BROCCOLI: SUPERFOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN!

Ah, the lowly broccoli plant. One of Nature’s “good foods,” packing in plenty of nutrients and very low in calories. It’s a nearly ideal weight-loss food, as it provides most of the essential amino acids as well as several important vitamins. It’s great for diabetics, as it poses essentially no glycemic challenge.
There’s only one problem. Broccoli tastes like, well, broccoli. If you don’t like broccoli, then you should reverse course.
Why? Because broccoli is exceptionally good for your brain. The top nutrient that stands out in this regard is Vitamin K. This vital amine is implicated in calcium regulation in the body. In particular, it appears to help with heart health (the heart needs calcium in a particular amount, and too much calcium is bad for the heart arteries) and in the prevention of osteoporosis. It’s been suggested that Vitamin K prevents calcification (hardening of the arteries) in the brain. In case you’re wondering, this seems to be a portion of Alzheimer’s etiology.

Okay, you’re convinced now, right? So how do you avoid pouring on the salt and fat to make broccoli edible? How about a broccoli casserole that only has 170 calories per serving? If you’re not afraid of the calories because you burn a bunch, consider trying out one of our family favorites, Broccoli Delight. As always, there are thousands of options available.
Other vegetables, high in nutrients that are good for the ol’ noggin, include broccoli rabe, romanesco, kale, Brussels sprouts, and spinach. Spinach egg noodles are surprisingly good for you as well; they have about 75% of the Vitamin K that broccoli provides, per serving.






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.