Feed Your Brain

In a recent issue of TIME magazine, an article by Dr. Andrew Weil caught our attention.

Weil believes that what you eat not only affects you health, it can also possibly feed your brain. Weil went on to suggest some good “brain food”.

Fish, which contains the so-called omega-3 fatty acids, are important because a deficiency them can weaken the brain’s architecture and leave it vulnerable to disease. . He suggests oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, bluefish and black cod as the best sources.

Mediterranean and traditional Japanese diets are high in omega-3fatty acids. The North American diet is not. Dr. Weil sticks to sardines, herring, Alaskan black cod and Alaskan sockeye salmon. But he also says that for many people, it is easier and safer to rely on fish-oil supplements. A good starting dose of fish oil of any kind is 1 g a day.

As for brain foods other than fish and fish oil, he suggests keeping an eye on turmeric, the yellow spice that is a major ingredient in American mustard and Indian curries. Weil says it is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that has anticancer properties and may offer significant protection again Alzheimer’s disease.

India has the world’s lowest rate of Alzheimer’s and some experts think that daily consumption of turmeric is a contributing factor.

Finally, he recommends fruits and vegetables. The pigments that account for the varied colors of vegetables and fruits have antioxidant properties that offer significant protection against cancer and other chronic diseases, as well as protection from a range of environmental toxins, including pesticides.

Weil says toxic injury to the brain is almost certainly the cause of Parkinson's disease and probably Lou Gehrigs’ disease. Therefore he says it is a good idea to eat every day from as many part of the colo spectrum as you can. It’s also a good idea to take a daily multivitamin-multimineral supplement that provides the right doses and forms of the key antioxidants: vitamins C and E, mixed carotenoids and selenium.

Weil reminds that in addition to brain food, regular exercising of the mind and not smoking are also important. And he closes with this advice: Eat your vegetables, think about your daily dose of omega 3s, and consider flavoring more of your food with turmeric.



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