If the old maxim “You are what you eat” holds true…I would probably be a pepperoni stick with a side of potato chips. That is, until I met Joanne Smith from Fruitful Elements. Joanne is a nutritionist who is passionate about what she does. I had the privilege of hearing Joanne speak at a Brain Injury conference in Toronto, and was very interested in her brain boosting tips. When I had the opportunity to work with her, I jumped at the chance to schedule a “healthy eating, grocery shopping trip”. The session was originally set up for a client of ours, but months later I noticed that I was following some of her healthy recommendations! Here are some of the notes I jotted down to share with you.
- Fatty Fish helps to lubricate the brain. Herring, Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines contain large amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids. This nutrient helps with our thinking as well as maintaining healthy brain cells. Three-to-four ounces of fish, three times a week should do the trick.
- Walnuts aid memory. If you think about it, walnuts actually look like a brain! Walnuts contain alphalinolenic acid which helps to improve our ability to remember information. I think we all could use some help with our memories!
- Oysters help to keep the brain sharp. Do you ever have memory lapses? Sometimes it’s because your levels of zinc and iron are low. So to keep your mind sharp, try eating oysters. Not only do oysters help us to concentrate, studies also show that they help to improve over all mental performance.
- Cherries are a natural anti-inflammatory. They contain similar COX-2 inhibitors found in some pain medications like Baclofen and Vioxx. Go Mother Nature!
- Fruits and Veggies that contain Vitamin C. We already know that Vitamin C can help boost the immune system, but it turns out that this familiar nutrient can also help to increase mental agility. Blackcurrants, oranges, bell peppers, guavas, kale, and broccoli are all rich in this mental boosting vitamin.
These days I carry a bag of walnuts in my car, and try to incorporate more fish into my weekly diet. I feel pretty good about how these simple additions are helping to boost my brain power.
Now…if only I could cut out that bag of chips!
Written By Kris Mamaril, Director of Rehabilitation Therapy