Brain Maker Foods

Probiotic Foods

Active-Culture Yogurt

An explosion of yogurt brands has taken over the dairy section lately, but you have to be careful about which brands to buy; many of them—both Greek and regular—are loaded with added sugar, artificial sweeteners, and artificial flavors. Read your labels. For people sensitive to dairy, coconut yogurt is an excellent dairy-free way to work plenty of enzymes and probiotics into your diet.


The name Kefir is derived from the Turkish word keyif which means “feeling good” after consumption. This fermented dairy product is very similar to yogurt. It is a unique combination of kefir “grains” (a combination of yeast and bacteria) and goat’s milk that’s high in lactobacilli and bifidobacteria. It’s also rich in antioxidants. For those who are sensitive to dairy or lactose intolerant, coconut kefir, a non-dairy version, is also delicious and equally beneficial.

Kombucha Tea

This is a form of fermented black or green tea that has been used for centuries. Fizzy and often served chilled, it’s also believed to help increase energy, and may even help you lose weight.


Many people, especially vegetarians, eat tempeh as a substitute for meat. Tempeh is fermented soybeans and a complete protein, with all of the amino acids. Also a great source of vitamin B12, tempeh can be cooked or crumbled over salads.

*Note: Not to be confused with unfermented soy. The fermentation process reduces the levels of phytic acid in tempeh, making it a much better option. Overall, I am not a huge fan of any soy derived product. But for vegetarians, this is an option.


A traditional Korean dish, this is a mixture of fermented vegetables and seasonings. Common ingredients include cabbage, brine, radish and spices such as ginger and chili pepper. In addition to providing beneficial bacteria, kimchi is also a great source of calcium, iron, beta-carotene, and vitamins A, C, B1, and B2. For some it may be a little too spicy, but it’s one of the best probiotic foods you can add to your diet if you can handle the heat.


A german word, Sauerkraut translates to “sour cabbage.” Not only does this fermented cabbage fuel healthy gut bacteria but it contains choline, a chemical needed for the proper transmission of nerve impulses in the brain and throughout the central nervous system.


No wonder many pregnant women crave pickles, among the most basic and beloved natural probiotic. For many, pickles can be your gateway food to other, more exotic fermented foods.

Pickled fruits and vegetables

Pickling fruits and veggies, such as carrot sticks, transforms the usual into the extraordinary. Whether you do this yourself or buy pickled produce, keep in mind that the probiotic benefits are only present in unpasteurized foods pickled in brine, not vinegar.

Cultured condiments

Believe it or not, you can create lacto-fermented mayonnaise, mustard, horseradish, hot sauce, relish, salsa, guacamole, salad dressing, and fruit chutney. Sour cream, while technically a fermented dairy product, tends to lose its probiotic power during processing. Some manufacturers, however, add live cultures at the end of the process; look for these brands.

Fermented meat, fish, and eggs

Consumed in may traditional fares, you can find some mouth-watering recipes from corned beef to pickled sardines and fermented hard-boiled eggs in the recipes section of Brain Maker.


Prebiotic Foods

Acacia gum (or gum Arabic)

To reap the benefits of Acacia gum, you can buy acacia powder and mix it with water. Just 1 tablespoon will give you 6 grams of insoluble prebiotic fiber—the kind of fiber the gut bugs love for their own nourishment.

Raw chicory root

I use chicory root when cooking, as it is an excellent source of antioxidants, as well as a terrific system cleanser. Most of my chicory consumption comes via kimchi, as it’s an ingredient I use when making kimchi at home (and you can find the recipe in Brain Maker).

Raw Jerusalem artichoke

Jerusalem artichoke, which you might know better as sunroot, is actually a species of sunflower loaded with nutrients and health benefits. Specifically, besides being a great prebiotic, Jerusalem artichoke is rich in potassium and iron. During the week, I enjoy Jerusalem artichoke in salads.

Raw dandelion greens

Dandelion greens are a rich source of prebiotics. Buy a bunch of these greens for the week and add them to salads and vegetable dishes.

Raw garlic

There are myriad health benefits to be derived from garlic, and the fact that raw garlic is packed with prebiotics is just one of them. Lots of recipes here on my website to help you sort out how to make sure you get some in every day.

Raw or cooked onion

Just like garlic, onions are another vegetable you might be consuming every day without realizing just how powerful it is for your health. In both raw and cooked form, onions carry a strong prebiotic load.

Raw leek

Leeks are a subtle way to add not just flavor, but nutrition to any meal you are making. It’s a prebiotic powerhouse you can work into almost every dish.

Raw asparagus

One of my favorite snack foods, or side dishes, is fermented spiced asparagus (another recipe you can find in Brain Maker).

For other foods you should make a staple of your diet, check out this list of gluten-free foods.

  • Tomas

    Kombucha Tea, like kefir, is a combination of two kingdoms : colonies of eubacteria and fungi. I’ve always been attracted to kombucha, but only recently did I bother to investigate what I was drinking. There are other examples of bacteria and yeast ferments, but they are not as powerful as kefir and kombucha.

    • Pickling fruits and veggies, such as carrot sticks, transforms the usual into the extraordinary. Whether you do this yourself or buy pickled produce, keep in mind that the probiotic benefits are only present in unpasteurized foods pickled in brine, not vinegar.

  • Julie

    I live in a rural area and in my little town there is only a WalMart for grocery shopping. I’m a Psychiatric NP and you describe what is happening for so many of my patients. Id love to help them start changing their diets. A lot of the foods on the list I’ve never heard of or are not available or too expensive. Any suggestions?

    • Brandon

      Kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, home made yogurt, can all be made very easily at home and from ingredients from walmart, in some cases a starter culture will be needed but others not.

      For the some of the prebiotics: acacia gum, chickory root, potato starch, if you can’t find them locally, they can all be ordered off amazon very reasonably and will be at your door in 2 days.

      I would imagine that some of the fermented items could be ordered online as well but its a fraction of the price to make yourself.

      • Julie

        Thanks for the info, I plan to start working on making these foods myself, and then maybe I can spread the word. Im excited!

        • meredith

          Hi Julie, cultures4health is a great website to order starter cultures for kefir, etc. Your cultures often grow, so you could share them with others

          • Julie

            Thanks! I remember my mom making ginger beer and sharing with her friends, reminds me of that.

    • Any farms locally? Anyone starting gardens?

  • Plants with pesco

    Okinawans enjoy robust cognitive health (dementia and AD very rare) into their 90’s and beyond! They enjoy daily doses of various fermented soy foods and avoid dairy: miso (look at whole foods for active miso in refrigerated section), tempeh, tofu. Breast and prostate cancer is also extremely rare for those Okinawans eating the traditional diet, which also includes anti-aromotase mushrooms and antiangiogenic foods like turmeric, ginger, green-tea, soy, greens, oodles of carotenoid veggies, seaweed, fish etc…

  • Annie Dru

    It’s super easy to make your own probiotic sour cream, or ‘creme fraiche’ at home. All you need to do is purchase a pint of good quality, grass-fed cream (not ultra-pasteurized) and some organic buttermilk. Transfer the cream to a glass jar, stir in one tablespoon of the buttermilk, screw on the lid and allow to sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Transfer to the fridge to ‘set-up’ and you’re ready to go!

  • abe

    don’t fermented foods cause stomach cancer?

    • John Szewczyk

      What do U work 4 Monsanto……..get out of here!

      • Cidy Farrell

        hahaha .You are right!

    • adriano

      Cancer makes money to chemical industry…

      • lynette mayo

        I heard a name for it in a webinar l listened to. They called it “genocide”

        • Cidy Farrell

          that’s what they do!

      • Cidy Farrell

        exactly!!! people are addicted to medicines….

    • Odindis

      If you type “fermented foods and cancer” into a search engine, you’ll find many excellent articles about the anti-cancer properties of fermented foods, such as these:

      • It’s amazing how much ignorance there is about true natural food sources that are out there to do us good..

    • Angela Lynn Wolfe

      No. If anything they prevent it!

    • Angela Milne

      I would think they’d do the opposite – help heal it.

      • Angela Milne

        Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the recently deceased Russian author and nobel-prize winner, in his autobiography, claimed that kombucha tea cured his stomach cancer during his internment in soviet labor camps. (And because of this testimony, President Reagan used kombucha to halt the spread of his cancer in 1987. You’ll note Reagan didn’t die until 2004, and that was from old age, NOT cancer.)

