When people come to my meditation classes, they are shocked to hear me say that Meditation and Mindfulness practices come only a distant third to reducing stress. The first two steps to effective stress reduction are regular physical activity (20-30 minute daily walk fits the bill) and healthy nutrition.
We often hear about heart healthy diets... but rarely do we talk about “brain” healthy diets. My favorite author on this subject is Dr Daniel Amen. Check out his blog, books and articles for more information
His recommendations are practical and sensible.
Say No to Illegal Drugs, Nicotine, Excess Alcohol, Sugary drinks (soda) and Caffeine. You know these impact your brain and mind.
He strongly recommends daily and several servings of fruits and vegetables (you know that was coming)
Garlic has a powerful chemical called Allicin and it is considered responsible for lipid lowering, anti-blood coagulation, anti-hypertension and antioxidant and anti-microbial effects. I add garlic cloves thinly sliced in my grilled veggies. You can also add them to your soups.
Apples – most of know that apples contain a pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can help you reduce your risk for heart disease. I find apples are a good snack and nice addition to my salads.
Cranberries – loaded with Vitamin C, fiber and a variety of phytonutrients, these mini-fruits are great for building immunity
Apples, cranberries and prunes carry ursolic acid which is associated with improving cognitive function by increasing your brain and body’s sensitivity to insulin. (Yes – the brain can suffer from the same problem of insulin resistance that we deal with our body)
Good sources for brain healthy fats (omega-3 fatty acids) are nuts, avocados, walnuts and fish such as mackerel, trout and herring
As always, I do not recommend dietary supplements and capsules. Go for whole foods – fresh fruits and vegetables in salads, soups and stir-fried dishes for maximum benefits!
Why apples, cranberries and prunes are good for us
by Gary Wenk - author of the book – Your Brain on Food
Nice checklist of brain healthy vegetables by Dr Amen.
Have it handy the next time you go grocery shopping.
a guided finger meditation
Engage your senses with soothing music, guided imagery and a labyrinth tracing activity which leverages the power of touch. Click the album cover to learn more.