Tag Archives: brain

I Love Brain Food.

I have always had an interest in the brain and food.  Never realizing how  closely connected they are until I started my training back in 2007, as a herbalist and a holistic nutritionist.

I have read anecdotal accounts from ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) families and knew the results these families had with their ASD children when they removed gluten and dairy from their diets – but I had never experienced it myself until 2008.

I love learning and I love food (not that I look like it :0)). I have been ridiculed for  always taking courses and being a student for the rest of my life.  Life is an education.

Needless to say considering all the brain health issues we have in the world – whether it be with our kids, our grandparents or our military – there is a direct link with the food we eat or in some cases don’t eat and how our brains run. Our brains are approximately 66% fat and we need healthy full fat in our diets for our brains health.

I help many people of all ages with the ills of their lives but I have a lean towards brain health.  I have and do help with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders, Depression, Anxiety etc. There is not a one cure fits all and I am not saying they are cured, but the symptoms are alleviated and in some cases go away when changes are made in their lifestyle.

There is also a direct link to the health of your brain and the health of your gut.

The following recipe is kid approved, and skeptic approved (not sure how to best describe the taste tester).  These crepes are also enjoyed just rolled up as a snack. I have made the recipe as generic as possible because we do eat a more restrictive way than most – not that we personally think that way – it is just not mainstream. For lack of a better label or descriptive words, we are gluten-free, vegan (due to allergies), stage 1 Feingold and we eat a very high raw diet.

Berries are known for their anti-oxidant qualities, blueberries and strawberries have been researched more for their benefit to the brain.  Chia is a full protein seed that binds the crepe together and can help heal issues with the gut. It also delivers a superb dose of healthy fats for the brain.

blueberry crepes

Blueberry crepes, raw and stage 1 feingold

Fruit Crepes

1 c fruit (I use blueberries)

1/2 cup ground chia

1/2 cup flour – nut, brans, protein powders ( I use rice bran with tocotrienols and oat bran)

3 Tbsp liquid sweetener (I use coconut nectar)

3 drops lemon essential oil (optional)

Blend until smooth.

Spread 1/8-1/4 cup of batter on a teflex sheet. Use an offset spatula to make in a thin round pancake.

Dehydrate overnight.

Chop up fruit to go on top.  Add some jam or chocolate or cream into the centers and roll them up for a surprise.  Drizzle with maple syrup or a fruit coolis on top. Sprinkle some cinnamon powder over top.

This will make enough for approx 3-4 meals at 3-4 crepes per meal.

This recipe is:

low glycemic

Stage 1 Feingold

Sources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23240604

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20047325

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640963

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22569815

 

Advertisements

Curcumin (Turmeric) – Brain food – Not just for Curries and Cancer

We have all seen the news about the studies done on curcumin. Curcumin is the component in the spice Turmeric and Curries that give it the yellowish colour.  It is a spice mainly used in India, Asia and the Middle East.

Spanning the centuries, this common spice has been used for pain relieve, anti-inflammatory in the skin and muscles, a treatment for jaundice, menstrual difficulties, colic and flatulence, to name a few. In recent times, research has found that curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and anti-microbial when used for cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disorders, treatment for the liver, cancer and for neuro-degenerative diseases.

As it turns out, curcumin has shown promise for the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease;  the ability to reverse impaired cognition and the ability of nerve cells to change to the environment when subjected to chronic stress. Turmeric’s polyphenols, and powerful anti-oxidative actions, are showing the ability to counteract the cognitive impairment caused by traumatic brain injury (TBI) or neurodegenerative disorders.

Accordingly, as part of a dietary anti-oxidative therapy, turmeric could help promote protective processes in an injured brain, whether it be a TBI or an acute neurodegenerative condition.

The following recipe is an easy to make soup that utilizes many health promoting foods, along with turmeric to help give your brain a boost.

Vegetable Lentil Soup

1 cup orange lentils

1 onion, coarsely chopped

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped

1.5  cups cauliflower (including stem) coarsely chopped

1.5 cup broccoli (including stem) coarsely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp turmeric

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cracked black peppercorns

approx 5 cups water or vegetable stock

add at end:

1 can coconut milk

1 Tbsp  lemon juice

1 long red chili pepper (optional)

In a slow cooker add everything and cook on low for 6 hours.  Add in the coconut milk, lemon juice and chili pepper (if using). In batches puree the vegetables and stock keeping as much of the lentils whole as possible.

Serves 4.

Sources

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21520701

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19540859

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16364299

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21343524