Another amazing brain food? Avocados! But what is the connection between our brains and anti-aging?
Our brains are constantly working, regulating thousands of biochemical, physiological, physical, and emotional processes throughout the day (and as we sleep!). When something becomes unbalanced within any of those processes (i.e. hormone dysregulation), over time it may have a domino effect on our body, and can accelerate the aging process. Our brains are made up of 60% fat, and even though it only takes up 2% (~3lbs) of our total body weight, this organ may need as much as 20% of our caloric intake to carry out the crazy list of brain duties. Being the control center of a human body is a lot of work.
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats which prevents our blood vessels from hardening as we age, allowing for more efficient blood flow to the heart and brain. They are a good source of potassium and Vitamin K as well, both of which prevent the risk of stroke.
This nutrient-dense fruit (yes, fruit!) is also a great source of Omega 3 and 6 essential fatty acids, important for regulating blood pressure and inflammatory responses (and maintaining great skin!). "Essential" denotes that we must obtain these fatty acids from the food we consume, as our body can not produce them on its own. It is interesting to note that not enough good fats in the diet have been linked to depression, Alzheimer's, and dementia (emphasis on "good" fats). Another bonus to these fats is that they help the body absorb more nutrients, such as the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Alpha tocopherol, a type of Vitamin E found in avocados, supplies antioxidants to protect the brain and body from free radical damage, and is great for maintaining facial muscle tone. (See this post for more on free radicals)
Our brains also require a steady supply of glucose to work efficiently. When I say glucose, I don't mean from refined sugar (which can have more of a damaging effect), but glucose derived from healthy carbohydrate sources in fruits, veggies and grains. Avocado on toast is not only super delicious, but is also a perfect brain-boosting, anti-aging snack. (For anyone following a grain-free diet, avocados have plenty of carbs, protein, and fat even when eaten alone.)
Show your brain some gratitude for all its thankless work ...with an avocado!
p.s. So by now you get that anti-aging isn't just about how our skin looks, but how our body is functioning as a whole. If you are not feeling 100% or would like to be pro-active with your health, see your local Registered Acupuncturist or Nutritionist to get a good head start!