Aging is our topic for the month with a specific focus on the brain. Brain tissue ages as we age and it is important to know what to do about it. Feeding a brain takes hard work and a lot of patience as one needs to focus on high density foods like oily fish and organ meats. This is how we feed our brains. B vitamins are vital for the energy in the brain and so we need to consume foods that contain B vitamins like nuts, and fruits and vegetables. Yeast extract is a supplement high in B vitamins made naturally from the brewing process hence the term Brewers yeast. Brains need looking after and for this they need Vitamin E which hold s the fat cells together and protects them from rancidity ~ it’s a fat soluble antioxidant  and is found in nuts and seeds and oils and fats. Remember the brain is roughly 60% fat ~ along with the skin that is the fattiest organ in our bodies! We need to feed it some fats too!

Saturated fat, Polyunsaturated fat, Monounsaturated fat, Medium chain triglycerides, Cholesterol. All of these are essential to make all of the other fats we need to make hormones, Cell membranes, Mitochondria membranes and Brain tissue. Adipose tissue is the storage of fats, the excess from eating too much carbohydrates and sugars turns into these. Insulin takes any excess sugars from a sugary meal and gives it to the adipose cells to turn into fat. And you need to throw the cardiovascular system in there too because it feeds the brain with whatever you give it – so good {read: nutritious} blood is the key. So if you don’t want to ‘get’ fat but you want to eat fat ~ eat some fats, but avoid sugars and too many grains. If you work outside all day you can eat grains but if you work inside or are overweight then keep to a minimum or restrict to some days only. Eat seasonal and you will be fine. If we don’t look after our brains they can become slower, harder to fire and we can lose memory and muscular functions. Remember muscles are really only fancy nerve endings ~ they do what the nerves tell them to do ~ and those nerves are you! Check out our talk on brain function in September and learn more about Brian function and Aging ~ the goal we are all aiming for.  §

Simone Reddington is the founder of the Apothecary, a Medical Herbalist and thinker. She holds a degree in Psychology and is a professional member of the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists.