Eating well is just as good for our mental and emotional health as it is for our physical health. Research now shows that diet and nutrition play an important role in the prevention, development and treatment of neurological and psychiatric conditions such as dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, ADHD, anxiety and schizophrenia.
1. Walnuts – containing higher amounts of omega-3 than any other nut so walnuts are an excellent brain food. The Doctrine of Signatures is a philosophy which states that foods resemble the body parts which they have an affinity for. Walnuts happen to look like the human brain, because they are packed full of nutrients that are good for it!
2. Eggs – area great source of choline which is an essential nutrient for the production of acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter required for mood, memory, muscle control and other brain functions. Choline is also required for the structure and integrity of the cell membranes that protects all of our brain cells.
3. Oily fish – our bodies don’t make essential fatty acids, hence it is ‘essential’ that we ingest them through our diet. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel are a great source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA is required for regulation cellular inflammation, whilst DHA is important for the structure and function of our brain and nerve cells. Fats make up 60% of our brain mass, so don’t be afraid to consume healthy fats such as oily fish, nuts and avocado.
4. Turmeric – gaining huge popularity in recent times, turmeric displays potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds. Research states that its ability to reduce neuro-inflammation (inflammation of the brain) may play a role in it’s ability to treat depression. Turmeric has also shown the ability to break down beta-amyloid plaques, which play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
5. Rosemary –in Europe and Australia rosemary has long been used as a symbol of remembrance during war commemorations, but research shows that it can actually increase levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to literally improve our memory and cognition, and research is exploring its use in the treatment of neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.