What you eat has a massive impact on the health of your brain. According to Dr. Juli Mazi ND, there are profound links between brain health and diet. As a naturopathic physician, she believes that anxiety, dementia, depression, and more are all connected to what you eat.
Dr. Mazi ND is a licensed primary care doctor. She received her doctorate in naturopathic medicine from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Her clinical expertise includes mood and behavioral medicine, nutrition and nutraceutical therapy, and digestive health. That extends to the importance of what you eat on the health of your brain.
The ties between what you eat and the health of your brain are incredibly well-studied. Harvard University has an entire department dedicated to psychiatry and nutrition. Elsewhere, Stanford University is home to a clinic focused solely on metabolic psychiatry.
To demonstrate, Juli Mazi ND has compiled a list of just a small handful of all-important foods. These nutrient-rich foods help support optimal brain health, starting with colorful, non-starchy vegetables.
Dr. Juli Mazi ND’s top four foods for brain health
Colorful, non-starchy vegetables
When it comes to vegetables and the health of your brain, she says that the more colorful and less-starchy, the better. That means things like cucumbers, leafy greens, peppers, and radishes.
She notes that mushrooms, albeit less colorful, can also be helpful, including reishi, shiitake, and turkey tail varieties. These support your immune system and reduce inflammation – both central to brain health.
Low-glycemic whole fruits
According to Dr. Juli Mazi ND, whole fruits are another excellent food for promoting brain health. In this instance, the popular naturopathic doctor recommends low-glycemic varieties. Examples of low-glycemic fruits are apples, berries, kiwis, and pomegranates.
It’s crucial that they’re whole fruits, too, so avoid fruit juices – especially those that are produced commercially.
Wild-caught fatty fish
Fatty fish has long been understood to help boost your brain. Along with non-starchy vegetables and whole fruits, they’re a key player in promoting optimal brain health. Dr. Juli recommends wild-caught fish wherever possible, including anchovies, bass, herring, mackerel, salmon, and sardines.
For those that prefer shellfish, options like mussels and oysters are, at the same time, similarly beneficial, according to the expert.
Nuts, seeds, and other healthy fats
Lastly, shes talks about, seeds, nuts, and other healthy fats. Examples include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
In terms of seeds, Dr. Mazi recommends the likes of chia seeds and flax seeds. Chia and flax can also be enjoyed as oils alongside alternatives such as avocado and olive oil.
Enjoying tasty, healthy brain foods
All of these so-called brain foods are rich in nutrients and vitamins. These nutrients and vitamins include B12, folate, iron, magnesium, and zinc. They’re also unprocessed and free of additives, dyes, preservatives, and other chemicals.
Dr. Mazi points out that they’re all low in sugar and gluten, too. These drive inflammation, cellular damage, and what’s known as oxidative stress – each of which can negatively impact the health of your brain. With that, one of the most effective tools in helping to promote brain health exists at the end of your fork.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.