GO FOR A BRAIN HEALTHY DIET!

According to the most current research, a brain-healthy diet is one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol. Like the heart, the brain needs the right balance of nutrients, including protein and sugar, to function well. A brain-healthy diet is most effective when combined with physical and mental activity and social interaction.
Increase your intake of protective foods. Current research suggests that certain foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and appear to protect brain cells.
In general, dark-skinned fruits and vegetables have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidant levels. Such vegetables include: kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli, beets, red bell pepper, onion, corn and eggplant. Fruits with high antioxidant levels include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries.
-Cold water fish contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids: halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna.
-Some nuts can be a useful part of your diet; almonds, pecans and walnuts are a good source of vitamin E, an antioxidant.






Brainy Beets, keep them in Mind!

Get more blood flowing to your brain — and more clever thoughts flowing from it — by drinking a little beet juice in the morning.
Like every other part of your body, your brain requires good blood flow in order to function quickly and effectively. And research shows that a morning shot of beet juice may help ensure good circulation to your cranium.
Why beet juice instead of apple or orange? Beets are a good source of nitrates, helpful little substances that get converted into nitrites by bacteria in our saliva. And nitrites do a world of good for blood vessels, helping them to relax and better assist blood flow and oxygen circulation. When researchers recently upped participants’ nitrate intake by having them drink 16 ounces of beet juice with breakfast, among other dietary changes, a brain scan done just a day later showed noticeably better blood flow to white matter in the frontal-lobe region of the brain, an area where blood flow often suffers over time.






Is Hot Chocolate the New Elixir for Brain?

A new study suggests hot chocolate may be the elixir of choice for older people who want to keep their minds sharp. The study of 60 older adults linked 30 days of twice-daily hot cocoa consumption to a 30 percent bump in memory and thinking abilities among those who had impaired blood flow to their brains.
Study author Dr. Farzaneh Sorond, a neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, said chocolate seemed to boost the brain’s blood supply, citing an 8.3 percent increase in blood flow after a month’s worth of hot cocoa.
“The areas of your brain that are working need more fuel,” she said, describing a phenomenon known as “neurovascular coupling,” which refers to the intimate link between better blood flow and improved neuronal activity.
In people with impaired blood flow, she added, “cocoa may be beneficial by delivering more fuel.”
Chocolate May Boost Brain Power- While more research is needed to tease out the exact mechanism by which chocolate boosts blood flow, Sorond said that antioxidants and caffeine may certainly play a role.
“It stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain,” said Dr. Peter McCullough, a consultant cardiologist at Providence Hospitals and Medical Centers in Southfield and Novi, Mich., who was not involved in the study.
Anyway, it’s important to remember that even if the link holds up, chocolate would not be the only way to maintain a healthy brain and circulatory system. A healthy diet and regular exercise may also boost blood flow to the brain.