Good Fats and brain healthHeidi Hadley
Over the years we have been told to reduce our fat intake from foods. But not all fat is bad. There are certain foods very high in fat which is good for our body and in particular our brain. What are these foods? What kind of fat is good?
Omega -3 fatty acids contain DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) and are what our brain uses to build and continue to maintain its structure. DHA can be synthesised when we consume foods containing ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). We can consume this in the form of wild salmon or a very good quality fish oil supplement.
It is really important to incorporate good fats into our diet because research has shown that low levels of omega 3 fatty acids and DHA have been associated with general cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD.
Omega 3 fatty acids and DHA have also been shown to help in the fight against cancer. Its role is that it helps reduce and fight inflammation throughout our entire body; including the brain.
Omega 3 fatty acids also help slow down the rate of telomere shortening, leading to a slower ageing process. This also translates to the age of your brain. The more we can feed it Omega 3, the slower the ageing process on our brain. You are also keeping your immune system boosted with essential fats, making it more resilient to pathogens or outside invaders!
If you aren’t a fish lover, you can always consume coconut oil or my favourite food, avocados.
Here are a couple of ways I consume avocados.
Avocado and Hummus dip
I love this recipe because it is quick, simple and healthy.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 medium avocados, chopped.
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves
- Brown rice chips to accompany the dip.
- Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1/4 cup of chickpeas. Cook, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- Use the food processor to process the remaining chickpeas with the avocado, lemon juice and garlic until its smmoth.
- Spoon the hummus in to a serving bowl. Top with chickpeas for decorative purposes.
- Sit down and enjoy with brown rice chips and friends!
My Brain Power Boosting Morning Green Smoothie!
This smoothie is packed with green goodness. It is quick and simple to make first thing in the morning. I love it, I hope you do too!
I use a NutriBullet, but whatever food pulveriser you possess, that’ll will give you the same results.
I place the following ingredients into my medium sized NutriBullet container:
- 1 Handful of spinach (I sometimes add rocket- it creates a bitter taste, so add more mint!)
- 1 avocado, chopped
- 1/4 cucumber, chopped
- Several mint leaves for that fresh flavour
- 1 handful of kale
- Fill the container with water up to the maximum level line
Blend the mixture and enjoy xxx