A Bigger Brain or A Bigger Butt?

Choose brain food for vibrant healthWhere do you want the food you eat to go, to your brain or to your butt and belly?

Some foods we eat seem to be directly tied to an increase in the size of our belly, hips, and derriere.  We know what those are; fatty foods like fast foods, sweets, and junk food.

But did you know that other foods have been proven to increase cognitive abilities and the actual size of your brain?  And with brains, the bigger the better!  A study published this past January in Neurology showed that people who eat certain foods are more likely to have larger and smarter brains.  Researchers used brain scans and 12 cognitive tests to see whether certain diets were associated with improved mental performance.

What helped the brain:  A high concentration in the blood of vitamins B, C, D, and E and omega-3 fatty acids was associated with better decision-making, attention, and visual and spatial skills.  Also, participants with the best memory skills were more likely to have higher levels of HDL “good” cholesterol as well as higher levels of two antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin.

Specifically, which foods should we eat to improve brain function?  Eat vegetables that are especially high in vitamins and antioxidants, such as zucchini, spinach, broccoli, and other deeply colored vegetables and fruits as well as foods that are rich in omega 3’s, such as flax seeds, walnuts and salmon.

For people concerned that they don’t get enough of such nutrients in their daily diet, dietary supplements like Ambrotose, Omega-3 with Vitamin D3, and PhytoMatrix are available.

What hurt the brain:  Participants in the study with the highest level of trans fat in their blood had more “brain fog” and smaller brains than other participants.  The study results indicate that we should avoid trans fats.  Trans fats are found mostly in fried, processed and commercial, packaged foods.

Why do some foods help the brain and others hurt it?  It is thought that some of the nutrients listed above may protect the outer walls of the brain’s cell membranes allowing the cell “machinery” to keep working properly.  One of the ways trans fats harm us is that they take the place of the “good” fats in our cell membranes and that may lead to deterioration of the cells’ structure.

When research like this shows that there is a direct link between what we eat and how well certain parts of our bodies function, it is clear that we can impact our health by the choices we make.  Do we want bigger brains or bigger butts and bellies?

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