Christmas Recipes That Are Good For Your BrainCeasar Augustus Paita
Christmas is a time of the year when people gather around the table to celebrate with friends, family, and delicious food. What if you could enjoy all those things while also supporting your brain health? As we all know, eating well can help us feel our best and make us more productive and alert. Your brain is only 2% of your body weight, but uses over 20% of our nutrients, so your cognition is disproportionately impacted by the food you eat. However, it can be difficult to make good food choices when we are busy with holiday preparations. If you’re still wondering what to serve this Christmas, we’ve gathered some holiday recipes for you that are both delicious and good for your brain. Whether you’re looking for something new to add to your holiday menu or just want something fun to try, these are sure to be winners!
This salad recipe is packed with brain-boosting ingredients. Spinach is a superfood for your brain. It is packed with Vitamin K, which helps maintain brain health by preventing cell death and boosting brain function. Spinach is also packed with folate, beta-carotene, and lutein, which may help slow down cognitive decline because of their neuroprotective actions. Avocados contain high quantities of monounsaturated fats that help reduce blood pressure, which is linked with cognitive decline. Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which have been shown to slow down the progression of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. They also contain high levels of antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals that can cause oxidative stress in the brain. Almonds have L-Carnitine and riboflavin which help reduce neuroinflammation. Almonds also stimulate acetylcholine production, a neurotransmitter that helps neurons communicate well with each other. Acetylcholine deficiency can lead to brain fog.
We love this recipe because it’s packed with ingredients that are good for keeping neuroinflammation down and your gut healthy. A healthy gut means a healthy brain, and ginger root has anti-inflammatory properties and helps with good digestion by feeding good bacteria in your gut. Broccoli, on the other hand, is packed with Vitamin C and flavonoids that promote brain health. Additionally, broccoli contains compounds called glucosinolates, which are broken down in the body into compounds called isothiocyanates. There is evidence that isothiocyanates can help reduce the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
Salmon is the perfect food for your brain. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to help with brain health and function. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve focus and learning ability, as well as memory and emotional control. In addition, salmon is rich in vitamin D, which is important for brain health as it helps with nerve cell growth and reduces inflammation in the body. Asparagus provides vitamin A, vitamin C, and folic acid, which contribute to healthy cognitive function. Research has shown that vitamin A maintains brain plasticity in adults.
This dessert recipe is simple and easy to make but is packed with brain-boosting ingredients. Dark chocolate may increase blood flow to the brain by improving blood vessel elasticity, which allows oxygen and nutrients to reach your brain more easily. This means that your brain will have more energy and be able to function better. Almond milk contains Vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps your cognition. Studies show that getting enough vitamin E can lower your risk of cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s. Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation in the brain, thus preventing cognitive decline and improving memory. They also contain antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress. Cashews contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids that help reduce neuroinflammation and improve your memory. This recipe has avocados that, as previously mentioned, also have monounsaturated fats.
This second dessert recipe is not only a feast for the eyes but is also healthy for your brain. Cinnamon helps reduce inflammation, protect neurons, improve memory, and normalize neurotransmitter levels. It also contains certain compounds that help inhibit the build-up of a protein called tau in the brain. Tau is one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. This recipe contains almonds, pistachios, and cashews, which are good for the brain. In addition to being rich in healthy fats and antioxidants, nuts also contain vitamins E and B, which have been found to be beneficial for the brain and the heart. Several studies have linked nuts to improved cognition, a sharper memory, and slower mental decline. Coconut oil improves memory by providing energy to neurons so they can function well. It also helps protect neurons by reducing neuroinflammation and oxidative stress. This recipe also contains ginger and almond milk that help promote cognitive health.
Create Your Recipe
When it comes to brain health, it’s all about nutrients. If you want to whip up your own recipe, choosing the best ingredients that will keep your brain healthy is the key. We created this guide to help you find your way through all the options and make sure your brain is getting exactly what it needs.
– Serve up some greens like spinach, kale, collards, and others. Spinach is packed with vitamin K and folate—two essential nutrients for keeping your brain sharp as you age. Folate reduces high levels of homocysteine that can be toxic to neurons. The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) research evaluated brain health among healthy older adults for nearly five years. According to the study, participants who ate a serving of leafy greens each day—one cup raw or half a cup cooked—showed slower cognitive decline than those who didn’t have as many green vegetables.
– Try serving fish instead of the usual red meat. Fatty fish such as salmon have omega-3 fatty acids that can help improve cognitive function and reduce inflammation in the body. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that subjects who had high omega-3 levels from eating salmon, mackerel, and sardines were better at learning and understanding new information. Brain scans revealed that eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can prevent Alzheimer’s disease by boosting blood flow in brain regions that control memory and learning.
– Don’t forget about berries! Berries are loaded with antioxidants that can protect against neuron damage from free radicals and help increase blood flow to the brain. Studies show that eating berries can help reduce your risk of developing age-related neurodegenerative diseases and may improve your cognitive functions. Berries contain high amounts of anthocyanins, which help prevent neuroinflammation. Another study found that those who consumed a cup of berries showed a significant increase in brain activity than those who didn’t. This is because berries contain flavonoids that have neuroprotective properties.
– Incorporate nuts into your recipes. Nuts like almonds and walnuts contain healthy fats that can help improve your memory, balance serotonin levels, and help boost your mood. Research found that those with long-term and higher nut consumption showed better cognitive performance.
– Use dark chocolate or cacao nibs in your dessert recipe. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids which can help reduce neuroinflammation, improve blood flow, and prevent oxidation in the brain, thus promoting memory, learning, and cognitive function.
– Serve red wine instead of hard alcoholic drinks or soda. Red wine, when drunk in moderation, may promote brain health according to research. Among red wines, Pinot Noir packs the highest concentration of resveratrol, an antioxidant that lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Studies show that resveratrol can reduce amyloid beta levels and improve cognitive function in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
There’s no better way to celebrate Christmas than with a healthy brain. Christmas is a time for celebration and good food, but it can also be stressful. To help your mind stay in top working order during the season, these brain-healthy recipes and foods to consider in your Christmas feast can help you enjoy the holidays with your loved ones.