        • Odindis

          I made my own kombucha, and a duodenal ulcer that would not go away healed up. It’s been about 18 months, and no signs of return. 🙂

        • MJ

          People do not actually die of “old age.” Ronald Reagan died from complications of Pneumonia. 😉

          • Ta

            Actually he died of complications from Alzheimer’s

          • MJ

            Yes. That complication was Pneumonia…

    • Not unless they are the only vegetables you are eating. Fermented foods have been a part of every culture through the centuries and are of vital importance to the microbiome.
      The amount of probiotics in just one serving of raw fermented sauerkraut is equivalent to an entire bottle of probiotic pills. It is powerful and extremely good for you.

      • Cidy Farrell


    • Jay


  • elaine small

    MymMy husband has Parkinson we are wondering with the 3 drugs 1 mg azilect, 25mg-250mg carbidopa/levodopa and 1.5 mg pramipexole
    We are wanting to know if we should take all 3 together or azilect wait an hour and then take the other two?
    Also any of these meds do we Need to wait for a period of time like an hour so it will not interfere with the brain receiving full dose age when eating proteins
    Also all fermented foods and pickled I am told interact with the above medicines causing many problems in my husband is dizziness, hulluciation and. Sleepiness. Please advise
    Thank you for your help

    • quiethinker

      My husband was helped so much by Pale diet, like this one, that not many people knew he had Parkinson’s after many years! I suggest you look up Dr. Terry Wahls who healed herself and many others with diet

  • Corsi

    Is it okay to eat fermented foods if you suffer from migraines?

    • David Perlmutter

      Most likely, but if there is a concern, or you feel your body is reacting poorly, absolutely consult a physician.

      • Corsi

        Thank you

  • Minna Lopez

    Thank you for such a wonderfully educational book! I saw your recipe for coconut water kefir and it mentions to look up the source for kefir grains in the resources section. My book does not have a resource section. Where can I find that information?

  • Corsi
  • Geraldine Granado

    I’m 29weeks pregnant and tested positive for gestational diabetes, is it possible to be hypoglycemic and not g.diabetic? What can I do to become healthy? I have Brain Grain and Brain Maker..can u ref which pages to read more carefully..? (There is no history of diabetes in my family) Thank u

  • disqus_9BPVXny4F8

    I’ve just listened to the audiobook and am wondering if you have a list of the probiotics you mentioned as well as these prebiotics. I understand now that both are essential. I hadn’t even heard of prebiotics before! Thanks!

    • Angela Lynn Wolfe

      Audio book? Where please?

      • Kristie


  • Quentin Feduchin

    What’s the oats story?

    • David Perlmutter

      Cross-contamination with oats is common, so be absolutely sure the ones you’re consuming are gluten-free, and, as always, watch the carb count.

  • CaroK

    How do I recognize that live cultures have been added to lacto-fermented mayo, mustard, salsa etc.? What do I specifically have to look for when I want to buy these kind of products?

  • Christina Limas

    Fermented Cranberry Relish

    Fermentation is the secret to this fresh sweet and
    sour cranberry relish. If you haven’t yet made a cultured food, let this
    foolproof recipe be your gateway to tangible kitchen magic. Yes, you can
    effortlessly transform the flavor and healthfulness of basic ingredients into a
    superior product.

    I delight in the simplicity of this recipe and most
    often make it with just three ingredients. But I also enjoy embellishing it
    with ginger or other spices and by adding up to 1 cup chopped pecans or
    walnuts. The just mixed ingredients taste tart, bitter and sugary. But
    fermentation reduces the sugar, heightens the berries’ own sweetness and gives
    the relish a feisty tang. There is no need to add a starter.

    Yield: 3 cups

    16 ounces (4 cups) fresh organic cranberries

    1 organic orange, seeded and chopped; reserve 1/2 of the peel

    2/3 cup honey or 3/4 cup cane sugar

    1 teaspoon chopped ginger (optional)

    Pick over the cranberries to remove any possible
    spoiled ones; wash and drain well. Place the berries, orange, orange peel, and
    honey in a food processor and coarsely chop (do not reduce to a puree). Add the
    ginger and/or nuts, if using.

    Pack tightly into a clean wide-mouth jar. Cover and
    leave out at room temperature for 1 day. Taste it and use it now or, to
    increase its zesty flavor, let it ferment for an additional day or two. As it
    ferments the color deepens to a dark red. Periodically taste it (always with a
    clean spoon so you don’t introduce unwanted bacteria into your culture) to
    appreciate its increasing vibrancy. When the taste suits you, cover and store
    it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    • Liz

      Thanks! This looks great!!

    • Michelle

      Thank you for the intriguing “gateway” recipie, looking forward to try it out! 🙂

    • Cairenn House

      Thanks! I need this for Thanksgiving.

  • Greg Simkins

    I am confused about your position on Kefir. On this page, you list kefir as a brain maker food. In Grain Brain (page 226) you say to use kefir “in moderation” (once daily or preferably twice per week). Why shouldn’t we drink kefir by the gallon if it is so good for us?

    • Lara

      Hi Greg,
      Here’s one possible explaination why you shouldn’t. Recall Perlmutter said the importance of limiting dairy. As kefir is a dairy product, it would make sense why we should moderately eat it. It is good for you, but like everything else, all good things are only good in moderation. Hope this helps.

      • Susan

        I’d like to better understand why I should limit dairy. Although, I think kefir – especially the homemade organic variety that uses grains for fermentation – is a different animal from a tall glass of whole milk. Is it fair to put kefir in the same nutritional category? (not that you have)

        • Lara

          Hi there Susan,
          Great comment on the post. Kefir and whole milk both have excellent benefits; the differences lies with taste, fermentation as you’ve mentioned and fat content. Unless you buy kefir as a specialty brand made solely from soy or grains, it typically is also a dairy product. It usually has less fat than whole milk. The fat in whole milk, however, is highly nutritious packed with fat soluble vitamins necessary for strong bones and teeth. Plus the taste is creamier than Kefir typically is. Kefir is usually in yogurt form; Kefir’s strong point is that it fills your digestive system with beneficial bacteria which will out-compete disease causing ones. Whichever you choose to consume, you are making a healthy choice.

    • Alice Hess

      Even plain Kefir has quite a bit of sugar in it, so drinking too much will load up the carbs.

      • Susan

        It does? That’s news to me. I understood that the bacteria (grains) feasted on the lactose (sugar), thus turning the milk into a low sugar/carb beverage. Am I wrong? I drink kefir three times daily with no weight gain. Maybe I’m just lucky that it works for me.

    • gaby

      If you use homemade kefir it is better than the one you buy, as you can leave away the sugar

  • Kimberly Lohr
  • Andre

    Dr Perlmutter whats your take on Yacón / Peruvian ground apple, it has an extremely high amount of FOS and some documented benefits ( 34-55% FOS, 7-9% glucose, 13-14% fructose, 13% sucrose) , yet there is quite some fructose and sucrose in it – screw the carbs and use it as a prebiotic?

  • Paula Coulter

    I saw Dr. Perlmutter on the Dr. Oz show. He suggested putting yogurt in milk and letting it sit overnight to see if there was a yeasty reaction. I did this with Fage yogurt. Total failure. Can you please recommend a yogurt instead of putting all on the market to the test?

    • Deborah Roberts

      Did you get an answer to the yogurt question?

    • Jay

      Hi Paula;
      I make yogurt at home. You can choose the type of milk(0,1,2% or full fat). You need to warm the milk in a pan till it almost boils over. Then let it cool till about the temperature your finger feels comfortably hot when you dip it in. Then add yogurt of your choice at least 2-3 tablespoons and stir it in. The yogurt you choose could be the one you like without flavorings. I used a yogurt culture from India. These are available as dahi in the Indian stores. Then cover and leave in a warm place. You could put in the oven with just the pilot light on in the winter. It should set overnight. Hope this helps.


  • Steve

    How can I eat these foods without irritating ulcers

    • Jay

      They fix your ulcers – which I doubt you have anyway…doctors are not the brightest individuals.

  • Susan Ford Keller

    Where can I find coconut yogurt? That sounds fantastic! And what are the best pickles to buy? If they have preservatives, that must defeat the purpose of pickled foods, right?

    • kay Tergesen

      Bubbies brand pickles. I make my own coconut yogurt with a vegan starter from Cultures for Health. You can buy store brand but it has sugar and other additives I don’t want to consume.

    • Bri

      Coconut yogurt is different from coconut kefir. Coconut kefir is much much better for you, and I find mine at whole foods. I’ve also seen it at Sprouts

      • Jerri Jones

        I just saw a post on a brand of coconut yogurt. Check more recent posts.

