- Green Tea - Green tea is a type of tea that is made from Camellia sinensis leaves that have not undergone the same withering and oxidation process used to make oolong and black tea. The Chinese have known of it’s benefits for hundreds of years… High in neuroprotective (referring to the relative preservation of brain cell structure and/or function) flavonoids, it’s a great source of antioxidants that can help to boost mood and cognitive function (1).
- Salmon - We all know that salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know that these are not only anti-inflammatory but they facilitate brain blood flow? These essential fats maintain structural integrity of the brain and the entire nervous system. The amino acids from fatty fish from precursors to brain neurotransmitters, and salmon also contains high doses of metabolism-boosting B vitamins. Researchers have found that omega-3 supplementation has positive effects on those suffering from mood and brain disorders such as depression and bipolar disorder (2). If budget allows, try to buy wild salmon, instead of the farmed stuff which is treated with antibiotics and feed any amount of chicken meal and artificial colours to make it look pink and healthy. In New Zeland you can get amazing quality wild salmon from Wildside Alaska.
- Spinach - This popular green vegetable contains folate which helps enzymes inolved in adrenaline production, and also boosts dopamine – a mood enhancing hormone. Green leafy vegetables contain vitamin K which is involved in nervous system development; and have also been shown to slow and potentially reverse signs of age-related declines in brain function. Folate has been shown to be a key nutritional deficiency in those suffering from Alzheimer's Disease (3), so boosting your intake of folate containing foods could be a preventative measure.
- Blueberries - Antioxidants in blueberries help to protect blood vessels, and these little berries have been shown to reduce cognitive decline (4). They are a fuel source for the nervous system and a great source of nutrient dense carbohydrates.
- Resveratrol - Not technically a food, but a polyphenol found in red wine, grape skins and seeds, Resveratrol has been found to reduce oxidative stress on neural cells, especially after brain injury (5). Recent research has also shown that Resveratrol can help to support healthy cardiovascular function. It’s hard to get enough of this fantastic polyphenol from food, but supplements are easy to come by. I recommend Now Foods Resveratrol.
(If you purchase from iHerb, be sure to use my discount code JAK348 which will get you a discount off your first order.)