Heart AND Brain Health (the same?)

Earlier this week, I visited my friends at KUTV’s Fresh Living (CBS Channel 2 in Salt Lake City) to talk about nutrition for “heart health” – which also means “brain health” – take a look and let me know what you think?


Heart Brain Axis Foods

Since February is “National Heart Month” – here are a few of my favorite foods and supplements to improve both heart health and mental wellness – or the connection between the heart and the brain that is emerging as a unique “Heart-Brain-Axis”

Salmon is the quintessential “heart-brain-axis” food because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant carotenoid, astaxanthin.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation throughout the cardiovascular system, including the miles and miles blood vessels in your heart and brain.
  • Astaxanthin is the nutrient that gives salmon it’s pink/red color – and can protect us from a variety of stressors such as air pollution and sunlight, while also improving both the efficiency of the heart and our mental outlook (less depression and fatigue).
  • Supplements – if you’re not a fish eater, you can supplement with high-purity, high -potency omega-3s (OmMega) and astaxanthin (AstaZine).

Apples and Grapes are rich in different types of plant compounds (phytonutrients such as flavonoids/polyphenols) that not only protect cells from inflammation/oxidation, but can directly activate internal cellular defense responses (CDRs) that help to “clean up” residual damage. Think of the CDRs as calling in a cellular “maid service” to remove dysfunctional proteins, improve cellular efficiency, and generally tidy up so the cell runs more smoothly. Supplements such as VitaGBX combine Applephenon (apple phenols) and Enovita (grape seed polyphenols) to activate the range of CDRs for enhanced cellular protection.

Pomegranates and Lychee Fruit contain phytonutrients (ellagitannins and catechins) that dramatically improve blood flow to tissues throughout the entire body, including the heart, the brain, and our muscles. This enhancement of blood flow can help to increase delivery of oxygen and nutrients to our muscles (for improved physical performance), our hearts (for improved cardiovascular performance, including reduced blood pressure), and our brains (for improved mental performance, including memory and mental focus). Supplements such as MentaFocus (pomegranate) and Oligonol (lychee) are available to support whole-body blood flow with particular emphasis on heart-brain-axis support.

By supporting the entire “Heart-Brain-Axis” with the right nutrition, we can not only improve heart health and keep our most important muscle strong and efficient, but we can also optimize how we feel with enhanced physical energy and mental acuity – allowing us to experience a healthy body (heart) and a healthy mind (brain).

About the Author: Dr. Shawn Talbott received dual Bachelor’s degrees in Sports Medicine (B.S.) and Fitness Management (B.A.) from Marietta College, his Master’s degree (M.S.) in Exercise Science from UMASS, and his Ph.D. in Nutritional Biochemistry from Rutgers. His research is focused on natural products to support human performance and psychological vigor (physical energy, mental acuity, and emotional well-being).

Dr. Talbott’s recent projects include two academic textbooks, an award-winning documentary film, and several best-selling books translated into multiple languages. His work has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, the TED stage, and the White House.

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