Did you exercise today? If so, good on ya. It’s very important to maintain a regular regime of physical activity and eat healthy foods to keep your body strong. But exercise goes beyond bench presses and cardio and six-pack abs; don’t forget about the muscle sitting on top of your neck.
The brain is the body’s control room; its very nerve center. Your brain makes everything else work—it keeps your heart beating, tells your lungs to breathe and you can’t move or even think without a functioning brain. To that end, it is wise strategy to keep your brain in peak condition along with the rest of your body. But we can’t exactly put our brains on a treadmill; how can we get a healthy brain?
Brain power starts at the table
Eating for the brain might sound odd but don’t cast aside the idea just yet. Science has proven for generations that diet plays a major role in physical health as well as brain function and cognitive afflictions. Indeed, power foods can dramatically improve common cognitive functions such as decision-making, memory, mood, and mental response rates.
What is power food, you ask? These are natural foods packed with antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that provide essential fatty acids to strengthen and stimulate brain cells. It might sound too good to be true but regular helpings of power foods will boost your mental capacities while keeping your brain healthy at the same time.
Eggs to the rescue
There was a time in the not too distant past when eggs were reviled as an evil force to be forever banished from meals everywhere. They contain (gasp!) cholesterol and that simply uttering that word conjures unhealthy thoughts for some people.
It’s true; a typical large egg contains about 212mg of cholesterol and that’s a lot compared to a lot of other foods. But hold on a minute—study after study has revealed that an egg’s dietary cholesterol does not adversely affect our blood’s cholesterol levels. In fact, it is very much the opposite: eggs raise HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol) and convert bad LDL cholesterol from a densely packed, troublesome form to larger and benign.
Packed with nutrients
When it comes to brain health, eggs have the nutrients to make it happen. Eggs are loaded with vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline.
Choline is a biggie. This oft-overlooked micronutrient is harnessed by our bodies to produce acetylcholine, which is a powerful neurotransmitter regulating mood and memory. Backing up that fact is a pair of studies that showed higher choline intake improved memory and mental functions.
Alas, many people’s diets do not include near enough choline. But once again, eggs save the day. Egg yolks contain some of the most concentrated sources of choline in any food. Consider that adequate and beneficial choline intake is 425mg and 550mg per day for women and men respectively. A single egg yolk contains 112mg of choline! That’s great news, especially since eggs are easy to eat and can be prepared in many different meals.
In addition to all of the nutrition-based benefits of eggs, the B vitamins included play several important roles in brain health and can even help prevent brain shrinkage. (True story.) B vitamins also help slow the determined progression of mental decline in elderly people and acts as a natural defense against depression.
Interestingly, a Finnish study found that a group of men who ate one egg a day (or the equivalent of one egg) did not have an increased risk of dementia as previously believed. They actually scored higher on targeted cognitive tests in later age years than men whose diets included fewer eggs.
In related studies, elderly people with dementia or other age-related mental decline are commonly deficient in folate and eggs are a natural boost in folic acid. The related B12 vitamin also plays a key role in synthesizing brain chemicals and keeping its sugar levels in check.
Detractors will note little direct evidence of eggs’ benefit to healthy brains but we have ample research proving nutrients in eggs are powerful boosters of brain function.
And eggs have good company when it comes to keeping our brains healthy. Select fruits and vegetables, as well as tea and coffee, include important antioxidants that act as bodyguards protecting our brains from damage.
For more information on the Egg Stripper, contact eggstripper.com.