    • Gail

      Mt Olivet pickles are low sugar. Grocery store p

  • Pingback: You Can Lose the Weight – Four Simple Steps | David Perlmutter M.D.()

  • Pingback: Go with your Gut: Probiotics and Optimal Gut Health | Back to the Cutting Board()

  • Pingback: You Can Lose the Weight – Four Simple Steps from Dr. David Perlmutter | Integrative Medical Research()

  • Laurie Pepper

    1. After a recent and necessary course of antibiotics I read somewhere that a good probiotic to take immediately after that was Saccharomyces Boulardii+MOS. I’ve read Brain Maker & you don’t mention that one (tho it seems to have helped a lot)?
    AND 2. What do you say to the claim of certain manufacturers of probiotics that only THEIR enteric coated products will resist stomach acids?

    • Nona

      I take this one off and on also. Great Probiotic-However I can’t take it very long as it seems to cause constipation. I use mostly when I have a flare with IBS.

  • Sio

    I read somewhere that a good probiotic to take immediately after antiobiotics was Saccharomyces Boulardii+MOS. I’ve read Brain Maker & you don’t mention that one .
    What do you say to the claim of certain manufacturers of probiotics that only THEIR enteric coated products will resist stomach acids?

  • Joe Rockman

    My uncle is a cancer researcher and he told me years ago that they discovered a correlation between the consumption of pickled foods and gastric and pancreatic cancers. A quick search on the internet shows numerous studies that support this;

    • LB

      There is a difference between preserved foods and pickled food!
      know well what you are talking about before you comment.
      the subject of your link is PRESERVED FOODS

      • Bearhair

        It’s funny that you would scold the original poster … you clearly didn’t read the article to determine the researchers’ definition of “preserved foods.”
        “The cancer risk tended to increase with increasing consumption of pickled vegetables, fermented soy products, salted fish and preserved meats, all with significant dose–response relationships. In particular, the effect of pickled vegetables was substantial among the preserved food subgroups.”
        Foods preserved in salt, whether pickled in brine or otherwise fermented with salt, are the subject of the study.

    • Jerri Jones

      Good question and thank you for the clarification on preserved foods vx. pickled foods. I would not have gotten there was a difference.

  • Joe Rockman

    I have significant concerns about eating pickled meats and fish;
    Is it the large quantity of these pickled meats and vegetables that have many Asian populations at risk for various cancers? If pickled meats and vegetables are a risk factor for cancer and the above referenced studies indicate a linear relationship between consumption and cancer, then wouldn’t it be better not to eat any pickled foods?
    I’d like Dr. Perlmutter himself to comment on this rather than the non-experts.

  • Marcia Smith Johnson

    I had to go dairy free about 10 years ago but recently found a yogurt, Greek Pastures, that is made from grass fed cows. So far I can handle it and boy, does it hit the spot. Yes, it has some sugar but high in protein and I’m hoping over all a good food choice. Thanks, Dr Perlmutter for all you do.

  • Julie

    where can I purchase fermented foods and pickled in brine?

    • Andrea Vaughn

      Make yourself some brine, easy, then pickle, ferment away! Easy, inexpensive doing this ourselves. Good luck! There’s lots of fermenting tips out there, a Paleo site can fix you up.

    • Julie, Cultures for Health has the best ingredients for making your own fermented foods.

    • Steve Fyten

      Or you can make them at home very easily. Basically pack the vegetables in a jar and pour in water and salt to cover them. Add spices and peppers if you like, then wait a few days and they will start to ferment.

    • Vanessa

      “Bubbies” brand pickles and saurkraut are actually fermented in brine, and delicious. Whole Foods carries them, as does YES Market in the DC area; probably other health food stores carry them as well. The pickles are so delicious and full of probiotics.

      • Shawn

        I tried out this brand some time ago and I can attest to its relative weakness. When I started fermenting my own sauerkraut I was surprised at how much more powerful it was. I don’t trust store bought fermented foods to be of maximal benefit. They are good as an introduction for those who have not eaten probiotic foods for much of their life.

        • Vanessa

          Really? You could tell just by tasting them, or how? That’s disappointing. I read that their dill pickles contain 15,000,000 on this website
          What do you think the average amount is in home- fermented pickles? I supplement with 85 billion a day but I want to get even more, ideally from food, and I’m not in a place right now to make my own. There is also kefir for those who can eat dairy– there’s a brand called Evolve that lists a minimum 20 million units on the label, but Consumerlab tested the product and found 950 billion CFUs per cup! Maybe that’s more along the line of homemade fermented food? I have never consumed that much in a day, but my health still leaves a lot to be desired despite having made some major changes for the last 3 years so even though I don’t like the taste of kefir I’m going to try it.

          • Vanessa

            The saurkraut has less than the dills, just 360,000. They’re not available in my area but they also have pickled tomatoes with 360,000,000. I think farmer’s markets that sell fermented pickles and other veg are probably potent too, but in my area they are so expensive that unfortunately that’s not a good option for me right now.

          • Shawn

            I judged based on the much stronger “healing crisis” that occurred when I consumed the homemade sauerkraut. I mostly start my sauerkraut without a starter culture, so it may be weaker than the 10,000,000,000,000 CFUs that Dr. Mercola (who does use a starter culture) found in a 4-6 oz serving of his sauerkraut. I will say that in my experience it may be necessary to look for natural therapies for some health problems. I have been consuming 4 ounces of homemade sauerkraut (in addition to homemade yogurt which again is much stronger than store bought live cultures) almost daily for more than three years and it has not cured an annoying health problem that I have. I also have noticed that warmer temperatures do, as expected, result in a much stronger brew.

            I don’t have any idea about fermented pickles. I have good reason to believe that the theraputic effect of any fermented food is greatly enhanced by its being chopped up into very small pieces (larger surface area). If you like pickles, try to shred the cumcumber instead of puting it in whole or in large slices.

            I did try homemade kefir and I believe that it is the best choice for someone looking to quickly get rid of their health problems. I don’t know that I found it to be very agreeable to my taste, but it did have beneficial health effects.

          • Patricia Reynolds

            I put kefir in my smoothies, soups, sauces and scrambled eggs, just about anything and it tastes great! Now besides making kefir I put the excess grains in coconut water and I am making coconut kefir which is great!

    • Julia Webb

      or you can make your own ,cut cabbage in small peses,put in 1 Gallon glass jar to top with warm water add 1 cup reg. salt (no iodized ) put on counter top ,for 7 days ,after 3 days flip it over 2-3 times a day so the bottom water goes on top ,in 7 days you have best sauerkraut,also use to make salad just put some olive oil .Hungarian Paprika ,my mom never buy sauerkraut,go even better ,buy Organic Cabbage,use sea salt coarse from 1$ store

  • M Cat

    Dear David Perlmutter my sister has had a bad case of diarrhea she has been to the doctor (the doctor diagnosed it as travelers diarrhea or dysentery) and was prescribed probiotics which she purchased from the doctor. A stool sample was taken and only preliminary test have come back. She put my sister at ease with her findings, but since the diarrhea was ongoing for 10 days she gave her a antibiotic (Cipro). This was only because my sister said she has to try something, anything, she has to work. Before the diarrhea she was already almost entirely gluten free and also low carb. She would like a recommendation for her diet because she doesn’t want to eat anything detrimental. Please Help my sister Marlena !!! Much love and positive energy to you and yours, Cat

    • jeff

      cat, you can read The PH Miracle by Dr. RObert Young, you can call his office up and ask them who is certified to do a live cell demo. in your area or close to your area to see what is in her body that shouldn’t be (toxins,excess yeast,fungus,parasites,heavy metals) if any, and what to eat and stay away from and what supplements to take. BEST of LUCK jw

      • M Cat

        Thank you Jeff I am all about alkalinity and since have found out parasites cannot live in an alkaline environment. Since I posted the water we were using when my mother was in the hospital (for broken ankle) in Corpus Christi Tx is now having to be boiled for E. coli.This was immediately befor she got it. In her hometown San Antonio Tx there was a cyclospora outbreak also. All test results were negative even on stool sample. 2 were sent in for different test. I am very upset now they have put her on antibiotics and I am almost certain that may just worsen her condition. Thank you for the information ! I will definitely check into it. PS She had also eaten 2 boxes of strawberries in a short period of time they were not organic ! I know they are on EWG dirty dozen list #5 I believe. Thanks again Jeff Love, Cat

        • Hana Dolgin

          Speaking of alkalinity, are you familiar with Kangen water? This is water made by a small medical device from Japan now available worldwide. It filters the tap water and then splits it into alkaline and acid water. The alkaline water is also antioxidant and is absorbed better than regular water, so it is more hydrating, cleansing and detoxifying. It brings more oxygen and nutrients to the cells and removes more toxins and waste. Many people experience significant health improvements from drinking it. Please visit and I would be glad to answer your questions.

