Optimal Brain Nutrition

The human brain requires a high fat and protein diet for optimal brain function with a focus on foods which are grown organically and/or locally without herbicides or pesticides. Meat which is treated ethically and are free run/range and not injected with antibiotics and/or growth hormones. A fantastic book to read on nutrients for the brain is Primal Body Primal Mind by Nora Gedgaudas

Brain Food

  • Grass fed and finished meat is best second is finished with legumes
  • Poultry; chicken, duck, turkey raised on the range and finished is best or finished with marigold is second best
  • Wild fish
  • Wild game
  • Fats and oils; butter, lard, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil nuts, nut butter
  • Farm fresh free range chicken, duck or turkey eggs
  • Vegetables
  • Fresh and dried herbs including super greens; alfalfa, barley grass, wheat grass, nettle leaf, spirulina, chlorella
  • Fresh fruit with a focus on tart fruit; apples, berries, lemons, limes, mango, fatty fruit avocado

My preference for dairy is from goat or Jersey cow milk. Goats and Jersey cows are smaller than Holstein cows, making the Holstein milk molecules harder to digest, especially if you have sensitivities. Raw milk, butter and cheese are best if available.

The brain is quite complex and requires a diet higher in fats and proteins, without these nutrients one may feel fatigued, unfocused, and scattered, and may struggle with memory. If we eat processed food with artificial colouring, additives and nitrates, or feed it to our children and animal friends, it will affect the thoughts, mood and emotions.

Fats

Fats are essential for overall health, especially when we want to improve brain power. The brain, (dry weight) is more than 50% fat and holds the body’s highest concentration of DHA.  DHA comes from Omega-3 essential fatty acid (EFA) foods. The body does do not manufacture Omega- 3 or Omega- 6 and we must get those nutrients from our food.

EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) is converted in the liver to DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from Omega 3 rich foods and is necessary for a healthy brain/mind and body.

Average brain levels of DHA have diminished in the last 100 years, consequently, our brains have shrunk 10% because of a lack of Omega-3 rich foods in our diet. This happened because of an increase of grains fed to our livestock. Omega-6 essential fatty acids are plentiful in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and grains. Our health has been compromised due to an increase in the diet of Omega 6 EFAs and a reduction of Omega-3s; therefore, what we are observing from too many omega-6 EFAs which diminish brain function, causes inflammation and hormonal imbalances.

All fats and oils, whether vegetable or animal in origin, are some combination of saturated fatty acids, monounsaturated acids, and polyunsaturated acids.  The best way to get your essential fatty acids and other healthy fats is to eat products from animals that are grass-fed only: butter, ghee, lard, eggs, cheese, milk, kefir and yogurt preferably from raw dairy and healthy fats from nuts, coconut and olive oil.

OMEGA 6 EFAs

  • Linoleic acid (LA)  Soy, corn, cottonseed, safflower oils, sunflower, canola
  • Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) Evening primrose, borage, black current oil
  • Dihomo-gamma-linolenic acid (DGLA) Liver and other organ meats
  • Arachidonic Acid (AA)  butter, lard, animal fats, brain, organ meats, egg  yolk, seaweed

OMEGA 3 EFA’S

  • Alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) flax oil, green vegetables
  • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) fish liver oils, fish eggs
  • Docsahexaenoic acid (DHA) human milk, organic egg yolk, fish liver oils, fish eggs, liver, brain and other organ meat

It is best to focus on your omega-3 EFAs which come from animal sources on a grass-fed diet

OLEIC ACID OMEGA 9 Non-essential Fatty Acids

Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid known as omega-9 fatty acid that is found naturally in many vegetable and animal sources. Oleic acid is usually found trapped in triglycerides, which are lipids closely connected to oil production and secretion.  Blood triglycerides help the liver separate fats and glucose (simple sugars). Oleic acid is a larger molecule, so it can slide by other molecules without bonding, ensuring free flow of blood without forming plaques that are known to block arteries. Oleic acid is also known to increase brain power and strengthen the nervous system.

  • Supports memory, and optimizes the functions of the brain and neurological transmission.
  • Rich in antioxidants.
  • Strengthens the cell membrane integrity and helps in repairing cells and tissue damage.
  • Improves the functioning of the heart and circulatory system.
  • Helps in fighting cancer, especially breast cancer.
  • Reduces inflammation of the joints.
  • Aids in weight loss.
  • Helps in relieving symptoms of asthma.
  • Reduces atherosclerosis known as clogging and hardening of arteries.
  • Helps maintain blood sugar by reducing the resistance of insulin.

Foods Rich in Oleic Acid

Avocado, almonds, bacon, beef, beef tallow, butter, cashews, cheese, chicken, eggs, hazelnut, macadamia nut, olive oil, pistachio nut, pork, tahini

Herbs and certain food which flavors are bitter, sour and pungent aid in the digestion of fats and proteins. Such as: turmeric, dill, peppercorn, basil, lemon, juniper berry, ginger, cayenne, cinnamon and garlic are just a few.

Protein

Protein is about 20% of our body weight and is one of the main constituents of hair, skin, nails, eyes, and internal organs. Proteins are complex molecules made up of  combinations of 22 naturally occurring amino acids. Out of those 22, nine are essential; Essential amino acids are Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Valine.

  • Animal Sources: eggs, cheese, butter, milk, whey, yogurt, meat, poultry and fish
  • Vegetable sources:  legumes, fermented soy bean curd, nuts

Herbs which assist in fat and protein digestion are bitter and sour in flavor such as:
Dandelion greens and roots, burdock root, chamomile flowers, orange peel, lemon peel and Hawthorne berries are just a few.

Add some cardamom, ginger or cinnamon; helps with digestion (spicy-warm foods help digestion).

Whole natural foods are anti-oxidant rich foods which have anti-aging properties and are known to boost our memory and ability to think clearly.

Emotions and Digestion

Emotions such as too much worry, anxiety and eating fast can have a profound effect on our digestion making it difficult to digest food which affects the brain’s ability to function at full capacity. In order for digestion to be efficient it is important to have a calm, quiet mind so digestive enzymes can do their job. If under too much stress it is better to make food that is cooked taking stress of the digestive system such as soup made with bone broth or a stew or a congee with protein and fat.  This will be easier to digest and assimilate and provide enough fat, protein and minerals to support brain function to sustain you for hours. 

Are you aware too much stress or trauma can compromise your digestive system creating a myriad of other health problems? 

Do you know EEG-Neurofeedback gets rid of too much stress which can cause anxiety, depression, and excessive worry? 

Are you aware too much stress affects the nervous systems, connected to the brain through the spinal cord, connected to our endocrine and limbic system, connected to all other organs, glands and systems? For those who suffer from chronic digestive issues and other health problems due to life’s stressors or trauma EEG-Neurofeedback gets rid of too much stress. Too much stress affects the nervous systems which is connect to the brain through the spinal cord which is connected to our endocrine and limbic system which is connected to all other organs, glands and systems

The Right and Left Sides of the Brain

Uses healthy emotions/intuition/creativity Thinks in words
Thinks in pictures Deals in specifics
Deals in relationship Will analyze
Will synthesize/put together Thinks sequentially
Thinks simultaneously/holistically Is time bound
Is more moment orientate Extraverted
Introverted Is characteristically  more masculine
Is characteristically a more feminine approach Identifies with the individual
Identifies with the group Uses logic/reason
Is spontaneous/free More ordered/controlled

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