Best Foods For Active Brain Health

Today we’ll have a guest post on the best foods for active brain health.

About the guest blogger:

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer from Los Angeles whose writing covers everything on health and fitness, travel and dining and marketing and social media. To keep her mind active throughout the day, she drinks coffee every morning.

Hope you’ll enjoy it :)

Just as eating the right foods can protect your body from disease and improve its ability to function, eating well can also help to protect and enhance your mind. Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals are all necessary to keep your brain working at an optimal level, while helping prevent certain debilitating illnesses and boosting performance.

Maintaining a healthy diet is an excellent way to get these necessary elements. Many of the nutrients needed to keep your body healthy are the same that constitute a “brain-healthy diet”, as defined by The Alzheimer’s Association: “one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages good blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol.”

Here are a few of the best foods that will help keep your brain healthy:

1) Avocados: This fatty fruit contributes to healthy blood flow, which in turn, means a healthy brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure, which can protect against hypertension—a condition which can lead to a decline in cognitive abilities.

2) Apples: Eating an apple a day can help keep the doctor away…from your brain! The quercetin (a phytonutrient) found in apples protects the brain from deterioration due to oxidative stress, which can lead Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

3) Eggs: The “perfect protein,” eggs provide steady energy to fuel the body and brain. They are also are high in choline—a necessary component in the production of brain cells specializing in memory.

4) Whole grains: Folate found in whole grains plays a great part in the development of brain cells. Enriched whole grain products not only provide this much-needed nutrient, but also are an excellent source of fiber—for energy regulation—and other B vitamins, which help enhance alertness.

5) Blueberries and strawberries: The antioxidants found in these sweet and tart berries are associated with improved motor skills and memory. Some research also suggests that a diet high in antioxidants can also inhibit the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

6) Salmon or other fatty fish: Research has shown that people who regularly consume fish have a better memory than people who do not eat fish. In addition to the protein for energy, fatty fish are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids—which are linked with an improved ability to learn, and provides protection from Alzheimer’s disease.

Of all the fatty fishes, salmon is the number one source of DHA, the predominant omega-3 fat in your brain, which can help protect against Alzheimer’s disease. Salmon is also nature’s top source of vitamin D (a deficiency in vitamin D is linked to cognitive decline amongst older persons).

7) Coffee: A recent Finnish study found that people who drank three to five cups of coffee a day reduced their chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 65-percent (compared to individuals who drank only two to three cups a day).

The antioxidants found in coffee are believed to provide these protective effects. And the caffeine—a natural stimulant—found in coffee helps enhance focus and concentration, and can stimulate the production of endorphins, which can improve mood.

8 ) Dark chocolate: Like coffee, dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidant properties and contains a small amount of caffeine. Additionally, the polyphenols found in cocoa is considered to help increase blood flow to the brain.

A Journal of Nutrition study in 2009 found that eating dark chocolate (the type that has the highest levels of polyphenols and antioxidants) each day helps protect against age-related memory loss—a third of an ounce was all the subjects needed to eat in order to see the benefits.

These eight foods will help you protect your brain from disease and deterioration while also boosting performance. The best “brain foods” not only help to improve focus and memory, but also provide energy for busy days. Try to incorporate some of these foods into your daily meals, and eat them frequently to see the biggest benefits.

A New Light Menu!

I got a twitter message from Casper & Gambini’s yesterday. They wanted to offer a food order delivery of a selection of their newly launched light menu.

Satisfy your cravings with anything off our menu.

We will have it delivered to you at any time and place!

I’ve order the below items and asked to be delivered at 12:30pm to my workplace, providing them with my phone number.

They were very punctual; the food was delivered just on time and the items were nicely packed. The food temperature was excellent for a delivery order (the smoothie was cold, the cheesecake was still in shape and the gnocchi was perfectly warm).

Japanese Shrimps Salad

Ingredients: Shrimps, Asian vegetables with an Asian dressing. It’s an Asian sweet combination; the black sesame on top gave it a refreshing taste with the pickled ginger.

Gnocchi

Ingredients: Gnocchi with mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini and pesto with a base of tomato sauce. You’ll love the combination of the tomato and pesto sauces.

Honey Vanilla Cheese Cake

Ingredients: Light Cream Cheese with Vanilla Bean flavor, Strawberry and Strawberry Sauce. Cheese Cake lovers, it’s not bad for a light replacement.

Fresh Fruit Freezers – Strawberry

I think it’s made of fresh crushed strawberries, mashed and strained. If you like strawberries, then you’ll love it. It’s light and refreshing.

Here’s a recap, according to their menu list:

Item Price (L.L) Calories (Kcal)
Japanese Shrimps Salad 16,500 210
Gnocchi 14,750 300
Honey-Vanilla Cheese Cake 8,500 200
Fresh Fruit Freezers – Strawberry 8,750 83
Total 48,500 793

Having lunch for ~ 50,000 L.L might not be a daily option. Yet, irrespective of the price having a good quality yet light selection of items for lunch wrapping up to 793 kcal might be a clever choice.

So what’s with the Blue Strawberry??

Dear viewers!!

