In this section you will find everything pertaining to the release of my newest book Grain Brain. Whether you are wondering how to prevent Alzheimer’s or what to eat when pregnant, Grain Brain explores the connection between proper nutrition and brain preservation and development.
Category: Grain Brain
The ketogenic diet is one of the most talked about and debated diet trends today. You’ve probably heard celebrities, athletes, and neighbors raving about the benefits of this dietary approach. Interestingly, the science backs up its rapid growth in popularity, as a ketogenic diet has been shown to have numerous health benefits for its adherents. The diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve glycemic control in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, help individuals struggling with obesity lower their BMI, and even improve or control symptoms of debilitating neurodegenerative conditions like Parkinson’s and epilepsy. There is even some evidence to suggest that a ketogenic diet can play a role in the treatment of cancer! If it is implemented properly, adopting a ketogenic diet can be a very powerful tool in the fight against a variety of chronic diseases.
If you’ve recently made the decision to transition to a ketogenic diet or are exploring the possibility of a change, chances are you might currently find yourself in a world of confusion. What is ketosis? What are ketones? Can I really eat all the fatty foods I want? How can this possibly be good for me?
Allow me to address some of these questions. Continue reading
Five years ago today, we embarked on an incredible journey. Together, we sought to understand the roots of brain health, and how we can help fend off ailments like dementia and Alzheimer’s, diseases for which there are no known cures. This journey began with the release of Grain Brain.
In the five years since, science has continued to investigate the roles carbs and gluten play in our health, and our message has moved to the mainstream. As a result, the information in Grain Brain is now accompanied by ongoing changes and revelations in the world of medicine. Today, I want to share with you the five most interesting things I’ve learned/seen since Grain Brain hit shelves. Continue reading
What does it mean to have a healthy brain?
It means having a brain that is readily capable of performing all of it’s vital functions. This includes basic functions, like regulating the involuntary functions of the autonomic nervous system, and higher-level functions, such as facilitating cognition and decision-making, and coordinating fine and gross motor skills. While the brain is necessarily an incredibly complex organ, the process of neuroplasticity, which describes the brain’s ability to undergo physical and chemical changes in response to stimuli, affords us a significant degree of control over the health of our brain. In other words, the lifestyle choices we make today have a very real impact on our brain’s current and future health; whether that impact is positive or negative depends on how we live our lives.
As stated above, neuroplasticity can work for or against you. While the natural process of aging more or less handles the “working against you” side of that equation, it is completely within our abilities to harness the power of neuroplasticity to maintain or improve overall brain health. Taking an active role in improving the health of the brain can help fortify the body from some of the most debilitating chronic illnesses we face — the likes of Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. Fortunately, science has shined a light on numerous factors that have the potential to mitigate the effects of aging and improve overall brain health. To that end, I wanted to highlight six of the most effective ways you can maximize your brain’s potential.
The ketogenic diet has taken health circles by storm. Everyone seems to know somebody who has “gone keto” or is at least thinking about it. Keto labels are popping up on restaurant menus and in grocery stores.
And yet, the 2018 U.S. News & World Report recently evaluated 40 diets and guess which diet came in dead last? The ketogenic diet.
What is going on here? How can a diet land in two polar opposite camps? In a world that seems to thrive on polarizing controversy, let’s put a few misconceptions to rest and take a look into the effects of the ketogenic diet on the body. Because there is no doubt about it – the benefits of a ketogenic diet are profound. Continue reading
Several years ago, when I wrote Grain Brain, I had a long discussion with our publisher centered around choosing the best subtitle. Ultimately, we decided to emphasize the toxic role of sugar and carbs on the brain, and with good reason. Since that time, there have been a large number of studies that have confirmed the thesis that elevated blood sugar is profoundly detrimental, not just for the brain in general, but for brain function as well.
As the authors of a new paper entitled, Brain atrophy in ageing: Estimating effects of blood glucose levels vs. other type 2 diabetes effects point out, our brains shrink as we age with as much as 5% volume loss occurring between age 60 and 70. And as you would expect, this correlates with declining function.
A lot of the research has shown that type 2 diabetes (T2D) is what accelerates brain aging. But as this new study shows, it’s not the diagnosis of T2D that is the issue. Well before that diagnosis is made, brain structure is affected by blood sugar, even in the “normal” range! Continue reading
This spring, I’m partnering with CBN to launch a transformational health and wellness challenge unlike any other. YOU are invited to take part in a FREE 8-week Shape Up for Summer Challenge to achieve your personal weight loss goal. The challenge starts on April 5th and ends May 31st. The challenge will focus on ‘food I.Q.’ by using The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan philosophy – a scientific approach that helps with mental clarity, memory, improves overall well-being, embraces healthy eating and weight loss. To join the challenge, click here now. Continue reading
There’s so much in the news these days calling attention to the fact that diabetes is associated with a profoundly increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, just watch my recent interview with Dr. Melissa Schilling on the subject.
But there’s an important point that is absolutely critical to understand. While it seems like a good idea for diabetic patients to take medication to control blood sugar, the research seems to indicate that diabetics taking these drugs do not improve their situation, in terms of lowering their risk for Alzheimer’s.
To be clear, I am not saying that diabetics shouldn’t take their blood sugar medications. But I am saying that this looks like this one very important issue, your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, is not improved by medications designed to help normalize blood sugar. Continue reading
Today, take a moment to consider these five amazing facts about Alzheimer’s Disease. How many did you know before reading?
- Alzheimer’s is preventable. More than 50% of Alzheimer’s cases can be prevented with specific attention to certain modifiable factors like amount of physical exercise, blood pressure and blood sugar level (according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco). The relationship of the risk for Alzheimer’s to blood sugar, and thus dietary choices, was recently revealed by Dr. Melissa Schilling and published in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. I recently interviewed Dr. Schilling on The Empowering Neurologist about this very compelling research.
- Alzheimer’s is treatable and reversible. We are constantly presented with the notion that “while there is no treatment of cure for Alzheimer’s, medical science may one day find a solution.” The truth is that researchers have now reversed the condition! Dale Bredesen, and his colleagues at the Buck Institute, have used a novel approach to actually reverse Alzheimer’s in a small sample of patients. Rather that attempt to develop a single drug, the magic bullet approach to disease, Bredesen’s team leveraged 36 different interventions including reducing blood sugar, increasing physical exercise, lowering homocysteine, optimizing vitamin D and regulating hormones, all of which helped to pave the way for Alzheimer’s patients to regain cognitive function.
Today, in honor of Brain Awareness Month, I went to the Alzheimer’s Association’s web site to explore their “10 Way to Love Your Brain”, which include:
Fuel up right. Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit to help reduce the risk of cognitive decline.
Really? From what I’ve learned, we need more fat in the diet to protect the brain against dementia, not carbs at the expense of healthy fats. It even looks like the Mayo Clinic, publishing in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, totally agrees. Continue reading
While I don’t have the exact statistic, it probably isn’t far off-base to state that many, if not most, Americans start their day with a cup of coffee in their hand. For many years, the science on coffee has moved in competing directions, from studies that call it dangerous for long-term health, to those that endorse daily mass consumption.
In Grain Brain, I briefly explored the health benefits of coffee, notably as an activator of our Nrf2 pathway, and it’s a topic I return to in Brain Maker. Now, learn how coffee plays a roll in influencing the composition of our gut bacteria, and how that daily cup of joe might be fighting a leaky gut. Drink up!