Food

Food

 

Is What You Feed Your Brain


 

 

What you eat is what you are!

Top 5 Brain Power Foods worth considering adding to your diet if you haven’t already (of course, make sure you don’t have any contraindications with any of these foods by consulting your health care provider first if you’re not sure). These are not listed in order of priority, as all are beneficial in different ways and via different mechanisms:

1) Wild Salmon

 

Wild salmon is one of the world’s healthiest foods for your brain, your body and your skin, it is clearly one of the healthiest foods that one can eat and that’s it. Use wild salmon (not farm-raised) in particular is a true brain food: one of the best sources of Essential Fatty Acids (such as the all-important Omega-3), a rich source of high-quality non-land animal protein, low saturated fat, generally among the lowest amounts of contaminants (such as mercury) among seafood, and other health properties — wild salmon can help do everything from improve your brain matter, your mood, your synaptic connections, your arteries, reduce your risk of stroke and Dementia and Alzheimer’s and much more.  To purchase Wild Alaskan Salmon click Wild Alaskan Salmon

Health Benefits

According to Dr. Nicholas Perricone MD, eating salmon regularly will make your skin look younger longer. Many health experts agree that we should eat two or more portions of fish a week, and an oily fish such as salmon once a week. Salmon is considered a healthy choice and an essential part of a healthful and balanced diet because it is rich in vitamins and minerals, such as niacin, selenium, iodine, vitamins A and D and omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients have been linked to reduced inflammation and the prevention of heart disease, according to the British government’s Food Standards Agency.

The Diet

The Perricone Prescription is presented as an anti-wrinkle diet with weight loss as an added benefit. In the diet, what you eat is just as important as the order in which you eat it. For example, protein is to be eaten first and Perricone suggests that the salmon consumed should be wild, or at the least organic.

Wild Alaskan Salmon
To Purchase Wild Alaskan Salmon
Wild Alaskan Salmon

Wild Alaskan salmon is generally available over 8 months of the year fresh, and the rest as “frozen at sea”. Voila!  It is a powerful brain food, body health food and powerhouse of healthy fatty acids.  Wow!

2) Cacao Beans

2) Cacao Beans

Raw Organic Cacao
Well is this Belgium chocolate, right? Hurray! My favorite chocolate is from Belgium “Cote D’or”.  It is one of the best know chocolate in the world and they did used cacao beans from Ghana.

Well, Maybe WRONG. what’s healthy is the cacao bean, minimally processed. This amazing, hedonistic bean is one of the world’s longest-revered foods (think ‘time of the Aztecs’ old, they enjoyed a type of bitter chocolate drink containing burned and ground cacao beans, maize, water, and spices.) and has in recent years been shown to be a veritable powerhouse of cognitive enhancement, mood and bliss-enhancement (thanks in part to the Theobromine in cacao), antioxidants, flavonoids, catechins and many other brain & body-enhancing elements. In fact, chocolate has been very recently cited by some top health professionals and researchers to be THE single most exciting health food, and as more research continues to pour in, the more true this appears to be.  Did you know cacao beans contain 621 antioxidants!!!

How is this possible, something that only recently was thought of as an unhealthy, dangerous, guilty indulgence…a sign of dietary decadence, now being hailed as beneficial to everything from brain health to skin elasticity to cardiovascular health to anti-cancer and pretty much everything in between? It’s simple: chocolate does not equal cacao bean, nor vice-versa; most candy and chocolate bars contain not only low levels of cacao bean compared to other unhealthy ingredients such as sugars, milk fat, artificial flavorings and so on, but the quality and processing of the cacao used in these products is often of low health benefits due to everything from alkalization (e.g. “Dutch process cocoa”) to refining and processing and over-roasting the healthy elements right out of the beans.

So if you want the real stuff, the best bet is to either use 100% organic non-alkalized cocoa powder from a high-quality maker who minimally processes the cocoa to ensure that the health properties are retained, or, second best, choose only high cacao percentage dark chocolate bars (typically at least 75% cacao content or higher, but we suggest 85% or higher), also from a high-quality provider.

The easiest way is to just mix a large spoonful of 100% organic cocoa powder with a bit of espresso, organic unsweetened soy milk and some cinnamon, even a sprinkle of cayenne red pepper…yes, cayenne pepper!) in the morning (and sometimes again in the afternoon) to make a drink not unlike what the ancient Aztecs used to make: it’s one tasty, brain & body-fueling drink that gives you your pure cacao bean dose without the sugars and milk fat, you get your protein from the soy milk, brain-enhancing (and blood sugar-stabilizing) cinnamon, a little brain-enhancing caffeine from the espresso and theobromine (plus more) from the chocolate, and a digestion, brain-enhancing and respiratory-enhancing kick from the cayenne pepper. No sweetener needed.