          • Catalin

            Great idea, but who has $2500 for a machine. Plus, this is ionized not natural processed Alkaline, much controversy in this.

          • Hana Dolgin

            Our least expensive model is $1480 which is about a thousand dollars less than $2500. Our stronger models, starting from $2380 make a disinfectant water that can kill e.coli, salmonella and most bacteria, viruses and fungus. There is another water it makes that can dissolve and remove oil-based pesticides. These machines do so much for people’s health, they are definitely worth looking into. If you want to understand the difference between water that is alkalized through adding minerals (what you may call natural) and water that is alkalized by electrolysis (like Kangen water), please watch Dr. Michael Donaldson explain this:

          • Hana Dolgin

            Kangen water is not just alkaline, it is anti-oxidant, and also has a higher absorption rate so it is more hydrating, cleansing and detoxifying.
   has more information, and if you would like to see scientific studies on this type of water, I would be glad to email them to you, if you give me an email address.

          • Hana Dolgin

            We do offer financing for all of our machines, and they have a 30 day return period, so you can try them at home up to a month, and see for yourself. Our machines have warranties from the manufacturer, and we have service centers all around the world! Our machines last 15-20 years with minimal maintenance. When you really understand the health benefits, it is a small price to pay for what you get. See also for the daily uses of all of the waters produced that can save you so much money, improve your health and create a more healthy and eco-friendly home.

          • Catalin

            I already have a machine and a friend who sells it. And it was given to me. I would never ever ever spend that for a machine.

          • Nona

            I Think the machine and cost is ridiculous.
            Just doesn’t make any sense!!!

          • Nona

            You don’t need this machine. It was rec to me by Dr. Paul Cheney years ago. I instead get Arctic Springs water
            with a high PH and it is wonderful. I am on Gluten free Diet. Do have Protien drink with avocados , spinach, blueberries and coconut water . for my mid day meal.
            Drink 2 liters of this water a day. Almost no sugar and
            do have 1 Piece of Gluten free toast in the am with eggs /scrambled with spinach. You really don’t miss the other grains. I do chicken in a crockpot with olive oil then in salads.
            Would like suggestions on more Probiotics. I take VSL#3,
            Pro-5 , and two by Schiff. I am Lactose intolerant.
            I agree with you on the controversy with the machine.
            Some people that had them in Calif actually developed a bacterial infection as they said the filters were leaking.
            The high PH has worked great for me. I am reading
            Brain Maker now. Great read.
            Dr. Perlmutter, do you still have a practice in Naples??

          • Hana Dolgin

            I would be happy to explain anything you found on the internet. We have plenty of science about our water.

          • Hana Dolgin

            We have units starting from $1480 and they can be financed.

          • Patricia Reynolds

            As I said above, I use an alkalizing stick from healthy habits which l place in a two quart container of water for five minutes. I use this primarily in my juices, we have found it is better to use alkaline water sparely as you can over do it.

        • Hana Dolgin

          I wanted to let you know that most Kangen water machines make a disinfectant non-toxic water that can kill e.coli, salmonella and other bacteria, viruses and fungi, so it can be applied to fruits and vegetables to prevent food poisoning. There is another water that can dissolve oil-based pesticides which are toxic. Many people are ingesting them, since they don’t come off with regular water. This is in addition to the healthiest alkaline, antioxidant and super-hydrating drinking water and a skin care water called “beauty water”. I would be glad to answer any questions you may have, if you would like more information.

          • Patricia Reynolds

            I have an alkalizing stick from healthy habits, which I place in a two quart container for five minutes. This I use in my vitamix whole juices and add my homemade kefir and coconut kefir. Tastes wonderful, wish I could get my husband to drink it!

          • Kate

            wondering if you have stock in this company, you continue to post this

          • ZolliStar

            There are matters that I think are really important and I post frequently about them. This is not a signal of any kind or proprietary interest: only a keen “get-the-word-out” interest.

            I’m glad Hana keeps posting about Kangen water.

          • ZolliStar

            I notice in subsequent posts that Hana works for the company. That’s okay by me, so long as she let’s us know this — and she did.

  • Anita Smith

    Are dates allowable on the grain brain diet. I can find no mention of them at all and I love them as a natural sweetener in my breakfast muesli

    • Elsie

      Muesli? Grains! have you read the book? A couple of dates ok but highly glycemic.

  • BJ

    Dr. Perlmutter, I am struggling right now with my diet. I have adhesions from numerous surgeries(long sad story) that have caused two bowel obstructions. How can I get most beneficial fiber on low fiber diet?? I have always eaten the most healthy way as you suggest, but now I am having to be careful to avoid anymore obstructions. Help!! I really miss eating healthy!

    • Maya Lebow

      Try going to the institute for functional medicine website and find a functional medicine practitioner to help you. The ideal clinic has a doctor and nutritionists on site. Hope you feel better

    • Vanessa

      Hi Dr. Perlmutter and BJ, I am wondering if you also have trouble absorbing/digesting fat and protein because of your intestine surgery? I have had a great deal of intestine removed (and also have adhesions), and have trouble with those things plus fiber. So I am having quite a hard time trying to eat a paleo/GAPS/ketogenic diet, even though that is probably best for my major depressive disorder and other autoimmune disorders. Trouble, like 20 liquid stools/day, which is better than an obstruction, but is painful and I’m eating all this good food +supplements, but not absorbing it 🙁

    • Hana Dolgin

      One thing that could help is proper hydration with Kangen water. Many people find that it helps them eliminate properly without strain. Even if you eat a healthy diet, without adequate hydration, you are likely to be somewhat constipated. See for more information. I would be glad to explain more to you about this amazing medical device from Japan that is now available worldwide. It hooks up to your faucet and electric outlet and after filtering the water, it splits it into alkaline and acid pH levels. The water has a higher absorption and is antioxidant so it reduces inflammation in the body. Feel free to contact me through the website.

    • Jay

      My wife had can 2 bowel resections, adhesion problems, cancer treatment/radiation to the intestinal area. She has made significant improvement following the FODMAPs diet over the course of a year. Slow, but steady progress. The major carbs and “staples” she eats are jasmine rice, some russet potatoes, strawberries several times a day, zucchini and yellow squash, spinach, eggs, rice chex cereal, almond butter, fish/chicken/turkey, swiss/sharp cheese, heavy cream, potatoe crackers, pure maple syrupcandy for a treat No artificial sugars, corn starches, sucrose, pasta, breads…. only soda with natural sugar.

      • Hana Dolgin

        Soda is extremely acidic, even if it has natural sugar! As a matter of fact, even sparkling mineral waters like Perrier and Pellegrino are extremely acidic and can cause serious health problems! See tests demonstrating what I said here at Cancer cells have been shown to thrive in acidic pH – low oxygen environments. When something has an acidic pH, it is lower in oxygen than what has an alkaline pH, so by ingesting acidic pH food and drink, one is making their body more prone to cancer and other diseases.
        Check out Kangen water which you can make in the comfort of your home.

  • T

    I follow this diet exactly. I feel great but my LDL cholesterol is significantly higher than before I started the diet… This makes me question this entire book because I did my own personal case study for about a year… Be careful!

    • We should all be careful in the sense that we need to do personal diagnostic tests before taking supplements and following diets. Everything is bad in excess and each of us has no idea what is our personal excess or what is causing our personal depletions. While i may think i need magnesium for migraines, if i really have enough then excess can cause heart problems. What is excess is also tricky the more direct blood tests like checking Mg are not the most accurate. You need to check Mg in red blood cells for a accurate measure. Good luck but dont give up just because this diet didn’t work for you. You are special! I recommend Dr. Hyman’s website for more answers. He also gives lists of tests that a doctor should check. I think for cholesterol. Particles size matters. If your particles of cholesterol are small than the numbers do not matter.

      • David Perlmutter

        An important point: know your body!

        • Tina T, D.C.

          I’m confused about the LDL levels. In Grain Brain, you talk about people with the highest levels of LDL having a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases. So, does that mean the diet is actually working for “T” above?

        • HoneyJ

          I have went to Quest Labs 3 times and had blood drawn to have my particle size tested..they either receive the blood to late or don’t have record of it being sent to Lipo Science. I am frustrated and don’t know where to go and have this done. I really need to have this done as my LDL is rising. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  • Kathy

    For the last 2 years my blood sugar levels were high. After doing the Grain Brain Diet for 4 weeks my glucose level dropped 20 points and is now in the normal
    range. I lost 8 lbs and about the same in inches. I decreased 1 size already and have no bloating in my stomach. And finally, I am sleeping through the night.
    Question – The ketone strips are always in the negative or pink range. Does that mean I need to continue to lower my carbs?

