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Originally published October 5 2009

Herbs and Natural Foods Maintain Optimum Brain Function

by Melanie Grimes

(NaturalNews) Many foods and nutrients are known to improve brain function. Fish has long been known as "brain food" because of the omega 3 fatty acids, but many other foods can improve and maintain healthy mental function and improve memory.

Foods that contain B vitamins help boost brain function. B12 in particular can help mental focus. (

Vitamin D has been shown to help improve mood. Vitamin D is actually a hormone and has many functions in the body. Calcium deficiency can reduce the absorption of vitamin D, so it is important to take adequate calcium as well. Sesame seeds contain ten times as much calcium as milk, for those who are lactose (milk sugar) or casein (milk protein) intolerant.

Omega 3 fatty acids are known to help mood and even cure depression. Food sources of Omega 2 are in fatty fish, such as salmon, and also in Borage oil, Flax seed oil and Evening Primrose oil.

Detoxifying the brain also helps it to function. Garlic and turmeric (also used as an ingredient in curry) act as anti-inflammatory agents to the blood and brain. Cruciferous vegetables also help with detoxification of the blood. These include cabbage, broccoli, collards, kale, Brussels sprouts, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, arugula, radish, wasabi, watercress, kohlrabi, mustard greens, rutabaga, turnips.

Adaptogens can help with brain function by reducing the cortisone reaction and stress on the adrenal glands. This is the so-called "fight or flight" reaction. Adaptogens include ginseng, rhodalia, and other plants.

Other plants have been shown to have an effect on mood. Studies have shown that St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) can work to treat depression as well as the popular antidepressant Zoloft.

Protein foods that contain sulfur aid detoxification and increase glutathione production. Glutathione is needed to transport toxins from the body. Eggs, garlic and onions are all foods that contain sulfur and help with this process. Other detox foods include green tea and garlic.

To improve brain function, avoid foods that contain sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats are not good for the brain either. Food additives have been shown to increase hyperactivity in children and should be avoided. Processed foods in general, do not help build healthy bodies or brains. Hydration is important for the brain as well, so drink plenty of water each day.

A healthy brain is fed like any other organ of the body with living, vital foods to strengthen and improve function. Mental clarity goes side-by-side with a healthy body.

About the author

Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College.
A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks.
Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at:
Follow her blog at

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