In terms of healing your brain from emotional trauma, physical trauma, or mental health, there are numerous foods and products that can prevent healing. This includes anything that contains artificial sweeteners, preservatives, high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, vegetable oils, hormones, and a lot of pesticides (1). These clog lymphatic and vascular circulation or confuse chemical messages through the body.
The most important nutrients for brain healing can be found in a variety of plant-based foods. This includes B vitamins, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, and magnesium (1). Foods high in B vitamins are nuts, whole grains, potatoes, and bananas, foods high in vitamin C include all citrus fruits and green vegetables like broccoli, foods high in omega 3 include chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts, and seaweed, and foods high in magnesium include potatoes, leafy greens, nuts, and chocolate.
One spice that is food for the brain is turmeric. Turmeric causes neural stem cell regeneration to help the neural network in the brain (2, 3). This will help mental processes.
One green food for the brain is broccoli. Sulforaphane in broccoli stimulates the renewal of brain cells for healing (4). Broccoli also contains lots of folate and vitamin K that is helpful for neurons and brain cells.
Nuts are really healthy for the brain. Pistachios improve memory, perception, and sleep (like rapid eye movement (REM) sleep for brain healing and vivid dreams), whilst peanuts also help healing, sleep, and also immunity (5). These nuts also contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids that are needed for brain function. Other foods high in omega 3 include seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds, avocados, and leafy greens like spinach. The plant-based omega 3 (alpha-linolenic acid) is helpful for neuroprotection and neuroplasticity (6). So, omega 3 is crucial for brain health and healing.
Brain growth is driven by a greater amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF). Research suggests that an increase in high flavonoid fruit and vegetable consumption and cocoa flavanols leads to an increase in serum BDNF levels in relation to cognitive improvements (7). Natural foods high in flavonoids include berries, leafy greens, and herbs like parsley, as well as herbal teas.
Thus, various nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, and magnesium help brain healing, whilst turmeric, broccoli, pistachio, peanuts, and foods high in flavonoids also help the brain in perhaps unexpected degrees.
- Ebeling, C., 2022. Foods to Heal Your Brain – thenutritionwatchdog.com. [online] thenutritionwatchdog.com. Available at: <https://thenutritionwatchdog.com/foods-to-heal-your-brain/> [Accessed 5 June 2022].
- DailyHealthPost. 2020. This Is How The Brain Reacts When You Eat Turmeric Every Day. [online] Available at: <https://dailyhealthpost.com/turmeric-brain/> [Accessed 5 June 2022].
- Hucklenbroich, J., Klein, R., Neumaier, B. et al. Aromatic-turmerone induces neural stem cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. Stem Cell Res Ther 5, 100 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1186/scrt500
- Yaneff, J., 2017. Broccoli Stimulates Brain Regeneration and 5 Other Top Brain Foods. [online] Doctors Health Press. Available at: <https://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/broccoli-stimulates-brain-regeneration/> [Accessed 5 June 2022].
- Wiley, M., 2022. Your brain on nuts. [online] Easy Health Options®. Available at: <https://easyhealthoptions.com/your-brain-on-nuts/> [Accessed 5 June 2022].
- Blondeau, N., Lipsky, R., Bourourou, M., Duncan, M., Gorelick, P. and Marini, A., 2015. Alpha-Linolenic Acid: An Omega-3 Fatty Acid with Neuroprotective Properties—Ready for Use in the Stroke Clinic?. Biomed Res Int., [online] 519830. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350958/#!po=40.3846> [Accessed 5 June 2022].
- Neshatdoust, S., Saunders, C., Castle, S., Vauzour, D., Williams, C., Butler, L., Lovegrove, J. and Spencer, J., 2016. High-flavonoid intake induces cognitive improvements linked to changes in serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor: Two randomised, controlled trials. Nutr Healthy Aging, [online] 4(1), pp.81-93. Available at: <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5166520/> [Accessed 5 June 2022].