Longevity Living | Eating Your Way to Clearer Thinking

Can you really eat your way to clearer thinking? The answer is yes — especially if you have a deficiency in one of the key nutrients that are essential to healthy brain function. There are also some substances in food that can help boost the power of a healthy brain or interfere with your thinking process if their levels drop. So if you’re feeling like you are a duller version of your personal best, here are three ways to give your brain a tune-up through your diet.

PURATHRIVE B12 – EATING YOUR WAY TO CLEARER THINKING

CHECK FOR NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES IN YOUR DIET

You meet someone familiar on the street. Their name is on the tip of your tongue, but it just won’t come to you. It’s easy to blame this kind of foggy brain on age or lack of sleep, but sometimes it’s simply a matter of your brain not having the building blocks it needs to do its job. There are several key nutrients that are essential to healthy brain function — one of the most important of which is B12.

Although vitamin deficiencies are much less common in North America than in developing countries, they still occur. In the case of B12, this is especially true for those on vegan diets, the elderly, or those with certain medical conditions such as gastritis. Alcohol, aspirin, antacids, and certain diabetes medications can also affect your body’s ability to absorb B12. Vitamin B12 is important for your brain because it is used in the production of myelin, which is needed for neural transmission — in other words, thought process. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include memory loss, confusion, fatigue, and irritability.

Fortunately, a B12 deficiency can be detected through a simple blood test, so talk to your doctor if you think you may have one. B12 is only found in animal products (such as milk, eggs, meat, and fish) or in fortified foods such as soya products and breakfast cereals. It can also be taken in supplement form or by injection for those with a significant deficiency. An adequate supply of vitamin C is also needed for your brain to operate at full capacity. Vitamin C is used in the production of norepinephrine, which helps you to stay alert and aids in long-term memory and learning. Make sure you get lots of vitamin C by eating foods such as citrus fruits, guava, kiwifruit, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage.

In the case of B12, this is especially true for those on vegan diets, the elderly, or those with certain medical conditions such as gastritis. Alcohol, aspirin, antacids, and certain diabetes medications can also affect your body’s ability to absorb B12. Vitamin B12 is important for your brain because it is used in the production of myelin, which is needed for neural transmission — in other words, thought process. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency include memory loss, confusion, fatigue, and irritability. Fortunately, a B12 deficiency can be detected through a simple blood test, so talk to your doctor if you think you may have one.

B12 is only found in animal products (such as milk, eggs, meat, and fish) or in fortified foods such as soya products and breakfast cereals. It can also be taken in supplement form or by injection for those with a significant deficiency. An adequate supply of vitamin C is also needed for your brain to operate at full capacity. Vitamin C is used in the production of norepinephrine, which helps you to stay alert and aids in long-term memory and learning. Make sure you get lots of vitamin C by eating foods such as citrus fruits, guava, kiwifruit, peppers, broccoli, and cabbage.

YOU ARE WHAT YOU CAN ABSORB (NOT JUST WHAT YOU EAT). PURATHRIVE LIPOSOMAL B-12.

EAT BRAIN FOODS

Even if you don’t have a nutritional deficiency, there are other substances in food that can boost your brain power. Foods rich in these substances are often called “brain food". Google “brain food” and you’ll get a lot of hits, but here are three of the heavy contenders:

  • Fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for healthy brain function. Clinical studies suggest that omega-3s help improve memory and reasoning function. As an added bonus, omega-3s are thought to improve high blood pressure, depression, and menstrual pain. If you don’t eat fish, don’t worry. You can also get omega-3 in flaxseed, walnuts, and soy products.
  • Cocoa. It’s not like most of us need an excuse to eat chocolate, but several studies have shown that eating cocoa can improve blood flow to the brain. Dark chocolate has the most cocoa, and researchers suggest about 6.7 grams a day (less that half of a normal size bar) is enough to provide health benefits. One caution: Where there’s cocoa, there’s often also a high-fat content, so moderation is the key. Milk chocolate does not contain enough cocoa to provide any health benefits.
  • Kale and other leafy greens contain powerful antioxidants that can reduce the effects of toxic free radicals in your brain. Toxic free radicals are unstable chemicals formed in your body as a result of exposure to environmental poisons. Kale is also rich in iron, folate, and B6, which are needed to produce the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.

KEEP YOUR BLOOD GLUCOSE (OR BLOOD SUGAR) LEVELS BALANCED

The glucose in our blood comes from the food we eat. It’s what supplies energy to the cells in our bodies and helps give us our get-up-and-go. Blood glucose levels naturally shift as we eat, but sometimes these fluctuations are extreme – especially after consuming large amounts of sugary, processed foods (like when we have a chocolate bar and pop break). First your blood glucose skyrockets, and then it crashes.

A study by the University of South Dakota suggests these crashes can lead to poor decision-making. Researchers asked subjects to respond to several scenarios where they had to make difficult choices. The subjects’ blood glucose levels were measured and – you guessed it – those with a lower blood glucose level made poorer choices.

(For more information on how to balance your blood glucose level, see The Glucose Connection: How Blood Sugar Affects Your Energy Levels).

Non-starchy vegetables like broccoli, cucumber, carrots and spinach provide essential nutrition while keeping your blood sugar evenly balanced. That’s something to keep in mind the next time you have an important business meeting or need to make an important decision! 

YOU ARE WHAT YOU CAN ABSORB (NOT JUST WHAT YOU EAT). PURATHRIVE LIPOSOMAL B-12.

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