whole grains for brain healthWe are introducing a new 10 part series on recipes to promote brain health brought to you by our Health Information Concierge. Below is the fifth brain food and recipe in the series. Do you find yourself needing help finding the right diet combination during or post-treatment? Ask the Chris Elliott Fund, we are here to help you in your process to plan a diet plan around foods that are healthy and good for the brain. Call or email today: 425-444-2215 or [email protected]

Brain Food #5: Whole grains

Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lung or muscles do. But certain foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy.

Like everything else in your body, the brain cannot work without energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from the adequate, steady supply of energy – in the form of glucose in our blood to the brain.

Wheat FieldsGlycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly levels of glucose in the blood rise after eating a particular type of food. Whole grains are a Low GI food which release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, keeping you mentally alert throughout the day. We can find whole grain in several forms such as ‘brown’ cereals, wheat bran, granary bread, brown pasta, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat flour, cornmeal, and Buckwheat flour.

Research suggests that consuming whole grain foods as part of an overall healthy diet positively impacts cognitive function. Whole grain foods offer essential B vitamins and antioxidants that reduce inflammation associated with disease development.

Whole grains are sources of magnesium and selenium. Magnesium is a mineral used in building bones and releasing energy from muscles. Selenium protects cells from oxidation, and is also important for a healthy immune system.

People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Whole grain consumption has also been associated with control of blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, obesity, cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes, which may indirectly promote healthy brain function.
Whole grains are great to incorporate into your daily diet for many reasons:

  • Whole Grain provides continuous supply of energy to your body and brain throughout the day.
  • Consuming whole grains as part of a healthy diet may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Consuming foods containing fiber, such as whole grains, as part of a healthy diet may reduce constipation and help with weight management.
  • Grains are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, several B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate) and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium) that are vital to your brain and overall health.

We know cooking and preparing these brain foods can get complicated especially if you are balancing treatment, family and work. We wanted to provide an easy and simple recipe to help you start preparing your brain foods today!

MuffinWe’ve found a great way to prepare walnuts with an Oatmeal Millet Muffin. The recipe calls for rolled oats, millet, and several baking ingredients (white & brown sugar, flour, baking soda, eggs, etc.) and makes 12 easy to prepare muffins for a tasty snack to eat throughout the day. Helping promote memory and brain health!

Head over to the Food Network to get the details on this muffin recipe.
The Food Network has also put together a series of several great whole grain options ranging from Quinoa to Buckwheat, Barley, and even popcorn! Check out their article on whole grains and several delicious recipe options.

What are your favorite ways to prepare whole grain? Have any recommendations? Please let us know in the comments below!

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