Food for the brain


Some of the nutrients needed for good mental and emotional function include:

Protein for neurotransmitters that help mood. Good sources are animal foods, and lesser sources are correctly prepared and combined grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Vitamins A & D are vital for new cell growth. The only foods these are only found in are animal fats and as many people are now afraid to eat them, many are deficient in them.

Saturated fats & cholesterol are needed for growth of new brain cells (The human brain is > 65% fat). Fats are also needed to assimilate protein.

Zinc for brain function and mental development. Best sources are red meat and seafood.

The stomach is a second brain, so you also need to keep digestion running smoothly. Eat in a relaxed atmosphere and chew your food well to help optimise digestion. Remember to make any changes to your diet slowly, and observe your reactions.

Best for brain function

Animal foods:

Free range eggs supply protein, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamins A, D and K, many B vitamins and most minerals. Most of these nutrients are in the yolk, so avoid eating just the whites.

Butter (and cream) are good sources of the fat soluble vitamins Vitamins A, D and K

Organic, free range organ meats, especially liver, are high in essential fatty acids and Vitamins A, D and K. Chicken liver pate is an easy way to introduce liver to your diet.

Red meat is a good source of protein and zinc. Include the fat to help assimilate the protein.

Sea foods:

Cod liver oil – all types of fish oil contain essential (Omega 3) fatty acids that a healthy brain needs, but cod liver oil also contains Vitamins A & D, which many people are very deficient in, so is an excellent supplement.

Fish (especially fatty fish such as salmon, sardines and tuna), fish eggs and shellfish for protein, essential fatty acids, and minerals such as iodine and zinc

Eat at least one serving a day from one of these two food groups; ideally several serves a day, and including a range of different foods over the week. If you are vegetarian, include at least butter and eggs in your diet, and preferably something from the sea as well.

Also good for brain function

These foods, and unrefined organic foods generally, are good for brain and general health, but won’t supply the needed levels of essential fat soluble nutrients:

Fruit & vegetables (but remember fruit contains sugar, so not too much)

Grains, legumes, nuts & seeds – as long as they are prepared properly, by soaking, sprouting or fermenting. (See recipe page for how to prepare them.)

Coconut oil, palm oil, cold pressed olive oil, small amounts of cold pressed flax seed oil

Grass fed, free range poultry and pork; cheese and yoghurt

Bad for brain function

These foods will impair general health and brain function:

Anything that upsets your digestion and anything you have a sensitivity too. Some of the most common problem foods are gluten, pasteurised or homogenised dairy, soy, and sugar.

Sugars, refined carbohydrates and processed grain foods

Unfermented soy products such as soy milk, soy protein powder, burgers and sausages

Most processed vegetables oils

Excitotoxins such as MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, aspartame and other additives