photo by Anna Marie Beauchemin
Herbs and Foods For Brain Health
March is TBI Awareness Month, and in honor of that, this month's blog is dedicated to all things brain-friendly. One of my favorite topics when it comes to brain health? The world of ingestible medicines that correlate with this very important organ. From nutrient-dense foods to cerebral herbals - supporting the brain with your diet is one of the best ways to support the health of this vital organ. While herbs definitely serve a purpose in supporting cognitive function and brain health, the real magic lies in making sure you're getting a diet rich in all the essential nutrients that the nervous system needs.
Foods For Brain Health
SALMON + FATTY FISH: Fatty fish (particularly salmon) is full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, which act as rich support for the nervous system, including the brain. The brain itself is comprised of a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids, highlighting the importance of this food in overall cognitive health.
BLUEBERRIES + ANTIOXIDANT RICH FOODS: Foods rich in antioxidants (such as blueberries) can help support a balanced inflammatory response in the body and brain. The body naturally produces (and uses) a large amount of antioxidants during its normal functioning, and supplying your organs and systems with extra amounts of these powerful constituents has full-body benefits, including the brain. Turmeric is another powerful antioxidant that also doubles as an herbal, and can easily be added to soups, dishes, rice, and more.
NUTS + SEEDS: My favorite brain-centric nut is walnut due to its high omega-3 content (and the fact that it looks like a little brain), but all nuts and seeds have a variety of healthy fats and proteins in them, which are essential for brain and cardiovascular health. Research shows that diets high in both nuts and seeds are correlated with a variety of health-related benefits.
Herbs For Brain Health
TULSI (Ocimum tenuiflorum): A major BFF of the brain, tulsi is an adaptogenic herb that has traditionally been used to help support mental clarity, focus, and nervous system regulation - all things that the brain loves. By adding adaptogen herbs with an affinity for the brain, like Tulsi, into your diet you provide added nervous system support which can have far-reaching benefits to all areas of the body - as the nervous system is connected to each part of who we are.
GOTU KOLA (Centella asiatica): A popular vulnerary in herbalism, Gotu Kola is known as a nervous system tonic, antiinflammatory, and adaptogen - all actions that can help support both our brain and nervous system. Traditionally used in the Ayurvedic system as a brain tonic, this rejuvinative herb is thought to support the long-term health and vitality of the brain, including memory and focus.
MILKY OATS (Avena sativa): A tried and true tonic for the nervous system, this traditional herbal is used both as a nervous system tonic and a nutritive tea. Especially useful in instances of trauma and overwhelm, this powerful seed has long been used as a restorative for nervous system health. This herb is best enjoyed as a tea or tincture made with the fresh milky seeds collected during the spring months, or when seasonally ready wherever you live.
Want To Learn More?
Check out the upcoming free class, Herbs For Brain Health, on March 17th!