Food for Thought

Food for Thought

Text By Rosanna Morales

Over the years researchers have found that if you are over 40 the groundwork for various brain diseases may already be developing in your brain. Fortunately the research also shows that there are various ways you can add quality of life to your years. It’s all linked to the plants you eat

Before spending your hard earned money on pharmaceutical drugs try introducing the following accessible and affordable plant foods.
These plant foods can make the biggest difference to your brain’s health because of the critical minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and a host of other important phytonutrients that they offer. They also immediately support your memory and your mental function.

Here is a list of easily accessible and affordable brain foods you can add to your daily diet

After water, tea is the most widely consumed and powerful beverage in the world. There are four types of tea: white, green, oolong, and black. All of these can be derived from the same plant. Of the four types of tea, white and green are the least processed. They have the highest levels of antioxidants, and the lowest levels of caffeine.
Tea consumption has been linked to reduction rates of brain disease. A considerable body of evidence shows that tea may be good for increasing your memory. While all types of tea have potent brain-boosting powers, green and white teas have the highest levels of beneficial antioxidants.
How to enjoy the benefits of tea:
he best way to get the benefits of tea is to brew it. Try drinking it black with a squeeze of lemon. Avoid buying pre-bottled tea due to the high sugar content.

Turmeric is widely thought to be one of the primary reasons India’s populations have among the lowest rates of brain disease in the world.
Its orange colour comes from curcumin, a micronutrient with antioxidant activity. Many studies have demonstrated curcumin’s ability to prevent or even help to reverse the symptoms of brain disease. Curcumin may also help aging blood vessels to relax and increase blood flow to the brain.
How to enjoy the benefits of turmeric:
Add turmeric to sauces, curries, and stir fries for a boost of flavour. Combining turmeric with black pepper and a small portion of plant fat will help your body to better absorb the curcumin. You can add it to all dishes for both flavour and colour. And don’t worry – you won’t turn orange ?

The science exemplifying a major link between blueberries and brain health is extensive. They are rich in antioxidant compounds known as anthocyanins, which have been shown to improve brain function.
Berries of all types, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and all the rest, contain critical minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols, and a host of other important phytonutrients that are good for your brain, your heart, and your overall health.
How to enjoy the benefits of berries:
Add blueberries to your cereal and juices and salads. One cup of berries provides you with your daily antioxidants and vitamins. Never leave the supermarket without them!

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, and Brussels sprouts are rich in nutrients that benefit brain health. Research has found that eating leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, once or twice a day can significantly cause less cognitive decline. One particular pieces of research showed that participants who ate greens halted their mental decline by an average of 11 years!!!
How to enjoy the benefits of green vegetables: Green vegetables can be enjoyed raw as a salad, steamed, baked, and used as a wrap. Eat a bunch of them every day to keep you hydrated.

Research has shown, time and time again, that the more legumes people eat, the longer they live. Legumes are the one food group that is consistently linked with a longer lifespan in every nation and group.
Studies have shown a daily increase of two tablespoons of legume consumption is correlated with an 8% reduction in risk of death.
The legume family includes many colourful varieties of beans, peas, lentils, soybeans, and even peanuts. They grow in pods, and like nuts and seeds, each legume has the potential to sprout and grow into a new plant. Legumes contain folate, iron, magnesium and potassium, which can help with general body function and also with neuron firing.
How to enjoy the benefits of legumes:
Legumes are one of the most versatile plant foods used across many of the world’s cuisines. They are great in soups, stews and for creating a variety of burgers and dips. Add at least one cup of legumes to your daily menu and get your neurons firing!!!!

Red grapes contain resveratrol*. Studies have shown grapes can enhance brain health and delay the onset of degenerative neural diseases. According to one study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, grape juice can even improve the brain function of older people who have already displayed mild cognitive impairment.
To get the most out of this brain-protecting plant food, one study found eating the equivalent of 2 cups of grapes per day was the most beneficial.
How to enjoy the benefits of red grapes:
Eat red grapes (especially Muscadine grapes, which have the highest resveratrol
levels found in nature). While alcohol may not suitable for everyone, studies indicate that consuming moderate amounts of red wine (1/2 cup per day) can be a way to enjoy resveratrol. For this reason, if you’re going to consume alcohol, red wine is probably your best option. But you can also get the same benefits by simply drinking red grape juice. Eating red grapes is best of all, because it gives you the fibre and other nutrients from the whole grape.

*Resveratrol is a plant compound that acts like an antioxidant. It is found in red wine, red grape skins, purple grape juice, mulberries, and in smaller amounts in peanuts. It is used as a medicine commonly used for high cholesterol, cancer, heart disease, and many other conditions.

Add these plant products to your brainy shopping list:
Green tea, white tea, turmeric powder, red (Muscadine) grapes, red wine or grape juice, legumes, broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, Brussels sprouts, spinach, raw peanuts, blueberries and other berries

Rosanna Morales is a Vegan Nutritionist and is currently the administrator of the new Facebook group Vegan Nutrition for Women.