Pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato oh my! Boost your mood, feed your brain. Eat more orange foods, here’s why.
Rich in magnesium essential for mental fitness and brain health
This macromineral is required for the proper function of nerve and brain cells. It’s a vital ingredient for your brain’s chemistry. It directly stimulates brain growth. Magnesium has a role in hundreds of different chemical reactions that occur in a healthy body. Yet, more than fifty percent of people in the U.S. are deficient in magnesium.
Carotenoids for better cognitive performance and brain health
Carotenoids are deep orange, yellow or red colored compounds plants use as protective mechanisms. They also help plants attract birds and insects for pollination. Higher carotenoid consumption is linked to better cognitive performance and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia. In your body, carotenoids enhance cell-to-cell communication. and play innumerous functions helping prevent cancer and protecting your skin and eyes from damaging effects of ultraviolet light. More than 600 carotenoids have been identified. Two are particularly potent in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties:
- Beta-carotene can help repair damaged DNA and prevents the oxidization of cholesterol. This is the type of cholesterol that builds up in blood vessel walls and contributes to the risk of brain strokes and heart attacks. Getting extra beta-carotene in your diet may help to prevent the progression of atherosclerosis, cognitive decline and heart-disease.
- Alpha-carotene protects against cancer and is linked to biological aging. As your body ages, it loses its ability to fight the effect of free radicals. Oxidative stress due to free radicals impacts the central nervous system and can lead diseases such as Alzheimer and dementia. The more alpha-carotene you eat, the slower your body shows signs of aging.
High in fiber crucial for a healthy brain
Fiber helps control cholesterol and blood sugar. This can help reduce the amount of artery-clogging plaque in your brain’s blood vessels. High-fiber diets may also lower blood pressure which reduces the risk of brain bleeds.
High fiber intake increases healthy bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract (gut), while decreasing the unhealthy bacteria. Gut health is linked to brain health.
What to Do?
- For one week track many orange foods you eat
- Aim to increase by at least 1 -2 each week
- Try new/different orange fruits and vegetables. There is a wonderful variety of winter squashes waiting to be discovered!
🍊 🍊 🍊 Fruits 🍊 🍊 🍊
🥕 🥕 🥕 Vegetables 🥕 🥕 🥕
Yellow and orange bell peppers
Winter squash: pumpkin, butternut squash, delicata, kabocha and spaghetti squash