  • Chuck Harding

    What would help excessive gas in one’s system?

  • Marc Chatow

    I try to drink Kefir or have nonfat plain yogurt daily! You gut needs it! So many health benefits!

  • Hina

    Do pickes made Japanese style in koji (fremented rice bran) meet the fermented food guide lines.

  • cw0283

    Does the chicory have to be raw? What about chicory in coffee, New Orleans style?

  • Elizabeth Catenacci

    LizCat………What affect does a coffee enema have on the microbiome ?

    • Maxine

      Has this been answered?

    • Sébastien Chagnon-Jean

      It’s explained in the book.

  • Andrea Vaughn

    Hello there! I have listened to Brain Maker 3 times now and am learning so very much! However while I listen on want to be able to access a hard copy for recipes, etc., somehow and seems Kindle is not an option. So, is there a way to actually do this? To get me hands on a hard copy? Many thanks!

  • disqus_pJWDSemBVz

    I want to gain 10LBS I now weighs 121.4 LBS

  • Uncas

    I am a little confused about prebiotic volume requirements. You say we should get a minimum of 12g of soluble fiber per day. I think I heard you indicate that a primal person might get up to 150g per day. Frankly I cannot manage to do it with raw and cooked vegetables and without fruit and lentils. It seems to me it would be almost impossible using the foods you suggest in Brain Maker. One cup of raw onion has less than 3g and that is one of the highest concentrations of soluble fiber I can find. How much soluble fiber is in a cup of dandelion greens? I’m just having trouble reaching 12g per day with cooked and raw vegetables.

    • Bearhair

      Acacia gum, perhaps?

  • zzzzzzzzzz

    you say for the prebiotic foods most are raw, how are u suppose to eat them raw, doesnt really explain, can you cook them and have nearly the same prebiotic effects

    • Bearhair

      Dr. Perlmutter explains above in the post how he includes them in his diet: in salads, fermented in kimchi, etc.

  • Robin Malik

    Hi Dr Perlmutter,

    I have been diagnosed with about 20 food allergies. I have also had a elevated IgE and EOS count. With the food elimination for several months now, I still have this elevation. I am also very reactive to dampness — I break out in hives. Do you believe the IGE and EOS related to the allergies or is there something else causing these elevations?

    Thank you


  • Suzanne Kinney

    When yogurt is used in recipes does it retain the active cultures or does the heat of cooking kill them?

  • Trudi Trahan-upchan

    I don’t see okra on any list – but I lost my memory for 22 years – raw okra restored my brain’s ability to retain information and relearn how to write and the meaning of words. It does not cure my Parkinsonism disease but does help to control and reverse the crippling paralysis that Canola oil caused.

    • Cidy Farrell

      Marvelous to hear that!!!! God bless!!

  • Annie

    Why no miso on the list?

  • Stephen Smith

    My wife has a real problem with xanthum gum. it causes her to have an upset stomach, gas and acidic diahrea for several days. This also seems to occur with guar gum. She is afraid to try other gums. Is there a reason for this reaction? Is there any way to prevent it. She is already gluten free and has been for about a year.

  • Velia Asimus

    What can I coat chicken with to make chicken Marcella

  • Wendy

    what if you suffer with migraines and can’t eat fermented foods?

  • Jenny Lin

    Hi Dr Perlmutter,
    Many of the foods you listed were raw. Do the prebiotic benefits disappear if I consume them cooked?

  • Rick

    Did you drop your endorsement of Protandim?Rick

    • David Perlmutter

      I no longer have a relationship with Protandim.

  • HealthyEater

    Hi Dr. Perlmutter. Thank you for your helpful books. We switched to carb-free eating 2 1/2 months ago. We aim for 90/10, meaning that we try to keep carb consumption to 10 percent or less of our weekly diet. We have rid our home of bread, grains, legumes, pasta, fruit, and so on. I have Joint Hypermobility Syndrome which causes, among other issues, Irritable Bowel. I have always been able to control my IBS with diet. However, since beginning no carbs, I struggle each day, after the first meal, with painful cramps and diarrhea. I used to have oatmeal made with milk or a bagel for breakfast. I thought my gut would adjust after a few carb-free weeks but it hasn’t. I would love to know what is setting off my IBS and how to get back to normal. I have had a little success with having just a little plain Greek yogurt. I’m seriously considering having gluten free toast to get back to pain-free mornings. Thank you for any input you may have!

    • Carrie

      I don’t know what you are eating, but there are certain foods that can aggravate a compromised gut even after excluding the major offenders. Look up FODMAPs diet. It can pinpoint other foods to look for as potential offenders. Personally, I can only tolerate a few nuts and never on an empty stomach. Coconut in excess also gives me cramps. Some people are intolerant to eggs too. Good luck!

      • HealthyEater

        Very thoughtful of you to offer the info, although the issue is the effect withdrawal of carbs appears to be having. No FODMAPs or lactose in use, but again, thank you.

        • Lone wolf

          Let food be our medicine! Avoid any supplement and also special diet which often is not well fit for certain people. Changing our diet too rapidly cause often problem, because the body cannot adopt it fast enough. Changing our diet must be done very slowly. Every one’s body functions differently, so we cannot do a special diet which works for someone else. We must find ourselves what kind of food suits our body by trying slowly. No one can understand our body better than ourselves, so we must find out what kind of food is good for us by our selves. Pay attention to our body and be patient. A quick cure will not last for a long time. There is no perfect health; we are either heading for illness or health. To be healthy, we must walk toward health every day until the last day. We must not forget, “food is medicine”. Even very healthy food can cause health problems when we overeat.

          • Hana Dolgin

            I would like to add that hydration with the right water is imperative for health! Our body is about 70% water, so it only makes sense! I recommend looking into Kangen water, it is alkaline, antioxidant and higher absorption water that is made by a device that you connect to your faucet and outlet. It filters the water and then using electrolysis, splits it into different pH levels with different properties. Please visit

          • CharlaS

            Some of the best electrolytes I have found is Concentrace Trace Minersls liquid. I’ve used it for years. It is an incredible electrolyte replacer. Also restores mineral balance in the body if used regularly.

          • Cathryn Potvin

            I have heard a lot of people say Kangen water isn’t a healthy way to go, it’s abnormally high in pH. People can have a proper pH with diet/minerals, etc.

          • Hana Dolgin

            That is incorrect, Kangen water will not disrupt your body’s pH balance. Watch Dr. Michael Donaldson explain the difference between water made alkaline through the addition of minerals and Kangen water:

            I can tell you that I have been drinking Kangen water for over 7 years and have had nothing but benefits from it! You would think that if what you are saying is correct, the negative effects would have shown up by now.

            Also, these devices have been approved for medical use in Japan for over 40 years and are used in hospitals there. They would have found out there is a problem, don’t you think? Watch this video from Japanese TV about Kangen water;

            For more information, check out my website

          • HealthyEater

            You know what? You are right. After more than three months of a disturbed digestive system, today I bought gluten-free bread for morning toasting and -, hopefully, finally – a tool for adjusting to eating carb-free for the rest of the day. Thank you for the down-to-earth advice.

          • Karen Parrish

            Can u give a list like u did in the other one what is gluten free and good for u and the brain like a shpping list”

    • CarolAnnD

      I had it, too, and I found that staying away from things like dairy products and a real good dose of daily Vitamin D3 helped to the degree that I don’t get it anymore at all, thank God! I started off with about 5,000 I.U. of D3, and slowly worked my way up to 12,000 I.U. I recommend it highly! Much success to you. You definitely have my sympathies. I suffered with it for years! So happy not to anymore!

      • Irene

        Taking Vitamin D3 without K2 can present problems in the long run. Vit D needs K to be utilitzed.

    • CarolAnnD

      Oops, I forgot that my doctor told me a long time ago to stay away from citrus fruits and spinach as well, although you’re probably off of the citrus. We also cut out sugar, grains, sweeteners, and we both had itchy backs, I with a big patch of eczema, and even that went away, too.

    • Happy Camper

      The mos effective way to cure IBS is to drink Aloe Vera Juice–just buy the Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera juice at Walmart.

      • CharlaS

        Restoring friendly gut bacteria is ESSENTIAL to repairing and reversing IBS, which always involves leaky gut and allergies resulting from that. Custom Probiotics has some of the strongest probiotics on the market. It is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to repair IBS and continue eating CORN. Corn is very damaging to the intestines.

