Ahhh, the joy of feeling fit and healthy. Having nursed my injured foot for over 6 weeks, I recently managed to get back to running, albeit somewhat tentatively. It felt so unbelievably good to move my body again and my mood and productivity have improved immeasurably. So, feeling all perky and positive again, I have the urge to blog again 🙂
Over the past few weeks I have been reading further in to intermittent fasting – see previous blog, and also taking note of some interesting food facts relating to brain health. Here are a few of the latest pearls I have come across lately:
Top 5 brain foods:?This is always a good headliner. The research I read had some really strong evidence to support this claim.
1/ Gelatine? has a high glycine content and glycine (an amino acid) is a main player in the transmission of chemical signals in the brain, helping the brain to produce essential neuro-transmitters. It has a calming effect on the brain and a stabilising effect on mood.
2/ organ meats are particularly nutrient dense, containing really good levels of vitamin B12, sulfur and amino acids (including glycine). These are all essential in supporting and regulating a process known as methylation, which is critical for mental health and in the production of dopamine, a key brain chemical involved in feeling happy, in confidence levels, fulfillment and being motivated to move and achieve. Organ meats are also believed to boost brain mitachondria (energy factories within the cells).
3/ turmeric is already known to be a super-charged anti-oxidant and massively anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is now understood to provide cellular protection in the brain too where its antioxidant protection from? destructive free radicals, appears to offer protection from? Alzheimer?s disease, as well? many other age-related conditions.
4/ coconut oil – as you’ll know if you’ve read previous blogs of mine, I’m a massive fan of coconut oil. There is? a lot of research looking at how coconut oil provides a very ready fuel for the brain which helps in the prevention of? dementia-related illnesses which are associated with amaloid plaque building up in the brain.
5/ ashwaghanda is an Indian herb that I have used for a while for managing stress and improving quality of sleep. Studies have also shown that this herb improves cognitive function by assisting in the disposal of waste by-products in the brain, helping with mental clarity and healthy brain tissue.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) is also being championed as a great way to improve cognitive function, memory recall and in the crucial ‘cleaning-up’ processes of the brain. The potential long-term health benefits to allowing the brain to carry out this ‘cleaning up’ on a regular basis are enormous. The key to IF is to keep it going. The cognitive, brain health benefits are not likely to be seen or felt in the short-term, so it needs to become part of your normal weekly behaviour if you’re to make any lasting impact on your health. See my previous blog for more details on methods of IF and other benefits.