Anxiety. Butterflies in the stomach? Sweaty Palms? Unable to focus? Feeling nauseous?
Anxiety can be crippling. Making it difficult to perform simple tasks, and to engage in activities outside your comfort zone.
Let’s look at 4 Foods to Boost Brain Function, increase levels of Essential Neurotransmitters, and Protect Cells against Damage so they can perform their pivotal role in sending the ‘right’ messages to the brain.
Salmon is high in Omega-3 – the vital fatty acid that regulates neurotransmitters, reduces inflammation, prevents brain cell dysfunction, and may aid in supporting the brain to cope with changes.
Rich in astaxanthin, an antioxidant that can improve cholesterol and protect the nervous system.
Salmon’s high levels of Omega-3 and its bioavailability Boosts levels of Serotonin, Improves Heart and Brain Health, and is Rich in Antioxidants that protects the Brain and Nervous system.
Chamomile is an antioxidant and reduces inflammation. It has been theorized that it helps regulate neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA’s main role is to reduce neuronal excitability by inhibiting nerve transmission.
Chamomile also regulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis – an important component in the stress response.
It also contains apigenin that binds to receptors in the brain to promote sleep.
The potent spice in turmeric – curcumin is what gives Turmeric most of its potential benefits.
Curcumin is not easily absorbed into the bloodstream, so a supplement that contains black pepper or piperine enhances the bioavailability up to 2,000%.
To up the ante even more, curcumin is fat soluble, breaking down in fat. Consuming curcumin with some good fats improves solubility.
Curcumin Reduces Inflammation, Neutralizes Free Radicals, Promotes Heart Health, Protects the Brain against Oxidative Damage, and it is considered an anti-aging supplement.
However, curcumin benefits do not stop there.
And this is where it may be ground-breaking. Curcumin can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
What does this mean?
Scientists now know that neurons can make new connections and increase in number even after early childhood. A major driver to this process is BDNF. This gene participates in producing a protein that promotes the life of neurons.
Some animal studies point to curcumin increasing the levels of BDNF in the brain. Not only is this useful for memory and cognitive development, this can be instrumental in reducing occurrences and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and other psychological and cognition issues, including Alzheimer’s.
Green tea contains antioxidants and amino acid L-theanine, and antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) which promotes brain health.
The combination of this amino acid and antioxidant produces a synergistic effect in increasing a sense of calm, and reducing anxiety. Additionally, L-theanine works in synergy with the caffeine in coffee, boosting levels of concentration and brain function. And with the lower levels of caffeine in green tea, you do not get the energy spikes and drops like with coffee.
The amino acid L-Theanine has demonstrated that it carries the ability to reduce cortisol in the blood. Cortisol is the stress hormone associated with the fight or flight response, and contributes to the increased feelings of anxiety.
GABA, dopamine and serotonin require amino acids in order to synthesize and play their role in the body. L-theanine can cross the blood-brain barrier, increasing the activities of GABA and dopamine.
Green tea is also touted to reduce cell damage due to its high levels of catechins.
What Foods Have You Tried?
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Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these foods, and if they helped you.