(Editor’s note: The Brain Energy Support Team is delighted and honored to share a blog exclusive article from our BEST friend, Dr. Jannine Krause! Dr. Krause shares her thoughts steps to healthy eating. Read on for some great tips and strategies to start in the new year. KT)
So you have a brain injury and you want to eat healthier.
Or perhaps your family wants to help you eat better.
The thought of making your own meals is overwhelming.
Where do you start?
Whether you’ve just had a brain injury, or it was decades ago, you can use food to support and regenerate your nervous system.
Foods to Focus On
Foods rich in fat, protein, minerals and b vitamins support your nervous system.
Below is a list of foods and per meal portions to support your brain.
Salmon, Halibut – 4-6 oz (palm or entire hand sized portion).
Tuna – canned in water – 1/2 can.
Avocado – ½ or 4 tbsp of guacamole.
Olives – 10 or 2 tbsp of olive tapenade spread.
Raw or Sprouted Nuts or Seeds – walnuts, almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, ground
flaxseeds are best for the brain – 1 handful.
Seed or Nut Butters – 2 tbsp – size of your thumb = a tablespoon.
Eggs – 2 whole.
Beans – Navy, Kidney, Red, Pinto, Black, Mung, Cannellini, Aduki, Garbanzo.Chickpeas ¼- ½ cup – ½ to ¼ of your fist.
Lentils – ¼- ½ cup.
Eggs – 2 whole.
Salmon, Halibut – 4-6 oz (palm to hand sized).
Leafy Greens – spinach, kale, chard, collards, bok choy, cabbage, arugula – 2
cups (two fists).
Broccoli – 1 cup (size of your fist).
Cacao Powder – 1 tbsp, Chocolate – 1 oz.
Tumeric – 1 tsp.
Blueberries – ½ cup.
Fermented Veggies – sauerkraut (Oly Kraut), kimchi, pickled veggies (Bubbies
brand) – ¼ cup.
Adding the Brain Boosting Foods to Meals
Think of the foods mentioned above as medicines with dosages.
When you are putting together a meal or a snack, it’s wise to add your medicine to each
Below you will find examples of how to incorporate brain food into meals.
Here are some breakfast ideas:
Oatmeal, or Cream of Rice with blueberries, walnuts and ground flaxseeds.
o Cacao – 1 tbsp, ¼ cup of one of the following: walnuts, pecans, ground
flax or a mix of the 3.
Scrambled or poached eggs with 2 cups of spinach or dark leafy greens.
o Scramble the spinach into the eggs.
o Sauté the spinach on the side.
o Make a breakfast salad with fresh spinach & poached eggs on top.
o Avocado toast.
o Avocado with salmon lox toast.
o Refried beans on toast.
o Nut butter on toast.
Check out some lunch/dinner ideas:
Veggie Bowls – 2 cups leafy greens, ½ cup beans or lentils, ¼ cup of nuts or
o High Protein Bowl: 4-6 oz of salmon/ ½ can tuna salad on top of the
o Chickpea/Garbanzo Curry Bowl: ½ cup chickpeas, 4 tbsp full fat coconut
milk (canned), Curry Powder (has turmeric), salt and pepper to taste.
o Add fermented veggies to any bowl.
Soups – lentil, black bean (Brand: Amy’s Kitchen).
Salmon, halibut, tuna 4-6 oz with 2 cups dark leafy veggies or broccoli.
Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad ¾-1 cup with 2 cups of leafy greens.
o Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad Sandwiches.
o Tuna, Salmon or Egg Salad in ½ avocado.
Here’s a few snack ideas:
Hard boiled eggs – 2.
A handful (1 cup) of nuts or pumpkin/sunflower seeds.
½ avocado; 2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
Blueberries ½ cup with ½ handful (1/2 cup) nuts or seeds.
10 olives – any kind.
Keep in mind that you can always have more in your meals or larger portions.
The portions listed are the minimum amounts of these foods that have found to boost
Putting It All Together
Solidifying healthy eating habits takes time.
You’ll have to train yourself to add these foods in daily.
Start by picking one meal or snack to focus on at a time.
Be patient with yourself as you work to boost your brain health.
You can do this! What are you waiting for? Grab your medicine and get started.
Dr. Krause is a doctor of naturopathic medicine, an acupuncturist and podcast host dedicated to empowering people to take charge of their own health. Her unique approach is simplifying natural medicine and healthy habit formation. She believes that health starts with what we eat, how we move and how well we manage stress. She wants to help prevent little health issues from becoming big ones down the road. She’s committed to slowing down the aging process and wants to help others with this too. There’s a lot of health information available out there, and she’s here to help people focus on what’s important and sustainable for them. Learn more here.