3 Food For Thought
By Angela Bekiaris
Yep, it’s time to eat for your body and your brain. Include theses five foods into your diet to boost your grey matter.
1. Blueberries: These deliver anthocyanins, a group of plant compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which act against both oxidative stress and inflammation, conditions that may contribute to brain ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.
2. Broccoli: With powerful plant compounds, including antioxidants, as well as being high in vitamin K, experts say it’s essential for forming sphingolipids, a type of fat that’s densely packed into brain cells. Studies have also linked a higher vitamin K intake in older adults to better memory.
3. Pumpkin Seeds: They contain powerful antioxidants that protect the body and brain from free radical damage. Plus they’re an excellent source of magnesium, iron, zinc and copper, all of which are great for brain health.
Work(Out) Your Way Away From Depression
While we are in the most wonderful time of the year, it is also, without a doubt, the most stressful time, too. “Exercise stimulates the release of many of the brain chemicals thought to be in low supply when someone is battling depression,” explains David Muzina, MD, the founding director of the Cleveland Clinic Centre for Mood Disorders Treatment and Research. Here are some fabulous exercises to do to ease you. But don’t stop in the holidays – make this a lifestyle for a happier and healthier 2019.
1. Run: All aerobic and cardio exercises boost your mood. Running will clear your mind, and release endorphins – little chemicals which interact with the receptors in your brain, triggering a positive feeling in the body.
2. Yoga: Studies have shown that yoga can significantly decrease depression. “[It] can have a wonderful antidepressant effect in that it improves flexibility; involves mindfulness, which breaks up repetitive negative thoughts; increases strength; makes you aware of your breathing; improves balance; and contains a meditative component,” says Norman E. Rosenthal, MD, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
3. Play Outside: Being outdoors – gardening, walking, or playing – will stimulate your serotonin levels (drops in serotonin during the darker, colder months have been linked to seasonal affective disorder, aka SAD).