Teen Brains Need Real Food
As most of you have heard, what you put into your body affects our bodies in many ways. How we look, how much energy we have, even how we smell. So, what does the food you eat have to do with how your brain functions? It matters a lot! Especially for teenagers. Teen brains need real food!
When we’re stressed out, our bodies release inflammatory cytokines. These little chemicals prompt the immune system to kick in and fight back against the stress through inflammation, as though stress is an infection. It’s been linked to issues like thyroid issues, anxiety, weight gain, allergies, high blood pressure and more.
But what does this all have to do with food? Our gut helps keep our body’s immune responses and inflammation under control. Additionally, gut hormones that enter the brain or are produced in the brain influence cognitive ability, like understanding and processing new information, staying focused on the task at hand and recognizing when we’re full.
|Here are the top 6 brain foods you should be eating to feed both your mind and body:
Avocados: Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke) as well as help improve cognitive function, especially both memory and concentration. Maggie Dillavou, Certified Personal trainer recommends, “Eating half of an organic avocado per day.” Her favorite recipe for avocados are an amazing breakfast: 1 slice of Gluten Free toast with half of an avocado, red onions, and 1 sunny side up egg. She states, “this gives you a natural boost from good fats and protein first thing in the morning.”
|Green Leafy Vegetables: In the study, which evaluated the eating habits and mental ability of more than 950 older adults for an average of five years, those adults who ate a serving of leafy green veggies once or twice a day experienced slower mental deterioration than those who ate no vegetables. The best sources are organic kale, organic spinach and organic arugula.
|Turmeric: Turmeric (haldi) helps boost antioxidant levels and keep your immune system healthy, while also improving your brain’s oxygen intake, keeping you alert and able to process information.
Walnuts: Just munching on a few walnuts a day can improve your cognitive health. Their high levels of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals also improve mental alertness. And amazingly, the vitamin E in the nuts can also help ward off Alzheimer’s. Dr. Courtney Sharpe, DC recommends “Eating 10 raw organic walnuts before a test or exam to improve focus”.
Dark Chocolate: Chocolate is high in flavonols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help lower blood pressure and improve blood flow to both the brain and heart. Skip milk and white chocolates and opt for a minimally processed Organic dark chocolate with at least 70 percent of cocoa. But don’t go overboard. I recommend 1 ounce a few times per week.
|Coconut Oil: Coconut oil works as a natural anti-inflammatory, suppressing cells responsible for inflammation. It can help with memory loss as you age and destroy bad bacteria that hangs out in your gut. Opt for Organic Cold Pressed Coconut oil. It is best uncooked in a green smoothie.
|Green Smoothie Recipe for Brain Focus
|About The Author
Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
|Saira Gillani, ND, CTN, CNW, MBA has been Double Board Certified as a Traditional Naturopath and in Nutritional Wellness from the American Naturopathic Certification Board, and has her Doctorate of Naturopathy from Clayton College of Natural Health, graduating Magna Cum Laude. To learn more about this Atlanta Naturopathic Doctor, please visit www.thrivehealthsystems.com or call (770) 667-0099.