Improving Brain Function with Food


Article by Stephanie Hower

Photography by Provided

Achieving optimal memory and brain function begins with the foods we use to fuel our bodies. For those suffering from brain fog, depression, difficulty concentrating or any number of brain-related issues, Dr. Erin Amato, medical director for The Center for Ideal Health, believes diet may be the culprit. She helps individuals design personalized lifestyle medicine programs to achieve optimal health at any age. 

“A big part of our mission is prevention,” Dr. Amato explains. “Our aim is to build a healthy foundation and avoid the onset of chronic disease.” She shares five of the best ways to give your brain a boost through food.

Snack on Healthy Fats

Avocados, coconut oil and coconut butter, olive oil, nuts and seeds, eggs and fatty fish are all examples of “quality fats” essential to overall health and well-being. Eating healthy fats can improve taste preferences, reduce food intake (by shutting off the brain’s hunger and craving center) and even bolster metabolism.

Sip Green Tea 

Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, green tea is especially rich in polyphenols, which have effects like reducing inflammation and helping fight cancer.

Choose the Right Meat 

Grass-fed cattle are usually raised without antibiotics, and the beef contains omega-3 fatty acids. For higher concentrations of omega-3s, choose wild-caught fish such as mackerel or salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential component of the brain and eyes.

Embrace the Rainbow

Incorporate a colorful array of fruits and vegetables into meals. Eating the rainbow offers an expansive variety of nutrients, including ones with anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties.

Eat Real Food 

Whole, organic, fresh, local and unprocessed food is best. Focus on shopping the perimeter of the grocery store for fresh produce. Try to choose organic; chemicals and pesticides can be toxic and are detrimental to brain health.

"If it goes bad, it’s good for you. If it stays good, it’s bad for you."

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