People always discuss the healthy ways they eat or exercise to keep the body in tip-top shape. But what about the brain? In Chinese medicine, a healthy mind is dependent on the strength of “essence,” which can be seen physically through the eyes and is called “Shen” or “spirit.”
One way of boosting brain function is through natural foods and nutrient-rich supplements. These items come from author Deborah Tukua, editor of Journey to Natural Living.
- Coffee – one of the highest sources of antioxidants, studies have shown that 3 cups per day can decrease chance of dementia by 65%.The caffeine increases your short-term memory and help you think clearly.
- Green Tea – Studies have shown green tea reduces mental fatigue and stress. A recent study of 1000 people over the age of 70 were found to have less cognitive issues if consuming green tea versus those who were not.
- Antioxidants – Coffee, dark chocolate, red wine and green tea are all high sources of antioxidant. However, if wanting to lessen the sugar load, try blueberries, spinach and black beans as altervatives. In general, a diet that includes whole fruits, vegetables, and grains is beneficial.
- Omega-3 essential fatty acids – Essential for proper nerve function.One study found that healthy adults that ate the most omega-3 fatty acids had more gray matter in brain areas that regulated mood. Some foods that are high in Omega-3 are salmon, sardines, walnuts, flax seeds, brussels sprouts, and winter squash.
- Egg yolks – Studies have shown that boosting choline (egg yolks are the highest source) during adulthood can improve memory and deter senility.
- Vitamin D3 – Brain infections, brain inflammation, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, anxiety, panic attacks; the research shows that these conditions and low vitamin D3 levels are linked together! Food sources include eggs, mushrooms, salmon, fish liver oils, oatmeal and liver. Remember, 15 minutes of sunshine (without sun screen) can help you get the vitamin D3 that you need.
- Folic acid – A 3-year Dutch study found that people taking a folic acid supplement enhanced their ability to think and remember. Sources include green leafy veggies like spinach and collards, broccoli, lentils and nuts.