Eating for better brain health

It is true that ‘you are what you eat,’ especially when it comes to brain health and wellbeing. Surprised?

“Fine-tuning your brain to keep it alert and fog-free, disease-free, and operating as efficiently as possible, says Leanne O’Neil of INDY Neurofeedback, “starts with understanding what nutriments the brain needs to work most effectively. The number one thing you should be feeding your brain for mental clarity and optimum efficiency? Healthy fats,” O’Neil advises.

That’s because a robust 60% of your brain is composed of DHA and EPA. Both of these fatty acids are critical for supporting brain function, mood, regulating your body’s metabolism, and preventing inflammation. So providing your brain with omega-3 fatty acids found in things like fatty fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and even algae, makes good sense.

Why is inflammation so important to avoid when it comes to brain health? Inflammation is linked to the progression of diseases which can prematurely age the brain such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Eating more healthy fats doesn’t mean to go on a super high-fat diet. Instead, pair healthy fats with low-glycemic plant foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber and do not interfere with blood sugar.

Healthy plant foods:

  • asparagus
  • avocados
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • cauliflower
  • celery
  • dark leafy greens
  • mushrooms
  • nuts
  • olive oil
  • onions
  • peppers
  • radishes
  • seeds

Eating healthy fats along with these foods also helps you absorb more of the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. There lots of delicious ways to do this, including adding more whole, real foods from high-quality sources, such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Additionally, you can add some healthy saturated fats, like coconut oil and grass-fed meat. Your brain will absolutely benefit. Oh yes, and drink lots of pure, clean water!

What should you avoid? Highly processed and hydrogenated oils, which contribute to brain inflammation, including:

  • canola
  • corn
  • grapeseed
  • soybean
  • sunflower

At INDY Neurofeedback, we work with our clients so they understand how to achieve better brain health and overall wellbeing.