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Best Brain Food

We all know that great nutrition plays a key role in maintaining good health. It ties in to maintaining our weight, achieving great skin, hair and optimal gut health, strengthens our bones, hearts, and regulates essential bodily functions among other benefits. 

Something so many of us don’t realize is that good nutrition is also essential to the health and function of our brains. Without key vitamins and minerals as part of our daily diet, our ability to think clearly, regulate our moods, and retain proper memory function is significantly impaired. 

Food And Brain Health

Neurologist David Lipps is a huge advocate for the importance of good food and brain health. He states:

The brain uses more than 20% of our caloric needs. Research studies have found that processes that happen inside of our bodies that lead to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia begin years before noticeable symptoms begin to appear. These processes include chronic inflammation of brain cells and blood vessels when our bodies break down unhealthy foods.”

So how does food contribute to this process? The American diet is predominantly made up of highly processed foods. This includes processed grains, huge amounts of refined sugars, sodium (salt), synthetic additives and preservatives as well as bad oils and fats. The combination of these processed ingredients is harmful to both our physical health and brain health. 

It is tempting to think when you’re eating products derived from natural sources such as grains that you’re making the healthier choice. However more often than not, during manufacturing, the vitamins and minerals are stripped from the food during processing. Leaving behind nothing more than starch and carbohydrates. Just like sugars, starches are absorbed rapidly by the gut - this has been linked to chronic inflammation in the body, poor focus, high blood pressure, and more. 

Essential Elements Of The Best Brain Food 

So what constitutes great brain food? For many years, the Meditteranean Diet has been linked with improved brain health. This diet focuses on eliminating processed foods with more plant-based oils (avocado, olive, sunflower) fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, seafood in moderation, dairy products as well as nuts, legumes, and seeds.  

Research has shown it can help reduce the risk of dementia and other chronic diseases. 

Even modest adherence to a Mediterranean diet is associated with improvements in executive function and memory, and a lower rate of cognitive decline, independent of the improvements noted in cerebrovascular risk factors, diabetes, and stroke.”

Seeds And Brain Health

So which vitamins and minerals should you be focused on for nourishing your brain and protecting it? The recognized vitamins and minerals essential to brain health are:

Vitamin E 

helps to protect and reduce damage to brain cells caused by oxidative stress which is brought on by free radicals. As we get older, we are more susceptible to damage by these free radicals, so boosting your vitamin E intake is essential for good brain health. 

Zinc

Vital for memory and clear thought, a zinc deficiency has been linked with neurodegenerative disorders such as rapid brain aging, depression, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Omega-3s

These help to contribute to the growth of cell membranes as well as being anti-inflammatory and helping to fight free radicals. Studies have shown omega-3s are most effective when consumed as part of a healthy diet rather than via a supplement. 

B Group Vitamins

B group vitamins which include folate, help to fuel the brain and provide the energy for the creation of new brain cells. They also help to break down homocysteine (an amino acid in your blood), which in high levels has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s. 

Where Do Seeds Fit In?

Now it could seem like they are an unnecessary addition to your diet, after all, they’re so small, how can they contribute to better brain health? With seeds now emerging as an underutilized superfood, our Seed Butter provides all of these essential brain nutrients and more.

At Beyond The Equator, we became compelled to investigate how to harness the goodness in nutritionally dense seeds. Our goal was to make it easier to incorporate them into our daily diets, this is how our 5 Seed Butter came to be developed. In it, we utilize a powerhouse seed blend:

Sunflower seeds which are high in magnesium, vitamin E, and protein. They can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Chia Seeds which are high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, a great source of fiber, magnesium, calcium, iron, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.

Flax seeds, also high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein, can help lower blood sugar and insulin levels, aids in weight loss, improve skin health, and a rich source of lignans which are shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers. 

Pumpkin seeds, high in zinc, iron, calcium, B2, folate, and beta-carotene, which the body metabolizes into vitamin A. They also contain omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 

Hemp seeds, high in protein, unsaturated fats, and fibred. It also contains zinc, iron, and the B vitamins niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and folate. 

This combination allowed us to create a nutritionally dense spread that is not only delicious but makes it easier than ever to feed your body and brain essential vitamins and minerals. 

Allergy-Friendly Brain Food 

Many nuts contain a similar nutritional profile to seeds. Unfortunately, however, around 1% of the American population now lives with severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts. This also means that for many, legumes such as soy are also unsafe as they are related to peanuts.

The solution? Seeds and seed-based ingredients. Our range of allergen-free seed products means that everyone can enjoy the benefits of improved brain health and a nutritious diet without risk. We continue to innovate and create more products utilizing seeds so that contributing to keeping your brain and body healthy is as simple as making a PB&J. 

With a simple switch in your pantry staples, better brain health is achievable. Protect your brain and start eating seeds today! 

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