Food on the Brain - Top Brain Boosters to Add and Brain Drainers to Drop From Your Shopping List

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

The foods in your pantry and fridge are affecting your brain. Dr. Christopher Calapai DO, a NYC Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine, explains the foods we choose have everything to do with how sharp, attentive, alert, focused and happy we feel after consumption.

Certain foods may taste great have additives in them that literally cloud our brains and leave us sluggish and dull headed. The opposite is also true. We can eat certain foods and feel a charge of mental energy and focus. We spoke to Dr. Calapai and got a quick list of foods that boost and drain the brain. Which ones will you add and remove from your shopping list?

Brain Boosting Foods to Add!

1. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great sources of vitamin E.  Higher levels of vitamin E correspond with less cognitive decline as you get older. Add an ounce a day of walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed, and un-hydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini. Raw or roasted doesn't matter, although if you're on a sodium-restricted diet, buy unsalted nuts. “Adding nuts to your diet can aid in decreasing levels of enzymes that lead to protein plaques from forming and dementia. Nuts can also reduce brain inflammation, keep blood pressure low, key for preventing stroke,” explains Dr. Calapai.

2. Blueberries

“I eat these daily and encourage patients to add blueberries to as many things as possible. They’re great on their own, added to a shake, to oatmeal, or even to a salad,” says Dr. Calapai. Blueberries are tasty and sweet and loaded with antioxidants. They’re packed with vitamin C, K and fiber and pack high levels of gallic acid, making them especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration and stress. “Studies show that eating blueberries can boost focus and memory for up to 5 hours,” adds Dr. Calapai

3. Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the best brain foods out there. Thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline which is a B vitamin know for aiding brain development keeps memory sharp and protects the brain from later decline with age. It’s also loaded with vitamin C. Just one cup provides you with 150 percent of your recommended daily intake. Its high-fiber levels makes you feel full quickly, too. “People hear broccoli and roll their eyes thinking it’s bland a boring. Think of broccoli as a canvas ready to be painted with spices and flavors, offers Dr. Calapai. Try stir frying with a bit of olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add in a spoonful of orange or lemon juice and it gets this nice sweetness to it.

4. Fish

Salmon, mackerel, tuna, and other fish are rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA seems to be very important for the normal functioning of neurons in the brain. Eating more fish often means eating less red meat and other forms of protein that are high in artery-clogging saturated fats. “People who are lacking in Omega 3’s can experience mood swings and feeling edgy or negative. Omega 3’s have been know to be mood boosters in addition to enhancing focus and memory,” says Dr. Calapai.

5. Avocado

This creamy treat is also a rich source of the antioxidant vitamin E. Research suggests that foods rich in vitamin E—including avocado, which is also high in the antioxidant powerhouse vitamin C—are associated with a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

HL Health, Wellness: Feeling Less Than Frisky - Ten Foods to Get You In the Mood This Valentine’s Day

Brain Drainers to Drop!!

 1. Partially Hydrogenated Oils

There is zero reason to ever eat foods that list "partially hydrogenated oils" in their ingredients list. It's code for trans fats, which, in addition to upping your risk for obesity and damaging your heart health, can cause serious brain drain. “Diets high in trans fats increase beta-amyloid, peptide 'plaque' deposits in brain associated with Alzheimer's disease. One study published in Neurology found that people who consumed high levels of trans fats had lower cognitive abilities and smaller brains later in life,” says Dr. Calapai. Common culprits include fried foods, baked goods, and processed foods. So bake or grill chicken instead of frying it, go for sweet potatoes instead of French fries and avoid anything wrapped in plastic that sits on a shelf for months at a time.

2. Added sugars

The average American eats 79 pounds of added sweeteners per year which can cause constant insulin spikes and inflammation resulting in both vascular and neuronal damage. One study published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity found that large amounts of sugar cause the hippocampus, the brain's memory control center, to become inflamed, meaning it can’t work at 100 percent. Meanwhile, one cross-cultural analysis found that high sugar intake is linked to depression. “Sugar is a big trap because when you eat something sweet there’s a high initially. It feels good at first taste but then once it starts to be processed in the body there’s a heaviness that follows, says Dr. Calapai.

3. Saturated fat

A diet high in saturated fat can decrease the brain’s ability to fight the formation of Alzheimer's-linked brain plaque. An onslaught of saturated fat also hurts your brain in the short-term. Saturated fat impairs your brain's ability to learn and form new memories within as little as 10 minutes after chowing down. Processed meats such as bacon, pepperoni, pork sausage, or chorizo are examples of very tasty foods that are high in saturated fat. “Look we all like to indulge from time to time and that is fine, but when saturated fats are staples in your diet, then that’s going to take a toll,” advises Dr. Calapai.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham's, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net

Haute Tease

  • Twin Explosions in Russian Metro Blast; Ten Killed; Dozens Injured (Pictures)

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    At least ten commuters, possibly children on spring break, are known to have died as twin shrapnel bombs tore through two subway trains, in St. Petersburg, Russia, that left dozens injured according to the state news agency TASS.

     
  • Queen Marie of Romania Review – A Captivating Historical Drama Interesting

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Queen Marie of Romania, distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, presents the true story of Romania's devastation after World War 1, and the unwavering effort of its Queen to seek assistance for her country at the 1919 Paris peace talks.

     
  • Le Temps des Idéologies est Révolu

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A l'approche de l'élection présidentielle, une chose est claire : les partis en présence semblent tous dépourvus d'une philosophie politique autour de laquelle fédérer en masse militants et sympathisants, marquant ainsi la fin des modèles de pensée longtemps dominants.  

  • Public Kitchen & Bar Review: An L.A. Eatery ‘For the People’

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The legendary Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel has been a L.A. landmark since 1927, having hosted the first-ever Academy Awards and still serving as a playground for tinsel town’s A-team.  Fun-loving gastronomes like me also flock to the locale for another reason: Public Kitchen & Bar.

     
  • Mackenzie Lueck, Murdered Utah University Student, Slut Shamed

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Days after the charred remains of University of Utah student Mackenzie Lueck were found in Logan Canyon, 85 miles from the alleged murder scene, internet trollers have slut shamed the El Segundo native over her social media postings.

     
  • Beltway Insider: Trump/Impeachment, UK Tory Win, NZ Volcano, Greta Thunburg/Bob Iger, Danny Aiello

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    After a day of contentious debate, the House Judiciary committee approved two Articles of Impeachment against President Donald J. Trump, making him the fourth president in history to face the possibility of removal of duties from Impeachment.

     
  • Dope is Death Review – A Story of Hope, Radicalism, and Determination

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Dope is Death, tells the story of how Dr. Mutulu Shakur, along with fellow Black Panthers and the Young Lords, combined community health with radical politics to create the first acupuncture detoxification program in America in 1970s Harlem.

     
  • G-Form Collaborates with Bruins Goalie Tim Thomas to Introduce Lightweight Extreme Shock Absorbing Technology

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    G-Form, a New England based company, has developed a proprietary thin and flexible technology that changes its molecular structure to momentarily stiffen and absorb the force of extreme impacts to create a range of next generation protective gear for athletes as well as iOS devices and laptops.