Category Archives for "Omega-6"

Top 3 Brain Boosting Foods!

Top 3 Brain-Boosting Foods Fish: Wild Caught Salmon (Omega-3s – DHA & EPA) Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries (antioxidants) Greens: Bok Choy, Spinach, Collard Greens (folate)

One of the common complaints about health is having brain-fog.  We often think this is just a part of aging which we have no control over.  Is that the case? What happens when we look at our brain from a functional perspective?

The simple fact is food affects our brain, for better or worse. Choosing foods which support proper brain function is vital to our overall wellness. Growth of healthy cells, healthy connections in the brain and efficient operation of our brain, and in turn our entire body, are affected by the foods we choose to consume. One of my favorite sayings about brain health comes from Dr. William Sears:

“Forget low-carb and low-fat diets. Eat a ‘right-carb’ and a ‘right-fat’ diet for optimal brain health!”

I couldn’t agree more! The quality of what we eat is of greater importance than the quantity. Let’s take a quick look at our brain health and food choices.top-3-brain-boosting-foods

When our brain is provided with healthy nourishment it can make healthy connections, process information, create memories and signal muscles and hormones to react and move. Next time you think about healthy eating, don’t just think about the benefits it will have on your waistline. Rather, think of all the positive benefits your brain receives from getting the right brain-boosting nutrition!

So what is the fuel which is vital to the brain?

For optimal function our brains need:
Omega-3 fats, Folate, Antioxidants and Carbohydrates.

  • Omega-3s are important building blocks in the brain – they are vital to the proper function of impulses which take place.
  • Folate is a nutrient needed for neurotransmitter function.
  • Antioxidants keep the blood brain barrier healthy, protecting cells from wear and tear and improve blood flow by decreasing excessive blood clotting.
  • Carbohydrates are needed because your brain uses them for energy.

What are quality sources of these brain fuels?

Top 3 Brain-Boosting Foods

Fish: Wild Caught Salmon (Omega-3s – DHA & EPA)
Berries: Blueberries, Blackberries (antioxidants)
Greens: Bok Choy, Spinach, Collard Greens (folate)

One of my family’s favorite meal is grilled salmon with a side of steamed veggies and large bowl of mixed greens topped with a bit of olive oil and berries. Even my child who isn’t fond of fish loves this meal! I have a super simple salmon recipe here. As well as more information on Omega-3s and essential fats here.

So the next time you go shopping remember to stop by the produce and seafood departments to get a special brain-boosting treat 🙂

[Resources:

Soares AA, et al (2017)  A double- blind, randomized, and placebo-controlled clinical trial with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (OPFA ɷ-3) for the prevention of migraine in chronic migraine patients using amitriptyline.  Nutr Neurosci. doi: 10.1080/1028415X.2016.1266133.

Pu H, Jiang X, Wei Z, Hong D, Hassan S, Zhang W, Shi Y, Chen L, Chen J.(2016) Repetitive and prolonged omega-3 fatty acid treatment after traumatic brain injury enhances long-term tissue restoration and cognitive recovery.
Cell Transplant. doi: 10.3727/096368916X693842. PMID: 27938482

Pu H, Jiang X, Hu X, Xia J, Hong D, Zhang W, Gao Y, Chen J, Shi Y. (2016) Delayed Docosahexaenoic Acid Treatment Combined with Dietary Supplementation of Omega-3 Fatty Acids Promotes Long-Term Neurovascular Restoration After Ischemic Stroke.
Transl Stroke Res. 2016 Dec;7(6):521-534.

Jiraungkoorskul W. Review of neuro-nutrition used as anti-alzheimer plant, spinach Spinacia oleracea. Phcog Rev [serial online] 2016 [cited 2017 Jan 17];10:105-8. Available from: http://www.phcogrev.com/text.asp?2016/10/20/105/194040

9 Tests for Cardiovascular Risk Assessment

If you are reading this chances are you are looking for something more than the standard tests for diagnosing heart disease.  My guess would be you have a desire to get to the underlying causes and factors of your state of health.  I would further venture to say you are also looking at ways to prevent adverse health. I am going to quickly touch on Cardiovascular Assessment in this post.

Heart disease is at the top of the list of health issues in the United States and a growing concern for younger adults. There are several tests available that will dig deeper into the function inside your body and provide us with warnings adverse health is on its way.  These tests are indicators of potential malfunction and impending consequences of the disruption of proper balance.  To get a better look at what is going on ask your healthcare provider for the following tests:

  • Total Cholesterolbody-116585_1280

  • LDL Cholesterol

  • HDL Cholesterol

  • Triglycerides

  • LDL Density Patterns

  • C-Reactive Protein

  • Homocysteine

  • Lp (a)

  • Fibrinogen

Some of these you are probably already familiar with such as the Cholesterol and Triglycerides.  You may be wondering – Why the other tests?  What makes them significant?

C-reactive protein is a protein which indicates inflammation in the body.  This test is a strong risk predictor of future heart attack and/or stroke. It is important to note past or current infections can increase the levels of this protein.

Homocysteine is an amino acid which can injure the lining of blood vessels, thus triggering deposits and atherosclerosis. One study found that men with high homocysteine had 3 times greater risk of heart attack!

Lipoproteins are lipids and proteins that are transported through your bloodstream in ‘packages’. One of these is Lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] Lipoprotein(a) is a marker for predicting the severity of future heart disease. This is often strongly influenced by heredity.

Fibrinogen is an important agent in the process of the formation of blood clots.  Again, elevated levels are linked to heart disease and/or stroke.

Each of these areas are affected by our diets and lifestyles.  Making changes in our habits can greatly affect the damage from elevated ‘warning lights’.  Be sure to ask your provider for ways to return a healthy homeostasis in your body!

A few quick tips are:

  • Eat Real foods, avoid packaged and processed foods
  • Get plenty of water daily!
  • Get plenty of rest and relaxation daily!
  • Exercise – the best exercise is the one you will do 🙂 Start low and go slow

As always, comments, questions welcomed and I hope this has been beneficial to you or a loved one!

 

[Relevant Research:

Cantin B, Despres JP, Lamarche B, Moorjani S, Lupien PJ, Bogaty P, Bergeron J, Dagenais GR. Association of fibrinogen and lipoprotein(a) as a coronary heart disease risk factor in men (The Quebec Cardiovascular Study). Am J Cardiol. 2002 Mar 15;89(6):662-6.

Lamarche B, St-Pierre AC, Ruel IL, Cantin B, Dagenais GR, Despres JP. A prospective, population-based study of low density lipoprotein particle size as a risk factor for ischemic heart disease in men. Can J Cardiol. 2001 Aug;17(8):859-65.

Blake GJ, Ridker PM. Novel clinical markers of vascular wall inflammation. Circ Res. 2001 Oct 26;89(9):763-71.

Clarke R, Lewington S, Donald A, Johnston C, Refsum H, Stratton I, Jacques P, Breteler MM, Holman R. Underestimation of the importance of homocysteine as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in epidemiological studies. J Cardiovasc Risk. 2001 Dec;8(6):363-9.

Matsumoto Y, Daida H, Watanabe Y, Sunayama S, Mokuno H, Yokoi H, Yamaguchi H. High level of lipoprotein(a) is a strong predictor for progression of coronary artery disease. J Atheroscler Thromb. 1998;5(2):47-53.

von Eckardstein A, Schulte H, Cullen P, Assmann G. Lipoprotein(a) further increases the risk of coronary events in men with high global cardiovascular risk. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Feb;37(2):434-9.

Austin MA. Plasma triglyceride as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Can J Cardiol. 1998 May;14 Suppl B:14B-17B.