Colorful Crucifer: A Brain-Building Purple Potion - Drew Ramsey MD
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Image courtesy Flickr/Lucy Rendler-Kaplan

My brain food recommendation for this post is Purple Cauliflower.

Cauliflower contains vitamin B6 and folate, two methylators that are vital to making neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine which regulated mood, memory, sex drive, pleasure and attention. They also reduce homocystiene, high levels of which are associated with both depression and heart disease. It is a brainfood carb as it is very low in sugar, but high in fiber. This purple potion is also packed with vitamin C.

Why go purple? Purple cauliflowers arose from a specific genetic mutation that lead to increased production of anthocyanins, a set of purple pigments. These molecules travel to the brain where they act as powerful antioxidants and reducing inflammation. They are part of the reason we say blueberries, rapsberries and red wine are healthy. Also, cauliflower is a member of the superfood family called Brassica, which includes Brussell’s sprouts, Kale, and Broccoli. With this family you always get a good dose of the most powerful phytonutrients know to science-sulphorafane (which boosts natural detox systems and fights cancer), carotenoids (which protect brain fat), and anthocyanins (in puple members of the family).

Purple cauliflower is easy to find at your local Farmer’s Market (find yours https://www.locaharvest.org). Don’t boil cauliflower ever again as doing so takes away the purple color, leaving reduced amounts of anthocyanin. Many of the phytonutrients break down with cooking, so make it minimal. Do a quick, hot sauté, broil in the oven for 15-18 minutes, or try a lower temperature (350 degrees) oven roasting for 25 minutes. I generally toss in olive oil, or butter or lard to add my favorite brain-building fats and to make sure I absorb as many of the fat-soluble carotenoids as possible. Leftovers make a great omelet filling in the morning.

Welcome to The Farmacy. I hope these posts will help you eat for a healthier, happier brain…starting with purple cauliflower.

The above posting is my once-monthly blog for Psychology Today called, The Farmacy. I cross-post it here, but you can check out the original version online here: Colorful Crucifer: A Brain-Building Purple Potion

Eat Complete

Winner of a 2017 IACP Cookbook Award  •  Finalist for a Books for a Better Life Award

Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by Well + Good and MindBodyGreen

 

From leading psychiatrist and author of Fifty Shades of Kale comes a collection of 100 simple, delicious, and affordable recipes to help you get the core nutrients your brain and body need to stay happy and healthy.

What does food have to do with brain health? Everything.

Your brain burns more of the food you eat than any other organ. It determines if you gain or lose weight, if you’re feeling energetic or fatigued, if you’re upbeat or depressed. In this essential guide and cookbook, Drew Ramsey, MD, explores the role the human brain plays in every part of your life, including mood, health, focus, memory, and appetite, and reveals what foods you need to eat to keep your brain—and by extension your body—properly fueled.

Drawing upon cutting-edge scientific research, Dr. Ramsey identifies the twenty-one nutrients most important to brain health and overall well-being—the very nutrients that are often lacking in most people’s diets. Without these nutrients, he emphasizes, our brains and bodies don’t run the way they should.

Eat Complete includes 100 appetizing, easy, gluten-free recipes engineered for optimal nourishment. It also teaches readers how to use food to correct the nutrient deficiencies causing brain drain and poor health for millions. For example:

• Start the day with an Orange Pecan Waffle or a Turmeric Raspberry Almond Smoothie, and the Vitamin E found in the nuts will work to protect vulnerable brain fat (plus the fiber keeps you satisfied until lunch).

• Enjoy Garlic Butter Shrimp over Zucchini Noodles and Mussels with Garlicky Kale Ribbons and Artichokes, and the zinc and magnesium from the seafood will help stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

• Want to slow down your brain’s aging process? Indulge with a cup of Turmeric Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, and the flavanols found in chocolate both increase blood flow to the brain and help fight age-related memory decline.

Featuring fifty stunning, full-color photographs, Eat Complete helps you pinpoint the nutrients missing from your diet and gives you tasty recipes to transform your health—and ultimately your life.

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The Happiness Diet

For the first time in history, too much food is making us sick. It's all too apparent that the Modern American Diet (MAD) is expanding our waistlines; what's less obvious is that it's starving and shrinking our brains. Rates of obesity and depression have recently doubled, and while these epidemics are closely linked, few experts are connecting the dots for the average American.

Using the latest data from the rapidly changing fields of neuroscience and nutrition, The Happiness Dietshows that over the past several generations small, seemingly insignificant changes to our diet have stripped it of nutrients--like magnesium, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D, as well as some very special fats--that are essential for happy, well-balanced brains. These shifts also explain the overabundance of mood-destroying foods in the average American's diet and why they predispose most of us to excessive weight gain.

After a clear explanation of how we've all been led so far astray, The Happiness Diet empowers the reader with simple, straightforward solutions. Graham and Ramsey show you how to steer clear of this MAD way of life with foods to swear off, shopping tips, brain-building recipes, and other practical advice, and then remake your diet by doubling down on feel-good foods--even the all-American burger.

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Fifty Shades of Kale

Kale gets sexy in Fifty Shades of Kale by Drew Ramsey, M.D., and Jennifer Iserloh, with 50 recipes that are mouth-wateringly delicious and do a body good.
 
Release yourself from the bondage of guilt and start cooking meals with the ingredients you love: meat, cheese, and yes—even butter. Nutrient-rich kale provides essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, happy, and lean—so you can indulge in your most delicious desires. Whether you’re a cooking novice or a real kale submissive, you will undoubtedly succumb to Kale’s charms.

From Mushroom and Kale Risotto to Kale Kiwi Gazpacho, Fifty Shade of Kale offers simple ways to have your kale and eat it, too, as well as nutritional information, cooking tips, and a tutorial on kale in all her glorious shades.
 
Indulge your culinary passions with Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please.

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