The Best Foods for Your Brain: 18 Foods That Support Brain Chemistry

Are you eating the best foods for your brain? March is National Nutrition Month and we are taking the time to discuss the best foods to supporting your brain chemistry and health. It’s no coincidence that many foods don’t give you the nutrients your body needs to work efficiently (think processed and packaged foods). Here’s what you need to know about the best foods to support your health brain chemistry and a healthy mood.

March is national nutrition month. Are you getting enough nutrients to support neurotransmitter health? These are the best foods for your brain chemistry.Do you know what you and your family need to consume to support a healthy brain chemistry? It’s important to consume a wide variety of foods each day because each contains a different nutrient and amino acid profile. Amino acids are the precursors to neurotransmitters; they come from the foods you eat and the supplements you take.

Jessica Wilhelm CNS, and one of our nutritional experts says “Some of the best foods containing the most nutrient value per serving to support overall health are spinach, collard/mustard greens, broccoli, sesame and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and strawberries to name a few. Including these in the diet can supply your body with the amino acid Tryptophan, which provides one with inhibitory support and is precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Not to mention, these foods are high in Vitamin C, B-Vitamins, and magnesium.  It is best to eat these foods raw to get the most nutrition from them. For example, cooking spinach can result in a 50-60% loss in magnesium.” If you’re not eating the best foods for you could you have a nutrient deficiency?

Is Your Diet Good Enough?

Deficiencies in Omega-3 fatty acids, B-Complex Vitamins, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Zinc can lead to neurotransmitter imbalances because they are required co-factors for the enzymes in our body to manufacture neurotransmitters. It may sound complicated but it’s not. In order for the neurotransmitters to do their job, they need support from their friends, the vitamins and nutrients. Otherwise neither of them benefit to the best of their ability.

Conventionally grown foods typically have a lower nutrient content because the soil becomes depleted of vital nutrients from the use pesticides. When possible, buying organic is best.  The Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the highest content of pesticides, called the Dirty Dozen. This is a great guide to use when considering which foods to buy organic.

18 of the Best Foods to Support Your Brain

No matter what supplements and vitamins you take, you still need to get nutrients from your food. Real food gives you real nutrients. Notice how much better you feel when you eat some of these.

March is national nutrition month. Are you getting enough nutrients to support neurotransmitter health? These are the best foods for your brain chemistry.Spinach

  • Tryptophan: 100mg per cup
  • Rich in B vitamins
  • Magnesium: 156.6
  • Vitamin C: 17.6mg
  • Calcium: 244.8 mg
  • Potassium: 838.8 mg

Asparagus

  • Vitamins A, C, B-Complex vitamins
  • Potassium

Broccoli

  • Vitamins A, C, B-Complex Vitamins
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

Salad Greens/Kale/Collard Greens

  • One of the best foods for your brain and body.
  • 100 g provides about 587% Vitamin K
  • 200% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin
  • Rich B-complex Vitamins
  • Rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Sunflower Seeds: ¼ cup contains

  • 500mg of Tryptophan
  • 127.4mg of Magnesium

Pumpkin Seeds: ¼ cup contains

  • 500mg of Tryptophan
  • 184.6mg of Magnesium
  • Zinc

 March is national nutrition month. Are you getting enough nutrients to support neurotransmitter health? These are the best foods for your brain chemistry.Walnuts: ¼ cup contains

  • 2.3 g of Omega 3’s
  • 500mg of Tryptophan

Almonds: ¼ cup contains

  • 500mg of Tryptophan
  • 98.7mg of Magnesium
  • Vitamin E

Lentils

  • Significant amounts of folate and magnesium
  • B-Vitamins
  • Iron, fiber and protien

Grass-Fed Beef: per 4oz

  • Tryptophan: 360mg
  • Phenylalanine: 1250mg
  • Tyrosine: 1080mg
  • Branch Chain Amino Acids to maintain lean muscle mass

Lamb: per 4oz

  • Tryptophan: 350mg
  • Phenyl: 1230mg
  • Tyrosine: 1000mg

Chicken: per 4oz

  • Tryptophan: 390mg
  • Phenyl: 1330mg
  • Tyrosine: 1110mg

 March is national nutrition month. Are you getting enough nutrients to support neurotransmitter health? These are the best foods for your brain chemistry.

Turkey: per 4 oz

  • Tryptophan: 350mg
  • Phenyl: 1260mg
  • Tyrosine: 1230mg

Eggs:  1 Whole Egg 

  • Tryptophan: 70mg
  • Phenyl: 290mg
  • Tyrosine: 230mg 

Tuna: per 4oz

  • Tryptophan: 380mg
  • Phenyl: 1330mg
  • Tyrosine: 1150mg
  • Magnesium: 72mg
  • Omega 3: 330mg

March is national nutrition month. Are you getting enough nutrients to support neurotransmitter health? These are the best foods for your brain chemistry.

Salmon: per 4oz

  • Tryptophan: 330mg
  • Phenyl: 1130mg
  • Tyrosine: 980mg
  • Magnesium: 138.35mg
  • Omega 3: 2000mg

Cod: per 4oz

  • Tryptophan: 290mg
  • Phenyl: 1002mg
  • Tyrosine: 880mg
  • Magnesium: 35.15mg
  • Omega 3: 320mg

Sardines: per 3.25oz

  • Tryptophan: 250mg
  • Phenyl: 880mg
  • Tyrosine: 760mg
  • Magnesium: 35.8mg
  • Omega 3: 1360mg

So add more of these to your plate and your families meals too. See how these foods power your brain, body and immune system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Emily Roberts MA, LPC is the clinical therapist for the Neurogistics Children’s Program. She has worked with Neurogistics for over a decade. Emily is also an award-winning author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girls Guide to Speaking Up and Becoming Who You Are, Psychotherapist, TV & Media Contributor, educational speaker and parenting consultant.  Express Yourself is available at bookstores nationwide and on Amazon. To learn more about Emily click here.

 

 

 

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