Give a Fig about your Brain Health this Festive Season

The big figs of brain health – four foods you might not associate with brain health.

With winter upon us, it’s so tempting to reach for comfort foods to snack on and big carb laden dinners to feel cosy with and 

if you feel the need to balance out any food indulgence over the coming weeks during the festive period, try some of these recommendations.

You can enjoy them on their own or cook or bake with them.

Figs

Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre, rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A and K that contribute to health and wellness. So whether you enjoy them paired with cheese or tossed in salad, figs are a surprising health booster. Unsure how to prep, store or consume them? The BBC has this helpful page dedicated to figs and I think we’ll be having the healthy winter salad soon here at Noggin HQ.

Bananas

The banana is a food genius and we’ve blogged about our love of bananas before.

The average banana has about 100 calories and is loaded with potassium and fibre and contains zero fat.

Bananas also boast tryptophan and 30 percent of your day’s vitamin B6, which helps the brain produce mellowing serotonin so you get through the day with less stress.

Avocadoes

Whilst we are raving about bananas, let’s also respect the avocado. This creamy fruit contains 60 percent more potassium per ounce than bananas and is an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. They’re rich in plant sterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol.  Pop some avocado in your green juice and blend for a creamy consistency or why not try this recipe for chocolate mousse, made with avocadoes. Finally, if you add some avocado slices to a sandwich, the fat will slow the digestion of the bread, which will in turn ease the impact it has on your blood sugar levels. 

Celery

Low in calories and high on the chew factor, celery is a good source of potassium, a mineral that aids muscle function and offsets some of sodium’s damaging effects on blood pressure. And phytochemicals in celery help destroy benzopyrene, a carcinogen that occurs in foods cooked at a high temperature. You can also add celery to your green juices and to soups and bolognaise sauces.

Keep Well

Dr Clara Russell