Top 5 Nutrients & Foods for Brain Health: Medical Mike’s was born with the vision to bring the vast benefits of cannabinoids to people, without the psychoactive effects. CBD is one of the most amazing cannabinoids in the hemp plant for many reasons, from helping you de-stress to offering pain relief. But it also has an impact on your brain health. How? Read below to find out.
Top 5 Nutrients & Foods for Brain Health
- Cannabidiol (CBD): CBD is a neuroprotector agent and has the unique ability to act on the brain’s receptors for serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and social behavior. While studies are limited, CBD oil has shown promise as a natural approach to treating both, depression and anxiety. CBD oil has been used to safely treat insomnia and anxiety in children with post-traumatic stress disorder and shown antidepressant-like effects in several animal studies, without the addictive side-effects.
Foods with CBD: Hemp-based food items and CBD oil tinctures.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are considered to be important for normal brain function and development throughout all stages of life. Present in abundance within the cell membranes of the brain cells, they are vital to facilitating communication between cells. While more research is required, some research shows that people who consume more omega-3s from food such as fish may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other problems with cognitive function.
Foods with Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty Fish like Salmon, Cod Liver Oil and Algal Oil (for the plant-based people) are good sources of EPA/DHA. ALA can be sourced from seeds and nuts like hemp seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts.
- Sulforaphane (SFN): SFN is a phytochemical whose precursor glucoraphanin is found in cruciferous vegetables, with the highest concentrations in broccoli sprouts. SFN belongs to the group of plant-derived compounds called isothiocyanates. While human trials on this compound is limited when it comes to brain function, a variety of preclinical research have shown promise indicating the role of SFN in neuroprotection. SFN has very strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which allow it to dramatically reduce cytotoxicity in the nervous system. Animal studies suggest that SFN supplementation could be disease-modifying for many common, debilitating central nervous system (CNS) diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, stroke, and others.
Foods with Sulforaphane: Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, bok choy and most importantly broccoli sprouts.
- Curcumin: Neurons form new connections constantly, and in some areas of our brain, can multiply in number as well. This process is driven by several factors, but one of the key ones is brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a type of growth hormone that functions in your brain. Curcumin boosts levels of the brain hormone BDNF, which increases the growth of new neurons and fights various degenerative processes in your brain. In doing so, it may be effective in delaying or even reversing many brain diseases, improving memory. However, controlled studies in people are needed to confirm this.
Foods with Curcumin: Turmeric
- Flavonoids including Anthocyanins: Anthocyanins are colored water-soluble pigments belonging to the phenolic group. They are responsible for the colors, red, purple, and blue, in fruits and vegetables. First, the high antioxidant content of these fruits may scavenge free-radicals and reduce inflammation in the brain. Additionally, flavonoids in fruits have the potential to inhibit cell death of nerve cells (neurons), and improve connections between the neurons, especially in the areas of the brain associated with learning and memory (hippocampus). Flavonoids may also have some potential benefits in preventing or slowing Alzheimer’s disease
Foods containing Anthocyanins: Berries, currants, grapes, and some tropical fruits have high anthocyanins content. Red to purple-blue colored leafy vegetables, grains, roots, and tubers are the edible vegetables that contain high levels of anthocyanins.
While the research is still ongoing on all of these compounds and understanding their true impact on brain health, these are still great nutrients to consume directly from natural sources in our environment and augment your nutrient profile with these foods.