Saturated fats should be used in moderation, but can still be a part of a healthy diet, especially coconut oil which has shown some promise in raising good cholesterol levels, weight loss, and combating brain disorders and degeneration. Trans fats found in hydrogenated vegetable oils are the ones to cut down on or avoid altogether. These raise cholesterol, damage the heart and the brain, and contribute to heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Anything that benefits the heart and circulation also benefits the brain. Try the following food:
Avocado – Avocados are a source of monounsaturated fats, omega 3, and omega 6 fatty acids. These increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol, and aid in the absorption of antioxidants. Avocados also come with many antioxidants of their own, including vitamin E, which protect the body and the brain from free radical damage.
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides that the body uses for energy, leaving glucose for the brain. It also seems to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol.
Beans and Legumes – Beans and legumes are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates. These complex carbohydrates are also mixed with fiber that slows absorption, giving us a steady supply of glucose for the brain without the risks of sugar spikes associated with many other sugar sources.
Blueberries – These berries are antioxidant powerhouses, protecting the brain from oxidative damage and stress that lead to premature aging, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. The flavonoids in blueberries also improve the communication between neurons, improving memory, learning, and all cognitive function, including reasoning, decision making etc.
Broccoli – Broccoli is a super food for the whole body. It is rich in calcium, vitamin C, B vitamins, beta-carotene, iron, fiber, and vitamin K. These nutrients protect against free radicals, keep blood flowing well, and remove heavy metals that can damage the brain.
Chia – Chia seeds are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and both soluble and insoluble fiber. These powerful little seeds help control blood glucose levels, are anti-inflammatory, aid in hydration, and also contain many antioxidants.
Dark Chocolate – The flavones in chocolate improve blood vessel function, which in turn improves cognitive function and memory. Chocolate also improves mood, can ease pain, and is full of antioxidants.
Nuts – Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds, are extremely good for the brain and nervous system. They are great sources of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.
Quinoa – Like beans, legumes, and whole grains, quinoa is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates and fiber to balance blood sugar while providing the essential glucose the brain craves. Quinoa is also a good source for iron to keep the blood oxygenated and B vitamins to balance mood and protect blood vessels. It is also gluten free for those with sensitivities to this protein.
Red Cabbage – Red cabbage is full of polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that benefits the brain and heart. Red cabbage also has compounds that fight cancer.
Make sure whatever you eat every day is not just good for your taste but also for your brain.