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Boosting Brain Health:  4 Brain-Friendly Plant Foods

Boosting Brain Health: 4 Brain-Friendly Plant Foods

There has been an increasing amount of research showing the benefits of eating fat in helping boost brain health, improve long term brain function and protect the brain from premature degradation.  The brain is made up of a large percentage of fat, and as such, it only makes sense that consuming fat is important in supporting the brain structure and facilitating optimal function.  Turn to these plant-based foods to maximize your brain power!

Walnuts

When it comes to knowing which foods are best for your brain, one school of thought is to eat food that looks like the part of the body it is intended to help.  On that end, walnuts are a great choice for brain health, because they look like the brain, and would be an excellent addition to your weekly vegan food kit. In addition to the fat they offer, they are high in Vitamin E, antioxidants, and an important component of healthy skin, and it is also the vitamin at the front of research seeking to improve memory function and to ward off the development of Alzheimer’s.  Furthermore, they are a great source of plant-based protein. Eat these nuts raw by the handful or add them to the top of your morning porridge. 

Dark Chocolate

Most of us have heard that dark chocolate can have a good, healthy place in your regular routine if consumed in moderation, and that it is a good choice to include in your regular healthy meal prep as you make food in your Toronto home. Now there’s another reason to eat more chocolate: to boost your brain function!  It is high in antioxidants, helping remove free radicals from the brain, and the high cocoa ratio has been shown to have positive effects on cognitive function. The anti-inflammatory properties aid in improving blood flow, and this includes blood flow to the brain. In fact chocolate with 85% cacao or more has been shown in research to reduce stroke risk, through its blood flow improvement abilities.

Avocado

Everyone’s favourite, smashed up on toast, pureed into chocolate mousse, or part of your vegetarian prepared meals, this fruit is high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, which research has shown are two of the best fats for healthy brain fuel and help improve blood flow to the brain for optimal functioning.  Healthy levels of monounsaturated fat can contribute to regulating blood pressure and ensuring it remains in a safe range, which reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke.  You can also opt for avocado oil a brain boosting, heart healthy cooking oil which has a higher smoke point than olive oil, making it safer and healthier to cook with.

Ground Flaxseed

While avocado contains healthy fats, none of these are the essential fatty acids (EFAs).   The EFAs, consisting of Omega 3 and Omega 6, are considered essential because our body cannot make them itself and relies on consumption of them via our diet.  Ground flaxseed, as well as hemp hearts and hemp oil are two great sources of these for those following a plant-based diet. These contain the essential DHA, which is one of the most critical brain healthy fats and is harder for the body to extract from plant sources, making it important to consume in adequate amounts.

Following a plant-based diet doesn’t mean you have to give up your favourite foods.  In fact, it turns out that eating chocolate and avocado have the added benefit of helping your brain. And that’s why you’ll regularly see these included in our Savor Living meal subscription service.  Contact us today to get started on yours!

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