        • Patricia P. Tursi

          90% of corn is GMO

    • Sam

      a mistake, inho, to rid of legumes, check

      • CharlaS

        Need to ferment legumes as the phytic acid sequesters minerals making them unavailable. This leads to tooth decay and weakened bones.

        • Sam

          Oh, please. True, but read its effects on cancer

          Greiner, U. Konietzny, K. D. Jany. Phytate – an undesirable constituent
          of plant-based foods? Journal fur Ernahrungsmedizin 2006 8(3):18 – 28.

          I. Vucenik, A. M. Shamsuddin. Protection against cancer by dietary IP6 and inositol. Nutr Cancer 2006 55(2):109 – 125.

          P. Singh, R. Agarwal. Prostate cancer and inositol hexaphosphate:
          Efficacy and mechanisms. Anticancer Res. 2005 25(4):2891 – 2903.

          L. Deliliers, F. Servida, N. S. Fracchiolla, C. Ricci, C. Borsotti, G.
          Colombo, D. Soligo. Effect of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6) on human
          normal and leukaemic haematopoietic cells. British journal of
          haematology 2002 117(3):577 – 587.

          E. Graf, J. W. Eaton. Dietary suppression of colonic cancer fiber or phytate? Cancer 1985 56(4):717 – 718.

          Manousos, N. E. Day, D. Trichopoulos, F. Gerovassilis, A. Tzonou, A.
          Polychronopoulou. Diet and colorectal cancer: A case-control study in
          Greece. International Journal of Cancer 1983 32(1):1 – 5.

          Vucenik, A. Passaniti, M. I. Vitolo, K. Tantivejkul, P. Eggleton, A. M.
          Shamsuddin. Anti-angiogenic activity of inositol hexaphosphate (IP6).
          Carcinogenesis 2004 25(11):2115 – 2123.

          K. M. Shamsuddin, I. Vucenik. IP6 & inositol in cancer prevention
          and therapy. Current Cancer Therapy Reviews 2005 1(3):259 – 269.

          • CharlaS

            Thanks for references on IP6 and cancer, especially item G. I checked and it is a specific for Chronic Myeloid Leukemia that I deal with. Oh, and after cooking my beans, I let a slight white bacterial film form on top to begin fermenting them and then re-heat to stop fermentation. The fermentation is hastened with a strip of kombu-kelp seaweed cooked with the legumes.

          • Sam

            just add yogurt to your beans. When you let it sit, you allow mold to grow as well. Some say, it’s beneficial, but I’m on a cautious side. Probiotics is one thing, yeast/mold is another (even if it’s probiotic yeast).

            Check a site by Dr Weil on yeast. There were cases when it can/does get into human blood stream.

            yes, seaweeds are good.

          • CharlaS

            Thank you.

          • Sam


    • Lifematters

      Healthy eater… I am curious, how did this 90/10 go for you? How do you FEEL? How is your blood work?

  • Marsha Saunders

    I am looking to make summer sausage for my daughter who has Multiple Sclerosis. She has done very well so far on her Brain Maker Diet. Any recipes for summer sausage.

  • Marsha Saunders

    Also wondering if you are seeing patients anywhere. I would love to get my daughter to see you for your input

  • Kathy

    I have read and studied both “Grain Brain” as well as “Brain Maker”. My husband and I have followed the diet and supplements recommended in ‘Grain Brain’ for several months now. Do you recommend continuing with them and adding more probiotics, as suggested in ‘Brian Maker’, or some other plan? Thank you for your response.

    • David Perlmutter

      Specific to yourself Kathy, I cannot advise a plan. However, I do think it is great to use the supplements I suggest in Grain Brain, and accompany those with more fermented food options.

    • Julia Webb

      I take Bio-K-Plus liquid strawberry,it magic,little pricy but worth it

  • Mike Chisman

    David.., With the all too many choices of olive oils, what are some brands you’ve found that are really 100% olive oil. (I’m taking advantage of your research here) Thank you for all your information…It truly is a life saver for so many. I mention you and your books/website at least once a week.

  • Susan Fuller

    Does the auto immune Paleo recipe book, help out more on the gut for healing, because I still must have a trigger that’s causing nausea?i just got Brain Maker, I have lost a lot of weight, how can I gain weight? Where do I get raw kefir and coconut yogurt from! Is Whole Foods the only place? I’m on a probiotic, nausea comes and goes, don’t have a big appetite! Need some advice? Susan

  • Susan Fuller

    How do I contact Dr. Perlmutter’s office to make an appointment with him? I have been doing the Paleo diet, I have a hard time with this medicine T4 T3 scalp always dry/itchy, hair loss, use olive oil on my scalp! I can’t take adrenal medicine makes me dizzy! Ashwagandha makes me sleepy and dizzy guess I’m pretty sensitive to medicine, if I could cure my gut maybe I would be more tolerant! Does anyone out there see a Functional doctor who really knows about Hashimoto’s? Help! Susan Fuller

  • Eileen Loughney

    Why is it so difficult to find fermented pickles in the market place. Where do I look? Every brand of pickle not he shelf is made with vinegar. Ideas?

    • Vanessa

      I discovered Bubbies brand pickles, they make saurkraut as well, they are fermented using brine and full of probiotics. Whole Foods carries them, as well as a health food chain in the DC area (YES Market just in case you’re in the area). The pickles are delicious. If there is a farmer’s market in your area, there might be a vendor of fermented pickles there too. In my area the farmre’s market isn’t year round, so I’m glad Bubbies exists.

    • Jane

      I discovered Krakus brand “Cucumbers in Brine” on the international aisle at Wegmans. They’re from Poland. The only ingredients are cucumbers, salt and water.

  • Sedary

    Just a heads up: All of the above mentioned foods which are fermented are very high in histamine (especially the fermented fish) which can tip one over into Histamine Intolerance and even an anaphylactic reaction. Histamine overload can cause even worse inflammation along with very scary symptoms, including dizziness, migraines, and even a great risk of stroke. (This is a very short list. There are more.) I think perhaps following an anti-histamine diet would be far better overall. I truly think it would be better to eat the fresh foods listed and be selective to focus on other nutrient dense fresh foods. Also, anything labeled “yogurt” by law has to contain two probiotic strains which were first used to ferment milk at the Pasteur Institute during the 19th century. Both of those strains really don’t flourish until the mixture is well above body temperature and into the 106 to 125 degrees F range. How those can help in the human gut is a puzzle. Some companies now add other strains which are indeed helpful. There are some known and isolated probiotics strains now which do reside in the gut of healthy humans such as L. infantis, L. rhamnosus, L. gasseri and B. longum, etc. which have anti-histamine properties (B. bifidus causes a histamine response!) but, of course, anything with only those cannot legally be labeled yogurt. Such product would still cause a histamine reaction if one is sensitive to such.

    • Bearhair

      For those interested, the two original strains to which the original poster coyly referred are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.

  • Susana

    Hi Dr. Permutter,
    How are you?
    Do you have any recipes in how to make fermented Jalapeño peppers, the fermeneteed guacamole and spicy salsa?
    Oh, and is Miso ssafe to consume?

  • Carla

    Has anyone made the ferments in the book? I was just wondering if there is anything else to use beside water in a plastic bag to anchor the ferments down because I feel odd about putting plastic into a fermentation jar. Thank you!

    • KarenRG

      If you make saurkraut, use some cabbage leaves in the top to force the mixture under the liquid.

    • Elizabeth Lavet

      youtube has many videos about fermenting vegetables. There are now more sites that sell ferment jars and weights. Try Amazon for a variety.

    • Evalynne Engle

      I use FIDO JARS. Look up Fido Fermentation on the Web — lots of information. It’s SO easy, & I’ve only had mold on one occasion in 3 or 4 years.

  • Kayla Lindsay

    I am looking for something with a lot of protein because my muscle is developing and I want to be sure I choose the right thing. however I have a sensitive gagging reflex and textile sensitivity. what do I do or what do you suggest?

  • Ptolemy

    Just finished reading Brain Maker and I have to say a very big thank you for writing such an up-to-date, relevant and accessible book.

    I have early stage Parkinson’s and I’ve been prescribed Azilect (Rasagiliene) and have been taking a low dose antibiotic for 10-years for an unrelated condition (well, maybe not ‘unrelated’ after reading your book!)

