Improve Your Mood with Purple Food!

Raise your hand if you started following @IAmTabithaBrown during quarantine. If you did not, go do it. She is known as “the world’s favorite mom” because of her heart warming life advice and healthy fun vegan recipes that I can trick my own parents into eating. I have learned so much from her and I want to share with you what she has to say about eating purple food. We know eating a balanced diet that is higher in vegetables and fruits is good for us, but did you know that eating healthy is actually great for your mind? There are some wildly colored foods that support our brain health.

Momma Tab, (that’s what I call her, Momma Tab), she says to eat black cherries to help calm the mind.

Eat Black Cherries

The anthocyanins in cherries are thought to boost cognitive function, prevent memory loss and protect against Alzheimer's Disease. The polyphenols in cherries help us process new information effectively and improve communication between our brain and the rest of our body.

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Momma Tab says to eat blueberries because they contain flavonoids and antioxidants that can help calm our anxiety.

Eat Blueberries

Blueberries can help maintain brain function and improve memory. Oxidative stress can accelerate your brain's aging process, negatively affecting brain function. According to animal studies, the antioxidants in blueberries may affect areas of your brain that are essential for intelligence.

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She suggests adding those really dark purple (Concord) Grapes to your diet as well.

Eat Purple Grapes

Daily consumption of Concord grape juice (CGJ) over 3–4 mo has been shown to improve memory function in adults with mild cognitive impairment and reduce blood pressure in hypertensive adults. These benefits likely result from the high concentration of polyphenols in Concord Grape Juice.

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Eggplants aren’t just emojis

The vitamin & mineral content of eggplants is quite extensive. They’re a great source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, thiamine, niacin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, fiber, folic acid, potassium, and like other purple foods, packed in natural chemicals called phytonutrients, which have been known to improve mental health. Studies show that improved cognition is a result of increased blood flow throughout the body and into the brain. By delivering more blood to the brain, phytonutrients help boost memory by stimulating your neural pathways to develop.

In Indian medicine (Ayurveda) eggplant is recommended for curing insomnia and other sleep disorders. Not getting enough sleep can make us feel foggy and irritable in the short term. The long term effects of sleep deprivation can result in memory loss and increases your risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease. I think we all know the importance of catching some zzz’s so why not assist your body with the food you choose?

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There are so many foods that are great for the brain but here one of my (and the entire Brazilian Jiu Jitsu community’s) favorite…

Acai (Ah-sigh-ee)

Like in other purple berries, the antioxidant anthocyanin, which is abundant in acai berries, may lower oxidative stress and inflammation, promoting brain health. Anthocyanins also have been shown to enhance and improve memory. A sharp memory is vital for people with high intensity careers, athletes, competitors, and apparently those practicing BJJ. Now we know why it is at every major Jiu Jitsu competition.

Whether you are trying to limit your response to stress, dealing with anxiety, tired, or just trying to get ahead of aging - adding purple food to your diet is a must. Pick your favorite one or mix it up because, in the words of Tabitha Brown, baby… that’s your business.

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