by Peggy Bechko
Okay, writers. I know I usually write about writing but today I’m going to write about food – food that’s good for your brain in particular. We’re all writers – we love our brains and want to take good care of them, right?
I thought so.
So I’m dedicating this week’s blog post to the foods that can do you great good in that area.
Don’t think this is silly, it’s for real stuff, backed up by research and everything. I do my share of writing and I do my share of eating, so follow along and think about how you might alter your diet to pep up that brain so it’ll come up with even better new ideas!
Pomegranates. Yep, those things with all the seeds. The juice provides a potent antioxidant boost. And that means it’s great to eat to give your brain health a boost. Some studies even believe all those antioxidants are beneficial in treating animals with Alzheimer’s disease (we’re animals, right?).
And, if that’s not enough for you, eating pomegranates regularly can protect kidneys and liver not to mention boost your immune system (who has time to be sick when writing or when writing AND holding down a full-time job?). Then just for fun toss in they help reduce allergic reactions, balance your blood sugar, fight infections and aid in the protection against several cancers. All that in addition to your brain boost.
Sage is an herb, not a ‘food’, don’t leave it out of your seasonings. It also supplies a powerful brain boost. Hey, I’m not a chef here, but I sautee it in olive oil and toss it on pasta dishes. Yay fresh sage! Then there’s Rosemary with the proven ability to improve blood flow to the brain. Ahh, new blood, that’s a good thing.
Now here’s a great one – a least for me. I’m a blueberry lover. Used to pick ‘em in Michigan and sit under the bushes and eat them when I was a kid. These little guys are brain-healing powerhouses and recent research show blueberries can prevent or reverse age-related memory loss. That’s good news for writers for sure.
And to top it off, if you eat blueberries regularly (recommended at least ½ cup daily, five days a week) they boost the body’s production of Dopamine, the feel good chemical that helps us keep going.
Now I want to take a moment to mention celery. Bet you wouldn’t have thought of that. And here I’ve been snacking on the stuff for years. Turns out it’s a brain superfood. James Duke, who’s a world-renowned botanist, discovered celery and celery seeds contain more than 20 natural anti-inflammatory compounds including an extremely potent one.
The compounds help reduce brain inflammation that can occur as you get older which can result in memory lapses and brain decline. (Isn’t memory lapse a brain decline? Well, whatever, eat your celery.)
I know this could be sacrilege but writers, for the sake of your brain, you might consider replacing a little of that coffee with tea – yes, black, green and white tea all can contribute to a healthy brain.
Since we, as writers, are talking about brain health here, I can’t skip over walnuts. They’ just plain all around healthy for you. But did you notice the little guys look sorta like brains? Here’s the thing, eating only 1 to 1.5 oz of walnuts each day improves memory and learning ability – and at the same time stress levels are reduced (and writers can certainly benefit from stress reduction).
Research is additionally showing walnuts are possibly a preventive against Alzheimer’s. No doubt we’ll hear more on that. But for the moment improving memory and learning abilities is good for me.
Grab some grapes, spinach and olives too. Don’t forget the broccoli and avocado.
Did I mention fruit with stones in the? You know, like peaches, apricots, cherries and plums? Flavonoids protect and heal your brain and those babies have lots of them.
Then there’s salmon. I hate it. You might love it. For the writer’s brain it’s a real boost. The omega-3 fatty acids keep your brain running smoothly and brain fog at bay. Just 4 ounces does the trick. I still hate it.
On the other hand I love dark chocolate. A minimum of 70% cocoa is no problem for me. Love the stuff and the benefits are helping to keep blood pressure down and increasing the amount of blood that flows to brain and heart. Sounds good to me!
And lastly I’m going to mention beets here. Many people feel about them like I feel about salmon, but here it is. Beets reduce inflammation and cut your odds of getting cancer. They clean toxins from your blood and at the same time increase blood flow to your brain. They increase mental abilities and raise energy levels. Seriously, time to find ways to eat these things that taste really good.
So I guess the take-away here is improve your diet, improve your brain…and all the rest of you too.
Peggy Bechko is a TVWriter™ Contributing Editor. Learn more about her sensational career HERE. Peggy’s new comic series, Planet of the Eggs, written and illustrated with Charlene Brash-Sorensen is available on Kindle. And, while you’re at it, visit the Planet of the Eggs Facebook page and her terrific blog.