    I’ve been reading that people taking Azilect should avoid eating fermented or pickled foods because these foods are tyramine-rich. But a
    significant proportion my diet consists of these foods (and, of course, they’re recommended in your book)

    Is the Azilect – fermented food ‘clash’ a ‘real’ issue? If so, should I avoid such foods or try to be prescribed a different drug. (My goal, after reading your book is to ditch the medication completely, but that is a longer discussion I need to have with my specialist.)

    Thank you for your dedication and time.

  • CherylMac

    I would encourage anyone who is consuming plenty of natural probiotic foods and still having trouble (or getting worse) with brain fog, depression, skin rashes or flushing, tooth sensitivity, weight gain, inflammation, lethargy, burning eyes, swollen extremities, etc. to consider how many probiotic strains there are and that each strain has a specific job it does as well as reaction it causes in your body. Eliminating all grain from my diet caused me to do a 180-degree turn, health-wise. Over the years, however, I was encouraged to consume more and more natural sources of probiotics and even did some in-depth study and began to ferment my own foods including sauerkraut, pickled veggies, kombucha, etc. Here I thought I was doing something good for my health and my gut, but, as soon as I added in homemade sauerkraut and kombucha, over the course of 3 months, my health plummeted. Until I had gained 20 lbs, became so depressed I was barely functioning, I was lethargic most of the time, my hands and feet were swollen, going to bed with burning eyes, waking up with swollen eyes filled with eye boogers, I had horribly inflamed cystic acne all over my back, shoulders and chest, and even my teeth became extremely sensitive to cold and heat. I then came across some information I read about Histamine Intolerance. This revealed that most natural and homemade probiotic foods contain an enormous amount of histamine-producing strains of bacteria. Some of these histamine-producing strains are even found in packaged probiotic capsules. I immediately discontinued all probiotic sources and for a few days ate only foods on the “low histamine” list… and every single symptom greatly improved. I lost 5 lbs immediately, was less hungry, acne started clearing up, inflammation disappeared, and for those couple days I had so much energy I couldn’t even contain myself and went on cleaning sprees throughout the house (everything I had been putting off due to depression for months). I would also urge Dr. Perlmutter to please look into the various strains of bacteria and the effects that each has on health (or disease). Had I continued with sauerkraut, pickled foods and kombucha, who knows how ill I would be right now.

    • Lisa

      I would be interested to hear/learn more about this and what dr. P thinks.

    • Kate

      I have been fermenting my own foods as well and discovered that you can significantly reduce histamines in fermented foods by fermenting anaerobically as opposed to aerobic fermenting and by fermenting longer. In other words, use an airlock system and let the fermentation process go full cycle. Histamine levels are directly related to the age of the ferment. Most people only ferment for 4 to 10 days. Thus also prevents contamination by any of the undesirable air born molds. Since I switched to anaerobic method and extended my fermentation period (21 to 28 days, depending on the foods used) I have no mold issues or histamine reactions. I’m also using airlock systems for my kefirs, to avoid mold contamination in warmer months, but do not extend the fermentation time. Plenty of info on the web about this.

      • BlondeJustice1

        How do you ferment anaerobically? What do you need? Where can I get the “airlock system” you mentioned in your post?

  • H

    Do cooked versions of the prebiotic foods you’ve listed above contain benefits, too, or only when raw?

  • Arya Jemal

    Is being vegan with this diet possible?

  • azure blue

    thank you for this great and helpful information. The fact that you post this is proof you take being a healer seriously and sincerely , not just for profit.

  • Jane

    Dr. Perlmutter, I would love to try acacia fiber but watched Frontline’s documentary on diet supplements last night and am wondering how to find a brand that is what it purports to be. Can you recommend a brand of acacia fiber? Thank you!

    • Ziad

      Dear Jane, we are in the business of sourcing and selling Gum Arabic. You can ask us anything:

  • Lucy

    Pickles are listed on Dr. Perlmutter’s Brain Maker food list, but make sure vinegar is NOT one of the ingredients in store-bought pickles. For the probiotic benefit, as I understand it, they have to be cured in salt brine (water & salt) and do not contain vinegar. Bubbie’s kosher dill pickles are the only store pickles I’ve found that are prepared this way. If anyone has found another brand, please post. Thanks.

    • Lucy

      Just to add, Dr. Perlmutter does mention the no-vinegar rule under Pickled Fruits & Vegetables.

  • Jane Churchill

    Diagnosed with RRMS (clinically in ’95, suspected in ’90). With a MSc in Vet Physiology (Reproductive Neurendocrinology), still managed to raise a daughter (just a preschooler @ diagnosis), go to law school, article (I’m a Canuck), and practice for almost 15 years. I’ll be 54 in April, and still mostly mobile. Now it’s the osteo-arthritis that’s getting to me.

  • Regis Moreau

    can a clove of garlic be eaten whole without being chewed? much easier to swallow this way

  • Vishwas Patil

    Is our body capable of extracting the needed minerals, chemicals, vitamins and proteins from whatever edibles available and excess supply rejected? Historically, highest mental and physical capabilities are not necessarily associated with rich diet! Actually one finds decadence amongst rich and powerful over the generations who are more conscience of diet. Brain and body power probably depend on mind and not only on diet. Is it true?

  • Thanks for sharing the wonderful article, Dr. Perlmutter. I enjoy your insight. As a person who have made kimchi over many years, kimchi doesn’t have to be spicy. There are authentic kimchi recipes that don’t even utilized Korean chili pepper. And they are delicious. I have several simple/authentic kimchi recipes videos. My 12000 subscribers rave about their first kimchi making experience, so it might be a good place to start if you want to start your probiotic journey =)

  • Jackie Murray

    Please someone advise: Are the recommended supplements in “Grain Brain” on page 227 the current ones? I need to purchase SOON. Thank you.

  • Pingback: Improve Your Digestive Health With Probiotics - Daily Wait()

  • Diana Hanson

    Are things like Asparagus or leeks still prebiotic if they’re cooked, or does that destroy the benefits?

  • Pingback: nutrition4studentsblog()

  • Pingback: Brain Maker Foods – nutrition4studentsblog()

  • Donna Lynn

    How do you stay on this diet and avoid losing weight?

  • GShantz

    SO much to learn and remember!

  • Pingback: the farmer's market list - WoolyMossRoots()

  • Anita Saewitz

    Confused about Kefir- Under gluten free section you say limit intake of Kefir but in Brain Maker section you suggest having Kefir- I am a bit confused.

  • Anna Noah

    Almost all the recipes for fermented foods in Brain Maker contain very large quantities of salt. What is your recommendation regarding these foods for someone trying to control blood pressure? Typically a low salt diet is recommended. Thank you.

  • RawManRaines

    What studies are you aware of that show garlic is good for you much less the brain? I have huge challenges with mental focus – and have seen a few things that said directly that garlic usually desynchronizes your brain waves. see I would appreciate your feedback on this.

  • Wendy

    Will you get benefits from dandelions cooked in a small amount of coconut oil? Please advise. Thank you.


    green bananas would be a good probiotic?

    • ZolliStar

      Apparent, good PREbiotics. There’s a difference.

  • Pingback: Nice Probiotic Meals Resources | Probiotic more Health()

  • Pingback: Satisfactory Probiotic In Meals – Fredi More Probiotic()

  • Pingback: Healing the Gut – paleobakequeen()

  • Elizabeth Barber

    Is the harmful arachidonic acid in eggs reduced or eliminated if they are fermented? Thanks, Dr. EK Barber

  • Lifematters

    As the sister of an early onset Alzheimer’s sufferer it troubles me deeply to see the advise on this website steering people AWAY from some of the most nutritious foods on the planet and toward high fat and animal products!!! Deeply disturbing….

  • Pingback: 12 Colon Cleansing Foods: From ridding to recovery()

  • JimandLiz Reese

    What can your eating plan/lifestyle changes do for tinnitus? Also, I find high doses of Vit d3 makes my tinnitus worse 🙁 I take pure encapsulations Vit D3. Thank you for your answer.

  • Pingback: Health Benefits of Chicory Root | David Perlmutter M.D.()

  • Allison

    How do you feel about traditional homemade sourdough? Research shows that the fermentation process of sourdough of letting ferment for 24 hours reduces the phytic acid content down until it is less then 7 ppm which is gluten free. I have been making for my daughter who has a gluten intolerance and she doesn’t react at all to it. Would it be good for gut health too?

  • Pingback: Learn About FODMAPs Nutritional and Prebiotic Benefits()


  • Alex

    Dr. Perlmutter formulated a meal replacement shake that I bought a year or two ago. Does anyone know if it was discontinued, the brand was changed or where I can get it now? It was a great product (if a little pricey at $70-$80 a tub).

