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Feeding Our Brains Feature Headline

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Continuing on our series of feeding our children, I wanted to touch on the subject of feeding our brain. Our brain is the most complex and specialized organ of the body. It conducts many functions, including: memory, judgment, reasoning, speech and word-formation as well as emotions, voluntary and involuntary muscle movements. This is why it is critical to nourish our brain.

Getting good sources of protein and carbohydrates are essential for brain health. This is because proteins and carbohydrates release neurotransmitters which energize or calm the brain. Specifically, they release dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin—the first two being the energizing neurotransmitter, and the latter being the calming neurotransmitter. The brain makes these neurotransmitters from the amino acids in proteins. Therefore, protein is important because it helps maintain mental energy. The best sources of protein are shellfish, fish, chicken, lean beef, and legumes.

Carbohydrates are important because they can help the mind calm down and focus. In fact, carbohydrates slow the absorption of the amino acids that energize the brain and allow the calming amino acids, especially tryptophan, to go into the brain. The best sources of carbohydrates are whole grains and starches.

It is also important to get enough fat, especially Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are incorporated into cells, making their membranes more fluid so they can communicate with one another; help in developing the brain; are anti-inflammatory; support circulation. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in: fish, flax seeds, walnuts and leafy green vegetables.

Fish and eggs are great foods for the brain because they are a good source of protein and are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

“The brain is wider than the sky.” —Emily Dickinson

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For Your Information Feature Headline

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A recent article in Eating Well (September/October 2010) magazine noted, “Organophosphate pesticides—commonly used on fruits and vegetables (and also for indoor pest control)—could increase the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics… organophosphates target the nervous system (they kill insects by disrupting their brains and nervous systems) and past research has linked organophosphates with hyperactivity and cognitive defects in laboratory animals.” So, if possible, try to purchase organic fruits and vegetables or make sure you wash your fruit and vegetable very well. For more information on what fruits and vegetables to buy organic, check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of 49 Fruit and Veggies at http://www.foodnews.org/fulllist.php.

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About Me Headline

I am the mother of four daughters and a Certified Health Counselor, as well as a passionate advocate of organic and local food and a healthy lifestyle. I decided to become a health counselor to fulfill my passion of working with children and parents to improve their health and family life. Learn more about me at healthytiffin.net/about.html

Call to action: Want more information? Visit www.healthytiffin.net for recipes, resources, events, and to learn about our individual and group programs. Click here now!
In this issue:

Recipes

Indian-Style Scrambled Eggs (Serves 6):

  • 2 Tbsp. ghee or butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, finely chopped
  • 1–2 green chiles, finely chopped
  • 4 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 8 eggs, whisked
  1. Heat ghee in a large sauté pan. Sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Add tomatoes and sauté until water has evaporated.
  3. Add chiles and cilantro, salt and pepper.
  4. Add eggs and stir rapidly until eggs are scrambled.

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Tiffin LLC · (203) 218-4003 · Rachel@Healthytiffin.net