When it comes to brain health, too often we think of the aftermath of an illness or disease rather than preventing it to begin with. Many people don't make the association between cardiovascular health and strokes when in reality, they are closely linked. Cardiovascular disease refers to narrowed or blocked blood vessels which can lead to a reduced blood flow to the brain which can result in a stroke.
Whole foods not only nourish our bodies, but they have the power of prevention and healing! When you provide the right building blocks your body can function optimally and incorporate these nutrients into structure at the cellular level. The foods listed below are great sources for nutrients that support healthy brain and cardiovascular function.
Healthy Fats & Minerals:
Did you know that the brain is nearly two-thirds fat? The fats we put into our body are crucial to brain health, especially essential fatty acids which are the building blocks of cognitive function. Giving your body the right trace minerals supports healthy neurotransmitter function and the building of anti-oxidant enzymes, which protect cell membranes.
- Flax Oil: The brain is partially comprised of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are the building blocks of cognitive function. Flax oil is a rich source of Omega-3's and should be consumed daily
- Olive Oil: Cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil served raw is a great source of unprocessed fats. It's high in oleic acid, which is a major component of the protective layer of fat surrounding neurons.
Nuts and Seeds:
- Hemp Seeds: Hemp seeds are saturated with healthy fats which are needed for cognitive function.
- Brazil Nuts: These nuts are filled with Selenium and Potassium which has been known to help prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Walnuts: A source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help to reduce oxidation in the brain as well as inflammation.
Working raw nuts and seeds into your diet in sauces, salads, as a trail mix, or even as a nut butter allows for variety in nutrients and flavour! A serving amounts to a 1/4 cup or roughly a handful to reap the health benefits and support cognitive function.
Marni Wasserman's, Certified Chef, Culinary Nutritionist, and founder of Marni Wasserman’s Food Studio & Lifestyle Shop