/Brain food

Brain food

You are probably familiar with the fact that different foods affect your body differently. But food doesn’t only have an influence on your physical health, it also has a big influence on your brain health!

On this page you can learn more about the benefits of the ingredients that we use in our bakery café for your brain health.

Golden milk for a golden memory

Did you know that India has a spectacularly low number of Alzheimer’s cases? This is partly due to the curries they eat, with turmeric as a main, recurring spice.1

The bioactive substance in turmeric is called “curcumin”. Curcumin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and helps keeping our brain cells healthy as we age.2,3
It turns out that our body’s ability to absorb curcumin can be increased by 2000% when black pepper is consumed at the same time.

Our turmeric latte is prepared with a homemade spice mix. Next to turmeric we added some black pepper to make sure you will enjoy all the benefits from drinking this golden milk.

Boost your mood with hummus and yogurt

Have you ever heard of the neurotransmitter serotonin? When low levels of serotonin are produced in your body, your mood is affected and you experience less happy feelings. The good news here is: we can influence serotonin levels by choosing the foods that we eat.1,4

Production of serotonin in the brain is based on the presence of the amino acid tryptophan. Both yogurt and chickpeas (the main ingredient in our hummus) are a great source of tryptophan.

You can increase absorption of tryptophan in the brain (and therefore serotonin production) by consuming carbs at the same time.5 Don’t think twice about having some granola with your yogurt and a pita with your hummus if you could use a little mood booster.

Fermented goodness

Did you know that our gut is full of microbes like bacteria and fungi? Many of these bacteria are essential to our wellbeing. Some are involved in brain health, especially in reactions to stress and anxiety, while at the same time supporting brain longevity.6

How do we take care of these good bacteria and how can we make sure they function at their best? By consuming fermented foods like kimchi or lactofermented pickles you’re heading in the right direction. Kimchi and lactofermented pickles contain probiotics: live bacteria that improve the gut microbiota.

Feeling stressed? Don’t hestitate getting some pickles or kimchi with your lunch: foods that are rich in probiotics can have a positive effect on stress relief. And there’s more, they are also shown to enhance our memory! 7

Purple and powerful

The pretty purple spice that is sprinkled on top of your hummus is called sumac. Did you know that sumac can help enhance your memory and cognition?

Sumac comes from the sumac berry, which is very high in flavonoids. Flavonoids are compounds that are produced by plants and are responsible for the vivid colours of the fruit.8

Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties and they are known to promote healthy brain ageing.9

References

  1. Lisa Mosconi (2018). Brain Food. United States of America: Avery
  2. Voulgaropoulou, S. D. et al., (2019). The effect of curcumin on cognition in Alzheimer’s disease and healthy aging: A systematic review of pre-clinical and clinical studies. Brain research1725, 146476.
  3. Gupta, S. C., Patchva, S., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2013). Therapeutic roles of curcumin: lessons learned from clinical trials. The AAPS journal15(1), 195-218.
  4. Kerem, Z. et al., (2007). Chickpea domestication in the Neolithic Levant through the nutritional perspective. Journal of Archaeological Science34(8), 1289-1293.
  5. Markus, C. R. (2007). Effects of carbohydrates on brain tryptophan availability and stress performance. Biological Psychology76(1-2), 83-90.
  6. Kim, B. et al., (2016). A review of fermented foods with beneficial effects on brain and cognitive function. Preventive nutrition and food science21(4), 297.
  7. Jung, I. H. et al., (2012). Lactobacillus pentosus var. plantarum C29 protects scopolamine‐induced memory deficit in mice. Journal of applied microbiology113(6), 1498-1506.
  8. Al-Muwaly, K. Y., Al-Flayeh, K. A., & Ali, A. (2013). Antioxidant and free radical scavenging effects of Iraqi sumac (Rhus coriaria L). Baghdad Science Journal10(3), 921-933.
  9. Spencer, J. P. (2009). Flavonoids and brain health: multiple effects underpinned by common mechanisms. Genes & nutrition4(4), 243-250.