The food you eat is directly connected with the health of your brain. Maybe in different words, both ancient wisdom and modern neuroscience says the same “health of your brain starts in the stomach”. Amino acids, glucose, vitamins A, B, and E, magnesium, zinc, selenium, dietary fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients for that.
Make your Superfood Mix for brain health
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends 1.5oz of nuts per day for an adult (or 42 grams, or roughly 1/3 cup, or a small handful). This Superfood Mix contains 3 different kinds of nuts totalling 300g of nuts (7-day supply) – 300g : 7 days = 43g/day; seeds and dried fruit and vegies.
- Brazil Nuts – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 3-4 nuts per day (1 Brazil nut = 5g)
- Cashews – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 14g or 0.5oz per day (5 nuts)
- Pistachios – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 14g or 0.5oz per day (15 kernels)
- Pumpkin Seeds – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 1 tablespoon per day (or 14g, or 0.5oz)
- Sunflower Seeds – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 1 tablespoon per day (or 14g, or 0.5oz)
- Sundried Tomatoes – 454g (1lb) – 7-day supply, 70g per day (2.5oz)
- Dried Apricots – 454g (1lb) – 7-day supply, 70g per day (2.5oz)
- Goji Berries – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 1 tablespoon per day (or 14g, or 0.5oz)
- Raisins – 100g (3.5oz) – 7-day supply, 1 tablespoon per day (or 14g, or 0.5oz)
Why this Superfood Mix is good for brain health?
In the paper “Lower brain and blood nutrient status in Alzheimer’s disease”, published in 2017, a group of scientists from the Netherlands stated: “The current data show that patients with Alzheimer’s disease have lower levels of choline, vitamin B12, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin E. Directionally, brain nutrient status appears to parallel the lower circulatory nutrient status.”
By adding a small handful of nuts to your daily menu, you can boost your brain health, stabilize your mood, improve your focus, memory, and ability to learn … and all while trimming your tummy.
Dried fruit offers some benefits to fresh fruit: convenient, keeps well and quick energy boost. Dried fruit are rich sources of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, healthy sugar and dietary fiber. By replacing a few servings of fresh fruit a week with smaller portions of dried fruit, you can work to increase your intake of dietary fiber, potassium, iron, and antioxidants.
Nutrients for brain health
The only source of energy for the brain cell is glucose – they can live only a few minutes without it! Brain cells can’t store energy and require a steady stream of glucose. The best sources for healthy sugars for your brain are raisins and dried apricots.
The body uses magnesium in over 300 different biochemical reactions. It is the brain “master mineral” because it’s of utmost importance for the healthy brain.
B Vitamins have been called the “happy vitamins” or “anti-stress vitamins” because they can improve your mood and increase your tolerance to stress. B6 is crucial for dopamine and serotonin production. B9 strengthens memory and concentration while preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Those minerals have been scientifically proven to prevent depression and anxiety. Zink plays a crucial role in the synthesis of serotonin, one of four hormones of happiness. Researchers from the University of Barcelona found that people had higher levels of serotonin metabolites after nut consumption.
Amino acids are major components in the hundreds of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that enable brain cells to communicate with each other. The commonly known neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, and endorphins.
Amino acid tryptophan is a biochemical precursor for serotonin, which is a well-known hormone of happiness. Serotonin produces your happiness, and tryptophan produces serotonin. The recommended daily intake for tryptophan is 4mg per kilogram of body weight: a person weighing 70kg (about 154 pounds) should consume approximately 280mg of tryptophan per day.
Amino acid tyrosine is required for dopamine production. Although dopamine is found in many types of food, it is incapable of crossing the blood–brain barrier that surrounds and protects the brain. Therefore, it must be synthesized inside the brain from tyrosine. The recommended daily intake for phenylalanine and tyrosine is 25mg per kilogram of body weight, or 11mg per pound.
These free-radical fighters prevent brain cell from oxidative Brain cells are particularly vulnerable to free radicals. Antioxidant nutrients protect against brain aging and delay the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease, and reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. Nuts, seeds and dried fruits do not contain all three essential Omega-3 fatty acids, only one – α-linolenic acid (ALA), and in a very small amount. Consuming enough of Omega-3 essential fatty acid is one of the best things you can do for your brain. Brain functions rely on dietary intake of Omega-3 to support a broad range of cell membrane properties. A major structural component of the human brain, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) is the most abundant omega−3 fatty acid in the brain. Memory loss, depression, mood swings, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and attention deficit disorder have all been found to improve with Omega-3s.
Nutrients this Superfood Mix is good for
Percent Daily Value (%DV) per 30g (or about 1 ounce)
- CASHEWS for riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 28%DV, vitamin E – 58%DV, copper – 37%DV, iron – 17%DV, magnesium – 25%DV, manganese – 31%DV, phosphorus – 28%DV, zinc – 20%DV
- BRAZIL NUTS for selenium – 770%DV (SUPER RICH), thiamine (vitamin B1) – 19%DV, magnesium – 35%DV, manganese – 25%DV, phosphorus – 35%DV
- PISTACHIOS for thiamine (vitamin B1) – 25%DV, vitamin B6 – 43%DV, manganese – 65%DV, phosphorus – 23%DV
- PUMPKIN SEEDS for amino acid arginine – 2g/oz, amino acid tryptophan – 161mg/oz (28g) or 58%DV (the best source of tryptophan ever), iron – 20%DV, magnesium – 51%DV, manganese – 70%DV, phosphorus – 56%DV, zinc – 27%DV (one of the best sources of zinc)
- SUNFLOWER SEEDS for thiamine (vitamin B1) – 48%DV, niacin (vitamin B3) – 19%DV, folate (vitamin B9) – 19%DV, vitamin E – 78%DV, magnesium – 30%DV, manganese – 31%DV, phosphorus – 31%DV
- SUNDRIED TOMATOES for lycopene (the richest source of it), vitamin C – 102mg (169% DV), vitamin A – 38%DV, vitamin B6 – 0.3mg (20% DV), potassium – 1565mg (44% DV), and iron – 3mg (15% DV)
- RAISINS for sugars – 80% by weight including about 30% of glucose, boron – 2-3mg/100g, potassium – 21%DV, and amino acid arginine.
- GOJI BERRIES for vitamin A – 536% DV (mega-super rich), vitamin C – 48mg (81%DV), betaine – liver and kidney health promoter, and potassium – 1594mg (45%DV) – 4 times banana’s content!
- DRIED APRICOTS for carotenoids (provitamin A) – 72%DV and potassium – 33%DV (almost 4 times more than bananas!)
**Values and percentages are based on the USDA Nutrient Database https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list
**Values and percentages are approximate based on the USDA Nutrient Database
**Percent Daily Value (%DV) is a guide to the nutrients in one serving of food. For example, 40% for protein means that one serving provides 40% of the protein you need each day. It helps you make informed food choices. DVs are based on a 2,000-calorie diet for healthy adults.