The post on the Blue Strawberry is ONLY sharing the attempt of GMO strawberries yet, more research is needed concerning the matter; up to this date there are NO blue strawberries in production, as far as we know. We respect all points of views concerning this issue and we insist on not showing any side (against or with) the topic.

Please check our CLARIFICATION post!!

Moreover, inorder to answer all your questions and concerns kindly check out our interview with Dr. Kevin M. Folta on The Blue Strawberry Incidence!!

Thank you!!

Disclaimer: This post is written ONLY to answer the question on what is a Blue Strawberry and if it exist or not; the picture presented is NOT our property, kindly find below the source link.We are showing neither side on the topic.

I’ve been asked in several occasions about a blue strawberry and whether it truly exists. Thus, I thought of reposting one of my first blog posts to clarify this point.

The Blue Strawberry is a genetically modified food.

To start with, genetically modified foods are foods that are engineered through an artificial transfer (insertion or deletion) of genes; the genes usually come from different species.

Scientists have found that the “Arctic Flounder Fish” produces an antifreeze to protect itself in freezing waters.

Thus, the gene that regulates the production of the antifreeze trait was taken from the Arctic Flounder fish and was genetically introduced into the strawberry plant. As a result, a gmo strawberry plant is formed.

The gmo strawberry plant can withstand icy freezing temperatures; thus wouldn’t degrade or turn into mush after being placed in the freezer. To this date, such attempts are done for research purposes!!

The post shared the attempt of GMO strawberries yet, more research is needed concerning the matter; up to this date there are NO blue strawberries in production, as far as we know.

Reference:
Graduate Program Advanced Biochemistry, Genetically Modified Foods Lecture Notes, Dr. Imad Toufeili, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Picture Source:
http://dirtymartini.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/bluestrawberry.jpg?w=500&h=403

Related References:
– AGROBACTERIAL TRANSFORMATION AND TRANSFER OF THE ANTIFREEZE PROTEIN GENE OF WINTER FLOUNDER TO THE STRAWBERRY http://www.actahort.org/books/484/484_99.htm

– CBF1 Gene Transgenic Strawberry and Increase Freezing Tolerance http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-DNYX200702001.htm

– THE GENETIC TRANSFORMATION OF STRAWBERRY WITH WINTER FLOUNDER ANTIFREEZE PROTEIN GENE http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-HNXB200903015.htm

– The Genetic Transformation of Strawberry with Winter Flounder Antifreeze Protein Gene http://www.hnxb.org/EN/abstract/abstract8448.shtm

– GENETIC ENGINEERING http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/T2114E/T2114E07.html Transgenic Strawberry: State of the art for improved traits http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0734975007001371

-Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of modified antifreeze protein gene in strawberry http://webfortesting.com/journal/27-4/02-strawberry-gene.pdf

We Express in This Way…

People have different ways of expressing feelings, desires, wants… feelings of love, hate, happiness, gratefulness and much more…

Some people draw, others dance, sing, write or create a piece of art…

Yet, we express in this way…

We Hate in this way…

We Laugh in this way…

We Love in this way…

We Hug in this way…

And we Thank in that way…

Our big thank you goes today to our dear friend “Yellow Lemon”…

You flavoured our lives with this exceptional sourness and enriched our minds with such healthy evergreen thoughts; boosting our immunity and making us strong enough to withstand those icy freezing situations we cross by…

“Yellow Lemon” Thank you for zesting up our lives…

Dear all stay tuned to our upcoming posts. Share your thoughts, ideas, and state all your questions on anything related to food: Dieting, Nutrition, Health & Cooking…

We will be there waiting…

Children… Eczema… and Diet

Yesterday night I received an email from “Eggplant”…

“Eggplant”

Dear Blue Strawberry…
Hope this email finds you well…
I have two children and they both have eczema…
Do you have any food/nutrition recommendations related to eczema???
I’m a bit worried…

“Blue Strawberry”

Well… first I need to know if your children have any food allergies… however for now it’s good to know that…

Most children with eczema do not have any reactions to food. Though, in some children, food allergies
may prompt some skin reactions.

The diet for eczema varies depending on the sensitivity of the child towards certain foods.
For example, milk may prompt eczema in some children, while it is safe for other children.
Thus, the diets vary from one child to another.

For me to plan a food related eczema diet, the first important step, is to identify the type
of foods that might affect the eczema.

I’ll give you a list of items that MIGHT trigger some reactions:

Milk and dairy product: Milk, cheeses, yogurt, chocolate that contains cow’s milk…
Wheat based products and cereals: Bread, crackers, donuts, pancakes, barley, oats and rye…
Nuts: Peanuts, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts and pistachios…
Seafood: Shellfish, salmon, tuna, lobster, mussels, crabs…
Acidic fruits: Orange, lemon, strawberries, plumps, blueberries, prunes and tomatoes…
Eggs and soy products
Food colorings and food additives: Sodium benzoate, glutamate, tartrazine…

I can’t surely detect what is relevant to your children; nevertheless I insist that you get back
to your children doctor… and upon the doctor’s prescriptions, tests etc… we can move forward to the next step…

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