark greens such as kale contain Vitamin A, C, and K, calcium, and potassium which help the processes of the brain in conduction and processing.

4. Avocados – these help build the coat of myelin in the brain which is the coating in the white matter of the brain.  The myelin helps insulate the pathways of the brain increasing the rate at which the brain can process information.

5. Seeds – sunflower and pumpkin seed contain zinc which helps fight disease and aids function.

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6. Broccoli – contains vitamin K for higher levels of cognition and less deterioration.

7. Tomatoes – contain antioxidants called carotenoids which help fight disease and deterioration of the brain.

8. Peanuts and Peanut Butter – contain Vitamin E which helps with maintaining mental health, processing information in the brain and cognition.

9. Berries – especially blueberries help with learning processes of the brain and motor skill development and maintaining motor skill function in the brain.

10. Whole grains – such as oatmeal and brown rice contain Vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids which promote brain function for cognition and processing information and protecting the tissues of the brain from deterioration.

11. Cinnamon – helps promote memory and cognition. It also helps with controlling the dopamine levels in the brain to help those with Parkinson’s for better brain function.

12. Beans – help stabilize glucose levels which the brain uses for energy.

You can see there are many foods that can help maintain and improve brain function and help protect the structures of the brain.  Add these on a daily basis and boost that brain function and energy.  A healthy brain will promote a healthy body through keeping the central nervous system functioning at its best!  Don’t underestimate Brain Power!

To read more from Carla E. Larson visit her Expert Profile .

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