Achieving Optimal Healing and Wellness Through Integrative Care

At Kirkland Health Institute in Kirkland, WA, we strive to educate our patients on chronic health conditions and the ways that natural healing can help them. Our blogs provide reliable information on how you can lead a more active lifestyle and take steps toward healthy living.

Brain Food

November 9, 2017

Which Brain Foods Can Help Prevent Depression?

Just as your heart, your lungs and every other part of your body needs the right kinds of food to function optimally, it’s important that your brain receives nutrients from the right kinds of foods also. Many people don’t think about eating particular foods for the brain, but almost everything we take in affects it and how it acts or reacts.

Everything in your body works because of your brain…your brain is in control of your body and your diet is in control of your brain. Current studies are showing that between 40% and 50% of those who who eat a healthy diet are less prone to developing depression (and probably other brain related ailments as well, such as dementia). With that in mind, you’d think that everyone would be making the effort to eat foods that supply the most nourishment to the brain.

Think of your brain as an expensive automobile…you want it to run like the fine piece of workmanship that it is, so would you give it anything less than high octane fuel? I can’t think of anything more amazing than your brain, so why would you deprive it of the nutritional fuel it needs to continue functioning at it’s optimum?

It’s amazing that it has only been fairly recent that the correlation between brain function and good nutrition has been recognized, but fortunately for us now, we have the knowledge of what foods are good and essential for our brains, and which are harmful. Now it’s up to us to put that knowledge to work.

Important Nutrients for Your Brain

  • Omega-3 Fatty acids which help fight anxiety and depression. Good sources…
    • Fish – Mackerel, Herring, Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, White Fish, Anchovies
    • Fish Oil (salmon and cod liver oil)
    • Walnuts
    • Chia Seeds
    • Egg Yolks
    • Flaxseeds 
  • Zinc which helps develop new brain cells. Good sources…
    • Seafood – crab, lobster, oysters
    • Meat (grass fed beef)and Poultry
    • Legumes – lentils, edamame, black beans, chickpeas
    • Vegetables – spinach, kale, mushrooms, garlic
    • Nuts and Seeds
    • Dark Chocolate
    • Whole Grains
    • Milk and Dairy
  • Iron is the element that helps regulate your moods. Good sources…
    • Liver
    • Oysters
    • Chickpeas
    • Pumpkin Seeds
    • Beans of ally types, Soybeans, Lentils and Sesame Seeds
    • Spinach that has been cooked
  • Magnesium which can help prevent anxiety, depression, insomnia, fatigue ad ADHD symptoms. Good sources…
    • Dark Leafy Green Vegetables
    • Nuts and Seeds
    • Fish
    • Soybeans
    • Avocado
    • Bananas
    • Dark Chocolate
  • Folate, or vitamin B-9 is important to memory and cognition. Good sources…
    • Spinach
    • Beans of ally types, and Lentils
    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Turnip Greens
  • Dietary Fiber is a contributor  to healthy gut bacteria which  plays a part in good mental health. Good sources…
    • Beans
    • Whole grains and Rice
    • Nuts and Popcorn
    • Berries
  • Vitamin B-12 aids in memory and mood. Good sources… 
    • Fish – Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines,
    • Milk
    • Yogurt
    • Swiss Cheese
    • Beef (grass fed) and Beef Liver

  • Vitamin E helps prevent clinical depression and slows down progression of Alzheimer’s. Good sources…
    • Sunflower seeds and Almonds
    • Cooked Spinach, Beet Greens, Asparagus, Collard Greens
    • Avocado
    • Peanut Butter

Good Nutrition:

As you can see from our list, many of the good food sources provide us with more than one of the important nutrients which strengthen our brain function. Today, many of the food products we buy are enriched with these nutrients.

Something else you will notice is that many of these important food are either plant based or seafood.

Want to strengthen your brain and want to protect it from various brain related ailments? Ask yourself, “How many of these healthy nutrients are you eating every day?”

I specialize in Functional Medicine, and can help you deal with the difficulties of chronic health issues as well as how to eat a nutritional diet that will give your body and your brain a boost.

Contact me for a Consultation

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