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Celery and Peppers for Brain Health…

Posted Oct 29 2010 6:38am
that green pepper again
  Muffet 

There are always healthy foods in abundance around us. The amazing thing is that as research delves further into these foods we are starting to see what specific benefits certain foods can have. Most plant foods contain amazing organic compounds which can have a medicinal effect.

I recently came across a very interesting article highlighting a plant compound called Luteolin. This stuff is pretty amazing, it is only found in plants so those of you eating a diet with loads of fresh fruit and vegetables are probably already getting enough. Saying this it is always interesting to learn more about how these compounds work and what benefits they give, plus which specific foods they are found in.

Luteolin appears to reduce inflammation specifically in the brain by inhibiting/protecingt cells from  the release of Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines.

“The researchers showed that microglial cells that were exposed to a bacterial toxin produced inflammatory cytokines that could kill neurons. When the microglia were exposed to luteolin before they encountered the toxin, however, the neurons lived.”

“We believe dietary luteolin accesses the brain and inhibits or reduces activation of microglial cells and the inflammatory cytokines they produce. This anti-inflammatory effect is likely the mechanism which allows their working memory to be restored to what it was at an earlier age.”

So this means that Luteolin will work to protect cells from neurotoxins which are toxins that act to inflame the nerve tissue in our brains. When this nerve tissue is inflamed it is said to lead to accelerated ageing and all the things that brings to our mental process like forgetfulness and a bad memory. What is most amazing is that Luteolin is even said to be able to restore a younger brain function….

So while this is no cure for dementia it could definitely single why a diet low in fresh vegetables and nutrients doesn’t help age-related memory decline. So whether young or old we could all do with some extra Luteolin in our diets to help protect our brains from the neurotixns we get through modern day like Food, Stress, Pharmaceutical Drugs and Artificial Sweeteners…..

So what foods can we eat that are rich in Luteolin? Two of the main ones are in the title but here is a full run down of some of the richest food sources:

  • Parsley
  • Celery
  • Green Peppers
  • Chamomile Tea
  • Peppermint
  • Olive Oil

So if you are using these foods on a regular basis then great, if not it would be good to see if you could integrate them into your diet somehow. It goes to show the power of a whole foods based diet, Luteolin is only one piece of the puzzle but generally if you eat a wide variety of vegetables, herbs and spices you will have yourself covered in many many areas thanks to these organic plant compounds.

In terms of how much we need that is still unsure. If you can manage some celery and green peppers week along with a couple glassess of peppermint or chamomile tea then you will most likely be covered, I am interested to see the effect cooking has on Luteolin but I would not be surprised if it even further promotes the positive effect like many other plant compounds (for instance the lycopene in tomatoes) .

So maybe a diet rich in luteolin is the key to good mental function into old age, it’s certainly worth a try…..

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And also checkout my e-book ‘A Simple Guide to Eating Well ‘. Thanks for reading.

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