A healthy, balanced diet is one of the most important requirements for a natural, stress free menopause, along with balanced hormones, exercise and positive outlook. Six foods to boost brain health include avocados, coconut oil, grass fed butter, eggs, fatty fish and raw nuts. Your heart will benefit from beets, rocket and sprouts.
Three gut-healthy foods include kefir, fermented vegetables and bone broth, while the spices turmeric and ginger are potent inflammation quenchers.
Mushrooms and allium vegetables like garlic and onions are potent immune-boosters, and grass fed beef and whey protein help build strong muscles.
Notable for their chemo-protective abilities are broccoli and other cruciferous veggies, leeks and black cumin (also known as black seed)
Top Six Foods for Your Brain
Topping the list of brain-boosting superfoods are foods high in healthy fats. This should come as no surprise considering your brain is mainly made up of fats.
1. Avocados are a great source of healthy oleic acid (monounsaturated fat, which is also found in olive oil), which helps decrease inflammation.
2 Organic coconut oil. Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, its medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) are a source of ketone bodies, which act as an alternate source of brain fuel that can help prevent the brain atrophy associated with dementia. MCTs also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body’s metabolism and fighting off pathogens.
3. Grass fed butter and ghee. About 20 percent of butterfat consists of short- and medium-chain fatty acids, which are used right away for quick energy and therefore don’t contribute to fat levels in your blood. Therefore, a significant portion of the butter you consume is used immediately for energy, similar to a carbohydrate. Ghee, which has a higher smoke point than butter, is a healthy fat particularly well-suited for cooking. It also has a longer shelf life.
4. Organic pastured eggs Many of the healthiest foods are rich in cholesterol and saturated fats, and eggs are no exception. Cholesterol is needed for the regulation of protein pathways involved in cell signalling and other cellular processes. It’s particularly important for your brain, which contains about 25 percent of the cholesterol in your body.
5. Wild-caught salmon and other fatty fish. While most fish suffer drawbacks related to contamination, wild-caught salmon and other small, fatty fish, such as sardines and anchovies, are still noteworthy for their health benefits in light of their low risk of contamination, and are high in omega-3 fats necessary for brain and heart health. Avoid farmed fish, however, as they’ve been identified as one of the most toxic foods in the world!
6. Organic raw nuts such as macadamia and pecans. Macadamia nuts have the highest fat and lowest protein and carb content of any nut, and about 60 percent of the fat is the monounsaturated fat oleic acid. This is about the level found in olives, which are well-known for their health benefits. Pecans are a close second to macadamia nuts on the fat and protein scale, and they also contain anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants and immune-boosting manganese.
Three foods to boost your heart health
Like your brain, your heart needs healthy fats, so all of the foods just mentioned will benefit your heart as well. Aside from that, the following three are known for their cardiovascular benefits:
1. Beets, raw or fermented. Research shows beets have powerful health benefits, courtesy of their high nitrate content. Your body transforms nitrates into nitric oxide, which enhances oxygenation and blood flow and has a beneficial impact on your circulatory and immune systems. Research3 shows raw juice bee juice can lower blood pressure by an average of four to five points in just a few hours.
Since 36 percent of each beet is simple sugars, if you have diabetes or are insulin resistant, fermented beets, also known as beet kvass, would be a preferable option, as the fermentation significantly reduces the sugar content. Beet kvass is also a great source of healthy probiotics.
2. Rocket, a relative of the cruciferous family of vegetables, contains flavonoids known to help improve blood vessel function, increase blood flow, lower blood pressure and lower inflammation.
It even has cleansing properties to counteract the poisoning effects of heavy metals in the system, particularly in the liver, and helps eliminate pesticides and herbicides from your body. With a tangy, slightly peppery kick, rocket is a tasty addition to just about any meal..
3. Sprouts, micro greens and baby greens. Harvesting greens before they reach maturity results in nutrient-dense plant foods that allow you to eat less in terms of volume. A simple way to dramatically improve your nutrition is to simply swap out lettuce for sprouts and/or micro-greens in your salad. Even a few grams of micro-greens per day can satisfy the recommended daily intake of vitamins C, E and K.
Three Foods to Get Your Gut Health on Track
Mounting evidence reveals there’s more to nutrition than previously thought — a large component of it actually revolves around nourishing the health-promoting bacteria in your body, thereby keeping harmful microbes in check. One of the reasons a healthy diet is able to influence your health is by the fact that it helps create an optimal environment for beneficial bacteria in your gut, while decreasing pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria, fungi and yeast. Among the top contenders in this category are:
1. Raw, grass fed kefir . This cultured milk product, which is easy to make at home with raw grass fed milk, is loaded with probiotics. It also contains fibre, which is another important source of nourishment for the healthy bacteria in your gut.
2. Fermented vegetables . One of the best and least expensive ways to optimise your gut microbiome is to eliminate sugars and processed sugars and eat traditionally fermented foods. Kefir is one; fermented vegetables are another. Here you have plenty of choices, as you can easily ferment just about any vegetable you like.
Using a special starter culture made with vitamin K2-producing bacteria will also turn your fermented veggies into a great source of vitamin K2.
3. Organic bone broth. Bone broth is quite possibly one of the oldest meals on record, going back to the Stone Age. It may also be one of the most healing. Not only is it very easily digested, it also contains profound immune-optimising components that are foundational building blocks for the treatment of leaky gut and autoimmune diseases.