Did you know the annual consumption of cocoa beans averages around 600,000 tons per year and consumers spend more than $20 billion annually on chocolate with chocolate manufacturers using around 40% of the world’s almonds and around 20% of the world’s peanuts.
Lets hope, they are eating the dark organic chocolate with at least 75% cocoa.

In New Zealand a dad and his two kids, lost in the wilderness for two days, survived by eating chocolate and berries. Don’t leave home without it!

According to the research at West Virginia’s Wheeling, Jesuit University suggests chocolate may boost your memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain.

In summary, yes: chocolate is a brain health food. Or more specifically, the cacao bean is a true brain health and body health food. And worth considering adding to your diet (barring any allergies to chocolate or contraindications, of course).

3) Matcha green tea


Tea & Yerba Maté

Why are so many people switching from coffee to tea and yerba maté? Tea and yerba maté contain antioxidants that help to reduce harmful free radicals in your blood system. And while coffee is very acidic, tea and maté are alkaline, which helps you balance your body’s pH.

Tea and maté are both stimulants that don’t give you jitters, like coffee. Both have lesser amounts of caffeine, and yerba maté’s primary stimulant is theobromine – the same stimulant found in cacao.

Matcha green tea is the most nutrient rich green tea and it comes in a stone ground powder form and completely unfermented.

Japan

China is the leading of all nations for tea but the best Matcha green tea comes from Japan and it is steamed.  It retains all the nutrient rich value possible from the tea leaf and does not have a bitter taste.

Who we recommend

Royal Matcha Green tea it comes straight from the pristine tea plantations of Nishio, Japan.  Nishio teas  have been laboratory tested to make sure they don’t contain the toxic levels of metals found in teas grown near industrial development.  It is USDA Certified Organic Royal Match Green Tea shows its brilliant jade green colors.  According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition drinking five or more cups of green tea per day can make you 20 percent less likely to experience psychological distress than if you drink less than a cup.

Matcha Green Tea Latte Recipe

For one 12oz to 16oz serving: Blend 1-2 teaspoons of DōMatcha™ and a small amount of liquid with a spoon to make a smooth paste. You can use hot or cold milk as well as vanilla soy, rice or almond milk. Add more liquid and sweeten as desired. Try adding chai spices, vanilla or white chocolate syrups for delicious variations! 

 

 

 

“Jade Lemonade” Matcha Recipe

 

A new twist on a summer favorite: lemonade with a touch of matcha! Tangy lemonade goes perfectly with the sweet, mellow flavors of matcha green tea.

Simply add 1/2 teaspoon of matcha to 8 ounces of lemonade, and mix. This jade green refresher is perfect for those hot summer afternoons. Just sip, and relax!

 

Tea & Spice Matcha Chai Recipe

Add some spice to your routine with this terrific chai recipe, made with vanilla almond milk and DōMatcha™ green tea (serves two):

16 ounces vanilla almond milk
1-2 cardamom pods
1/8 teaspoon peppercorns
1/4 cinnamon stick
3 whole cloves
1/8 inch slice of fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried fennel seeds
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 teaspoon DōMatcha™

Bring almond milk and spices to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then simmer for 10 minutes. Strain into a blender. Let the mixture cool down for a few minutes, then add 1 teaspoon of DōMatcha™ and blend. You can also make a DōMatcha™ Chai Frappe by blending with ice. Mmm-matcha!

EGCG

Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) happens to be the most powerful catechin found in tea. According to one of the studies, it indicates that EGCG is 25-100 times more potent than antioxidant vitamins C and E.  Green tea has antioxidant effects greater than a serving of broccoli, spinach, carrots, or strawberries.

5 things to consider Matcha green tea

1) Support your immune system

2) Fight the signs of normal aging

3) Support your healthy digestion

4) Promote healthy function of your brain and liver

5) Help promote your healthy gums

Did you know!

Did you know in 2006 for the fourth time, Japan had the highest life expectancy rate in the world at 81.2 years.  The U.S., China, and most European countries other than Switzerland and Italy are not even in the top 10.  The monks in Japan are able to concentrate intensely for their 12 hour meditation sessions by been calm, focusing while stimulating at the same time, it’s no wonder Matcha became integrated into the monks’ meditative.

4) Acai berries, Blueberries and Strawberries

 

 

Acai Berry  

The Acai (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry is one of the most antioxidant rich superfoods available and was made famous as one of Oprah’s top 10 superfoods. USDA-certified organic, raw, gluten-free.

Available in 8 and 16 ounce packages.

Acai Berry Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients:

 

1 cup acai berry pulp
½ cup almond milk or 2 fruit juices (¼ cup each)
1 banana (sliced)
½ cup corn flakes
Slices of fresh fruits

Procedure:

Blend acai berry pulp, almond milk or fruit juices and sliced banana in a blender. Pour in a bowl and top the mixture with the corn flakes and fresh fruit slices.

The acai berry is one of the highest fruit sources of antioxidants and protein rich.  Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals which are harmful molecules produced by normal body functions or are effects of the environment.  It is a fruit of a palm tree that grows in the floodplain of the Amazon River.

Free radicals

Free radicals damage cells and are thought to create health problems that affect the heart, as well as causing cancer and other maladies so we need the berries!

The American Chemical Society

According to the American Chemical Society on August 24, 2010 and globally shows that eating acai berries, as well blueberries and strawberries, may retard the natural again processes of the brain.  It is also good for your health in many ways like acting as natural detoxifier, improving skin health and in helping i losing weight.

Scientific studies

Many scientific studies show acai berry being one of the best natural medicine for detoxifying, anti aging and the blood pressure. Acai berry the “wonder fruit” and for the first time, scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, managed to prove the health benefits of acai berries with a solid proof.  So, by eating acai berries, strawberries and blueberries can help your brain to stay healthy and prevent aging related memory disorders.  I know, what I am going to do, do you know what your going to do?

 

5) Coffee beans

Coffee. So popular, existing everywhere, yet still so surprisingly misunderstood when it comes to “healthy or not”. How can this be?

You’d think that virtually everyone would be an expert on coffee these days, given the explosion of coffee chains like Starbucks over the last decade. Perhaps it’s because the situation is much like chocolate: the coffee bean, much like the cacao bean, is incredibly rich with antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Fresh-ground gently roasted coffee bean powder (again, like with cacao) has numerous brain and body health benefits…yes, including the caffeine content which has recently been shown to be GOOD for the brain, not bad, and particularly in the area of antioxidants. Regular coffee consumption has been shown to actually reduce the risk of mental decline and diseases such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and has also recently been found to be (shockingly) the “#1 source of antioxidants in the average American diet”…showing at once how health food-deprived the average diet continues to be while illustrating the surprising health benefits of something as common as coffee.

So where’s the controversy and confusion? The problem comes in when coffee is combined with other unhealthy things, as is so commonly done: triple-carmel-double-whip-chocolate-creme-mocha-blast-freeze drinks, weak over-extracted brewed cheap poor quality coffee, coffee loaded up with artificial cream and sweeteners, you know the drill. Compare such carb, chemical and fat-laden concoctions with, say, a high-quality organic coffee freshly ground into an Espresso-grade powder and served as a couple shots of fresh espresso, straight? No comparison. This should be obvious, but surprisingly, many or even most people still don’t get it.

Equally odd is that for many people, coffee is still viewed as a ‘vice’, something bad for you, something ‘naughty’ that should be avoided…as if it were akin to smoking cigarettes or pounding shots of tequila. The origin of this bizarre thinking comes partially from the effects of the caffeine (and other elements) which contribute to the stimulating effects of drinking coffee, and yes, for some people, coffee is contraindicated due to sensitivity to caffeine or gastrointestinal effects that coffee can sometimes produce.

But generally speaking, the coffee bean is a safe, true superfood. And when properly consumed in ideal forms (such as pure Espresso), it’s one uniquely enjoyable beverage that also packs a host of brain and health-friendly properties to boot!

Remember foods to consider adding to your diet (barring any allergies or contraindications) if you’re interested in optimum brain health, overall health and longevity, and optimal aging.

It’s important to note however that none of these foods nor any other food, drink, supplement or drug is a “wonder drug” that will produce miracles, especially overnight. There’s no magic cure or wonder drug or superfood panacea that one should consume at the expense of an overall healthy diet and lifestyle, nor should you have unrealistic expectations around what any one of food can do for you. Rather, the foods cited here (like other healthy foods) are foods which have been shown to be particularly, often uniquely, beneficial when consumed consistently in moderation over time along with the rest of a healthy diet. And given that science is still in the comparative early days of understanding the complex mechanisms by which foods and nutrients affect the brain and body, it is likely that the subtle, complex interactions and combinations between several healthy food sources, combined with other healthy lifestyle practices such as exercise/healthy social interaction/genetic disposition and other factors, all work synergistically together to “balance the odds” in favor of (or against, if your diet is poor) optimum health.

1 Comment

  1. Great article and helpful information!

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