Move Over Salmon-Broccoli as Brain Food

Actually, you can still eat your (wild-caught) salmon. And by all means, take Cod Liver and other Fish Oil supplements. These Omega 3 Fats give the brain the fuel needed for nerve cells to operate.

Sulfuroaphane has long been known to be vital for Liver Detoxification, particularly Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Liver detox steps. In fact, without it the liver cannot fully neutralize environmental toxins and that may be a factor in susceptibility to serious disease states.

But it may be that Sulfuroaphane also stimulates neural stem cells for brain regeneration. It appears to help with inflammation, which seems to be one of the most important factors in brain cell health and avoidance of cognitive disease and decline.

The good news is that Sulfurophane compounds are easy to add to your diet. They are found in the vegetables called “cruciferous”, which includes broccoli, kale, cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and cabbage. Broccoli sprouts are the most concentrated source, but eating these foods every day may just provide both your liver and your brain with the sulfur compounds needed to keep them in healthy function.

Pass the word along to your elderly family members. So often I hear that senior parents suffering from cognitive issues are existing on cookies and crackers because they live alone and cooking for one is unappealing.

Of course all of us need to limit sugar and processed carbs like alcohol, rice, wheat and baked goods. These cause a spike in blood sugar that can wreak havoc with the function of the brain because nerve cells operate best when blood sugar levels are in an optimal range. A recent study, which followed over 5,000 participants over the course of a decade, found that people with high blood sugar had significantly faster rates of cognitive decline — and the higher the sugar, the swifter the decline. In fact, people with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to develop dementia — which is why Alzheimer’s disease is now referred to as type 3 diabetes.[i]

Sugar also requires B vitamins for processing, and B vitamins are also vital to nerve cell function. Can we say anything good about sugar? Not really, except for the taste.

 More news- research from the University of Alabama shows that the brain and nerve cells of mice and humans also have microbes. High resolution microscopy shows that star-shaped brain cells called astrocytes are home to bacteria, despite the fact that the brain has been thought to be a sterile environment. Most of the bacteria identified in the brain were the same type commonly found in the mouse and human gut. So, it may be that these bacteria are migrating from the gut. And perhaps they are interacting with other cells in ways we don’t yet know, just as we are learning about gut bacteria.

Of course, this is another reason to avoid using antibiotics, and to eat plenty of fibrous vegetables and fruits in order to feed the healthy, protective bacteria that seem to be everywhere in the human body. This may be the real reason that five servings of fruits and vegetables daily have been shown to protect against all types of major diseases. Showing your microbes some love is good for them-and good for you.