  • Pingback: Stay Sharp with These 7 “Supers” (Part 1 of 2) - Budibar()

  • Andre Jaworski

    Hi David, I really struggle with pre-biotics (Onions garlic etc) as I seem to not tolerate FODMAPs very well. Do you have any recommendations to incorporate these types of foods without the digestive discomfort?
    Many Thanks


  • Andre Jaworski

    Hi, I am struggling to include prebiotic food as I seem to suffer from a fodmap intolerance. Do you have any suggestions for working around this or to eliminate the intolerance? Thanks

  • DanielaMorán

    Can I use seeds as an ingredient in my salad? This, because I haven´t seen any recipe in “Brain Maker” or in this webpage that recommend or has sesame, flax, sunflower, caraway, poppy or little green pumkin seeds.

    • David Perlmutter

      Absolutely! Seeds are a nutritious choice.

  • ThinkFirstThenVote2

    I have one caution for women and the use of chicory root. It can cause shedding of the uterine line to increase. In fact it was used in the old days in high doses to abort an unwanted pregnancy. I used to eat a breakfast cereal that contained chicory, I developed endometriosis and had a hysterectomy. Then I had a friend who started bleeding almost 3 weeks a month. She offered me a fiber one bar which has chicory in it. I read the labels though because I’m allergic to soy. She said that they were giving her gas – I asked her how many she ate a day and how long she’d been eating them. She’d been eating them for about 7 months — and her excessive bleeding had been going on for about 4. I had a funny feeling and so I googled the effects of chicory. And up came all these articles about miscarriages. I showed them to her, she stopped eating the chicory bars (which are sold in cases at Costco). But then here’s the real kicker. Later that week, I went a Bible study and there was a young woman there– about 24 who asked us to pray about her having a baby – they’d been trying for 2 years. I asked her if by chance she ate Fiber One bars — and she said that she did — every day. I told her about the chicory articles — and the next time I saw her at a retreat 7 months later she was pregnant. She said she got pregnant the very next month after stopping. I’ve met two other women who were having excessive bleeding and they both ate those fiber one — or other fiber bars with chicory. So, while it may be safe for men, women take note and if you start having ultra-heavy periods, or if you’re trying to have a baby – beware. Save yourself from the heartache of a lost baby or feeling barren when you can simply drop the chicory bars. What’s really sad is that pregnant women may be eating them for the extra fiber.

  • Milos pet

    Is coffee fruit extract the same as green coffee bean extract? Pill or liquid form? Anyone found a good product?

  • clare farrell

    In Brainmaker on page 218 you list that on you have recommendations of specific brands of foods that follow your guidelines. I am unable to locate this on the website, please help!

  • Ida Halasz

    Dr. Perlmutter, I’ve just been diagnosed with ALS, starting with my speech difficulties. I’ve been eating mostly gluten free for several years, also lactose free since I’m sensitive to both. Can you suggest specific ways for me to deal with ALS with diet? I am available for any research or more ways to test theories about ALS. I live in Colorado and have Dr. Diana Quan for ALS, but would travel to see you in Naples if you thought it would be useful. Sincerely, Ida

  • Christie Ciccolone

    Thank you, Dr. Perlmutter for all of your insights and helpful advice! In Brain Maker, you mention that there is a list of recommended brands on your website under resources for probiotic foods. I can’t find it – can you help? Thank you!

  • Pingback: Stay Sharp with These 7 Supers (Part 1 of 2) - Budibar()

  • Anita Saewitz

    I cannot digest raw vegetables can I gently steam them

  • lore w

    The diet you promote uses meat and dairy, both of which have been shown to promote cancer growth and build up plaque in arteries per clinical and scientific research done by Dr. T Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. Please explain why. thanks.

  • Private labelled supplements, what if we find a trusted supplement manufacturer and fulfill our nutritional requirements through private labelled products.

  • Suzanne Jaffe Stillman

    Hello Dr. Pearlmutter, I have followed you for a long time and in fact you are a real hero of mine, and now even more so because you are speaking about pre-biotics. I am the inventor of and have issued domestic and international patents. It all began with my son Jason who has GSD 1a and I did all research at Harvard and BCH. Our story is on the history link of my website. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to hear form you. or from anyone else who is interested. Thank you so much Suzanne

  • Dan Alexa

    Hallo, i have a short question: In some of your diets you mention that the intake of 1000 mg of Vegetarian DHA is recomanded. Please tell me if you mean exactly the DHA component or the total between DHA and EPA or if you meen 1000 mg of oil that contains both. I ask this since the concentration in oils varies and to assure the 1000 mg of pure DHA i should take about 6-8 capsules. Is this right ?

  • luc

    that comment about B12 is wrong . If any B12 around in some foods they are of a form that has no activity in humans

  • Akash Srivastava

    You can find this health blog interesting too

  • Brand Topper

    eat Brain Maker Foods list of brain make food

  • This is a great article Thanks for sharing

  • Alfredo

    Hello Doctor, your book have been really successful in my country. I always recommend it to every people that I have met.

    I am Chilean and I am wondering about an enzyme that have been increasing for 2 weeks. The enzyme that I am talking about its lipase. The last blood analysis that I made, the level of this enzyme reached 1000. The doctor made me doing an abdominal ultrasound, and he told me that my pancreas, its okay. Nevertheless, he couldn’t throw out any illness, so next week I will do a magnetic resonance.

    There is another hormone(if it is a hormone) that bumped up, its name is Bilirubin.

    I haven’t symptoms yet such as: pain. However, my eyes and skin turned out jaundice sometimes last week, becoming at its normal colour few hours later.

    If you could give me your opinion about this health problem, I will really appreciate it.

    Another thing that I have, and any doctor could guess what is the roots problem is that my ferritin level also reached 1000. I went to Phoenix, USA to checked over my situation, and any hospital there could guess what is the main problem thereof, or who causes this augment.

    Another important thing that I need to underlie is that I have been taking Cialis and Secotex for 6 months. Probably, that medicines are increasing the amounts of these hormones.

    Thank you.

    • David Perlmutter

      Given that I am not your physician Alfredo, it is best if I refrain from comment at this time. However, I suggest you seek out a functional medicine practitioner in your own area, who can offer an opinion based on a practicing philosophy similar to my own.

  • Such a wonderful information and keep sharing like this

  • ICO for blockchain-based Healthcare platform is seeking to solve the problems being experienced in the healthcare industry by utilizing Blockchain’s powerful feature
    ICO for Blockchain Based Healthcare Platform

  • Maureen Trucksess

    where can i purchase Magteinä?

  • Firebird7478

    I began having pressure in my head and dizziness. Came out of nowhere 7 months ago. MRI/MRA/Carotid US came back negative. ENT found nothing wrong. Behavioral optometrist found no signs of a brain injury/concussion. Others see it as nothing more than anxiety and it is all in my head.

    Someone suggested this is a gut issue. As a neurologist, do you think that makes sense?

  • Akash Srivastava

    Nice and informative it was.

  • Soda is extremely acidic, even if it has natural sugar! As a matter of fact, even sparkling mineral waters like Perrier and Pellegrino are extremely acidic and can cause serious health problems! See tests demonstrating what I said here at Cancer cells have been shown to thrive in acidic pH – low oxygen environments. When something has an acidic pH, it is lower in oxygen than what has an alkaline pH, so by ingesting acidic pH food and drink, one is making their body more prone to cancer and other diseases.
    Check out Kangen water which you can make in the comfort of your home.

  • Tim White

    I use psyllium seed and husk and plantain (Plantago) leaf itself.

  • Whowl Whowl

    So, rather than wasting more efforts and creating your situation more worst with each leading times, begins using this product right now. This system allows an individual to improve their sex-related well being as well as transform their normal human body into ripped and robust one by pumping out muscle huge. Know about this product in detail.

  • Maria

    Can The prebiotic fiber, Garden of Life be used in hot tea without affecting its efficacy?

  • New News

    Nice Amazing I Love this recipes
    Good Friday 2018
    Holy Friday 2018

  • Riya Mavi

    Thanks for sharing good article keep it up International student health Insurance

  • Steve

    Dr. Perlmutter, I have a friend who is suffering from Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia (SCA). He is in a wheelchair, has slurred speech and shakes. I gave him some high concentration omega-3’s. He is now gluten free. My question is, Can the cerebellum repair and respond to right diet and nutrients as you describe in your books? Thank you!

  • Steve

    Hello Dr. Perlmutter. Can the cerebellum respond to nutritional supplements that you identify in your book as the rest of the brain? Thank you.

  • HH

    What could I eat when I am intolerant to Histamine?