A Medical Cornucopia in Your Kitchen?

A Medical Cornucopia in Your Kitchen?

A Medical Cornucopia in Your Kitchen?

Brain Food 

Food isn’t just a digestive affair, what we consume profoundly affects our psychological health. Thus, a diet that promotes wellness should encompass a diverse range of fruits, vegetables, protein sources, and beneficial fats—essential foods to include in daily consumption. The nutrients hiding away in food govern biochemical processes that keep the bio-supercomputer that is your brain ticking over. 

So, when it comes to keeping the brain in tip-top shape, what’s on the menu? 

A Well-oiled Machine: Omega 3 

Well, counter-intuitively, one of the best brain boosters out there is fat. Not just any old fat though, omega-3 fatty acids.

Under the Sea

Omega-3’s, found abundantly in oily fish, are pivotal not only for physical health but also for brain function and emotional well-being. Omega 3’s support the growth and repair of neuronal cells, a process essential for forming new neural connections, this is the bedrock of neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to re-wire itself over time. These essential fatty acids also support neurotransmission by facilitating efficient signalling between neurons.

Nuts and Seeds

Not a fan of seafood? Worry not there’s plenty of omega-3 above the briny depths, chia seeds are notably rich in omega-3 fatty acids—a single tablespoon of chia seeds delivers 1,769 milligrams of omega-3s. You can also find omega 3’s in walnuts, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and hazelnuts. 

Eat your greens! Broccoli, Spinach, & Dark Leafy Greens

Broccoli, spinach, and other leafy greens are packed full of something called folic acid. Research indicates a correlation between low folic acid levels and depression. Therefore, foods rich in folate could be vital for mental health. On top of this spinach and broccoli are an excellent source of folate, fiber, and vitamin C. Fiber acts as a "prebiotic," fostering a conducive environment for beneficial gut bacteria. Mental health is closely linked to gut health, as the gut is integral in managing serotonin production.

Recent studies suggest broccoli sprouts are particularly effective in promoting gut microbial health due to their high antioxidant content, thus reducing inflammation, and mitigating depressive symptoms.

It’s Alive: Probiotics

Yogurt, a fermented food, is loaded with billions of probiotic bacteria, making it excellent for both mental and physical health. Probiotics enhance nutrient breakdown and absorption, improving digestion. This facilitates easier access to nutrients for both body and brain, and emerging studies suggest a significant link between gut-brain communication and emotional well-being. Research indicates that individuals with diverse gut microbiota are less prone to anxiety and depression, and maintaining a healthy gut can diminish social anxiety and stress responses.

Remember! It's crucial to choose yogurts with active cultures. Nutritionists also advise alternating between yogurt brands to diversify bacterial intake. 

Berries for the Blues 

Berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and others are rich in potent antioxidants and are particularly beneficial for mental health.

A review of 52 studies affirmed the relationship between antioxidant levels and depression, with lower antioxidant levels observed in depressed individuals. It’s believed dietary antioxidants can significantly enhance mental health with studies showing a considerable decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression among participants who increased their dietary intake of compounds with antioxidant properties.

Avocados: Guacamole for Golden Oldies

Avocados are a rich source of healthy fats essential for optimal brain function. Predominantly, these fats are monounsaturated, like oleic acid. A diet rich in oleic acid has been argued to maintain healthy brain function, and a recent study suggests that it may even help maintain cognitive function well into old age. 

Avocados also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that significantly influences mood and mental health by facilitating serotonin production. Thus, incorporating tryptophan-rich foods like avocados may help to enhance mood and mental stability.

Additionally, avocados provide folate and vitamin B6, which aids in the production of tryptophan, making them ideal for mood enhancement. If you’re not a fan of the green stuff, you can find plenty of tryptophan in eggs, tomatoes, tofu, beans, oats, and fish like salmon and tuna. 

Lift your Spirits with Sentia

If you want to pair some brain-oiling foods with something to drink, we’ve got you covered. You’ll find the benefits of antioxidants in GABA Red (care of Linden, Holy Basil, & BlackBerry), plus support for stress and better sleep thanks to passionflower. If your brain needs a bit of get up and go, GABA Black is powered by Gingko, to enhance your cognitive performance and help you keep a clear head, and Ginseng to boost your energy levels and get you over the line.