Since sexual harassment has become an issue the male brain has to be considered and perhaps better nutrition is part of the solution.
There has been a rush on “brain supplements” that sell for $40 to $60 per 30-pill bottle marketed aggressively by companies that give you a sample for a “shipping and handling” charge of $4.95 on your credit card, but in the tiny-greyed-out type below you will find if you do not cancel within 14 days your credit card will be hit with a charge every 28 days, which is 13 times per year. Apparently these companies run on the Islamic lunar calendar.
If you call the company immediately you can cancel the order, but in a recent incident we got the first month of pills and after taking them were clearly not one whit smarter, but we were a lot looser in the bowels.
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The issue of food to make us smarter became a research project and the first item we found was fish. Fish has long been called “brain food” due to beneficial effects of fish oil, but we have not been able to find a study and never will as no one can patent fish, but fish is expensive unless you grow it in your own pond or live by a body of clean water and have a good way of catching them.
Scouring the literature with the Bing search engine turned up nine foods that are supposed to enhance and preserve your brain power. Until some studies are done this is about as good as you can get at any price.
Avocados: Avocados have several nutrients good for brains. They are rich in monounsaturated fats, that produce a neurotransmitter substance good for memory and learning. They also have tyrosine, an amino acid that enhances concentration and brain function.
Blueberries: Blueberries are thought to be the best berries for enhancing brain function as they a loaded with an easily assimilated sugar and are anti-inflammatories as they have flavonoids that are potent antioxidants good for vascular health.
Eggs: The egg is back in favor after several decades of disdain due to the high cholesterol of yolks, but recent studies show egg cholesterol is digested so well it is not a problem. They do have lots of other nutrients and “choline” that is a specific brain nutrient. The yolk is the source of most of the nutrients.
Dark leafy greens: Kale, spinach, chard, mustard greens, watercress, and other greens include many vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients in easily assimilated form as well as include nitrates that become nitric oxide, a vasodilator that improves blood flow. Anything that improves blood flow is good for the brain.
Walnuts: All nuts are nutritional powerhouses, but none have the brain boosting properties of walnuts. They are one of the best sources of alpha-linolenic acid, a plant form of Omega-3s, and one of the few foods that contain mood-elevating serotonin. Studies show walnuts also have compounds that reduce inflammation and inhibit formation of the amyloid plaque, a marker of Alzheimer’s. Eat them raw for best results.
Dark chocolate: Is a favorite brain foods from the cacao bean, which is full of flavonoids that increase blood flow. They’re also excellent anti-inflammatories, raise the good cholesterol, lower bad cholesterol, have fiber and magnesium that reduce blood pressure. Nutritional authorities recommend eating dark chocolate with at least 70% concentration of cacao.
Tea: Black tea has both calming and stimulating effects, thanks to the unique combination of the amino acid L-theonine and caffeine. The result is better concentration and memory. And studies suggest that antioxidant catechins in black and green tea may prevent cognitive decline and memory loss, boost reaction time and improve mood.
Turmeric: The principle spice in curry, contains curcumin, an antioxidant that passes through the protective blood-brain barrier to produce oxidative stress relief directly to brain cells. The people of India consume two grams of turmeric a day and there is very little Alzheimers or heart disease there. You can buy Turmeric in health food stores for $15 per pound which is a seven and one-half month supply per adult. That Turmeric has not been studied or promoted by our health authorities tells us a lot about them.
Yogurt: Fermented foods like yogurt nourish the lower alimentary canal bacteria performing digestion that is good for the brain. Too much “bad” gut bacteria creates toxic byproducts that damage brain cells. It is important to choose plain yogurt that has “live and active cultures” printed on the label. Other fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, kefir and tamari are similarly effective in our lower alimentary canals.
The importance of all this is that there are substances in our foods that improve our lives if we find them, but we are getting limited help from our health authorities and the US Patent Office. In some respects patents have been abused and substances that could have saved many lives have been kept out of their reach with high prices due to greed. This is an area where good legislation, regulation and enforcement could have a very positive effect, but it appears nothing is being done. Meanwhile, you have the freedom to make choices and enjoy the truth the free market is producing every day.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.