Healthy Fats, Happy Brain - Katia's Brain Healthy Breakfast Recipe
Guess what. October 10th is "World Mental Health Day"
I know, I know, it's one of those 300 days that was made for another marketing purpose but hey, this is an opportunity to review how important our mental and brain health is and do something about it.
Just because you cannot visibly see your mental health like you can see a skin rash, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist. We are in an age when taking medication for depression is not so uncommon (I'm sure you can name one or two people who you know are on antidepressants). Think about the impact mental health has on our overall wellness!
In October, I want to share tips from Katia, who is a very good friend of mine and also a passionate Nutritional Therapist, on how to improve our mental health.
This first email is all about brain health and fats. Enjoy!
Did you know that our brain is composed of 60% fat? The most important fat needed to make healthy and functioning cell membranes and receptors in the brain is omega:3 fatty acids. They keep brain cells’ membranes healthy, enabling them to communicate with one another, which is crucial for brain function, memory, performance and mood.
DHA and EPA are the two brain-supportive members of the omega:3 family. DHA is particularly important for brain health as it is the key constituent of brain cell membranes. EPA, on the other hand, supports brain health by protecting the brain cells from damage by inflammatory molecules. By reducing inflammation in the brain, EPA has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression. Omega:3 fatty acids are also important for blood flow in the brain. Lower omega:3 fatty acid levels are associated with reduced blood flow to brain regions important for learning, memory and depression.
The easiest way to incorporate more of these brain-supporting fats into your diet? It is oily fish, such as sardines, trout, anchovies, salmon and mackerel. There is evidence from epidemiological studies that low mood is less prevalent among young women who eat oily fish more than twice a week. Make sure you are eating these fish at least two times a week. See my Quick Breakfast Sardines recipe below for an easy and quick way to increase your oily fish intake and give your brain some extra love.
What if you are a vegetarian? Flaxseed, chia and pumpkin seeds are good plant sources of omega:3 fats. However, the conversion of fats found in these seeds to those found in oily fish is very slow, even in healthy people, so you may need to supplement omega:3 from algae sources for extra support
Recipe: Quick breakfast sardines
Note: 1 serving provides 1 portion of vegetables
1 can sardines in olive oil
2 large handfuls of parsley (leaves only), chopped fine
½ fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1-2 tbsp lemon juice (to taste)
1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
- Lift the sardines out of the oil in the can into a bowl and roughly mash with a fork.
- Mix with chilled parsley, chilli, lemon juice, olive oil and pepper.
- Serve on top of gluten-free toast or in lettuce cups.
P.S.: Want to learn more about how you can support your mental health? Book to see Katia for a mini review to find out how you can transform your physical and mental health.
Do try this recipe and let us know what you think!
Next week we will be talking about
"Why it matters to eat the rainbow for your mental health"
"You should know that there is a different way to live. To be truly happy, full of energy, with a clear head and a beautiful body. I know you can feel great, and I will accompany you on this path."
Katia is one of the first UK-trained Nutritional Therapists to practice in Hong Kong. A hormonal health specialist solving menstrual problems and women's hormonal conditions (e.g. PMS, PCOS, endometriosis, and chronic stress-related disorders), she guides women to reclaim control of their bodies and emotions. Katia also works with clients to optimise their nutrition to help achieve various goals such as improved energy, better sleep, enhanced athletic performance and recovery, and weight loss.