By: The Dr. Perlmutter Team
As I’ve stated before, one of the most fascinating things about the human brain is that neuroplasticity, the process by which the brain undergoes changes in response to internal and external stimuli, affords us a great deal of control in determining the overall health of our brain. While there are many lifestyle changes one can make to improve overall brain health, studies have shown that dietary factors can have a significant impact. Choosing which foods you use to fuel your body goes far beyond counting calories; the macronutrients—fats, proteins, and carbohydrates—you emphasize in shaping your diet can have major repercussions for brain health. There is evidence to suggest that individuals who consume a diet high in carbohydrates have an 89% increased risk of developing dementia, while people who consume a diet high in healthy fats actually reduce their risk by 44%. Ensuring that the foods you consume are high in antioxidants, rich in healthy fats, low in carbohydrates, and powerfully anti-inflammatory can go a long way towards optimizing brain health and boosting memory and cognition.
Foods to Improve Brain Health and Memory
Generally speaking, I recommend a diet that is higher in fat and fiber, low in carbs, and rich in gut-healthy probiotics. To that end, please read on for some suggestions on specific foods around which to build a brain-boosting diet!
As many of you know, I am a big proponent of salmon. Salmon may well be one of the most healthful foods available on the planet. Natural, wild-caught salmon is a rich source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium, and phosphorus. In addition, it’s a terrific source for protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids.
And when talking about the omega-3s, salmon has and an astounding 1.5 g of DHA in just a 3.5 ounce serving. DHA is a critically important omega-3 fatty acid, especially for brain health. Continue reading
With more than 6.5 million American children being diagnosed with ADHD, and close to 70% of them being medicated, it sure makes sense that we should consider how lifestyle factors, including diet, may affect a child’s ability to pay attention in school.
Certainly, DHA is important, as research has demonstrated significant improvement in focus in children with higher levels of this omega-3 fat. Continue reading
It seems like at this stage we’ve all come to an agreement that it’s essential to have a diet that’s rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s. The problem is, when it comes to supplementation, there seems to be much confusion on which form is best. Among those people consider: krill, algae, and fish. In today’s video, I’ll explain why I suggest fish oil as the optimal choice.
According to the World Health Organization, chronic degenerative conditions now represent the number one health threat globally. That means that, likely for the first time in history, more humans are losing their lives to chronic, and largely preventable, conditions than to trauma, infectious diseases, and even war.
Yet, chronic degenerative conditions are largely preventable as they are powerfully linked to lifestyle choices. Diets higher in sugar and carbohydrates coupled with lack of physical activity are strongly related to increased risk for some of the most common degenerative conditions, like type 2 diabetes, obesity, coronary artery disease. Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Continue reading
These days it’s pretty common knowledge that we humans are constantly replenishing our brain cells, a process known as neurogenesis. But keep in mind that the first scientific publication that demonstrated our capacity to grow new brain cells was only recently published, in 1998. To be sure, back when I was in medical school in the early 1980s, it was pretty much accepted as dogma that humans totally lacked this ability. We were told that you had a given number of brain cells and that after around age 18, it was pretty much downhill from there.
Neurogenesis, growing new brain cells, is happening in your brain right now, and this process will continue for the rest of your life. But the revelation is that we can actually enhance this process by making smart lifestyle choices. Continue reading
Sleep disorders in the pediatric population are common, occurring in as much as 30-40% of children. When children don’t sleep well, it sets the stage for a variety of other problems including poor general health, fatigue, declining school performance, depression, behavioral issues and weight gain.
A new study reveals an intriguing finding that explains not only what causes some children to struggle with sleep, but more importantly, what might well provide a safe remedy for the problem.
British researchers publishing in the Journal of Sleep Research evaluated the sleep patterns of 395 children aged 7-9 years. In addition, they performed a blood analysis on these children to measure their levels of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid. Continue reading
As someone who watched a bedridden mother die of Alzheimer’s, I have a deep personal interest in preventing this disease in my family. As such, I am always alert for leading-edge information on how to prevent this terrible illness.
Before my diet, I had been consuming almost a quart of buttermilk stuffed with corn chips every day. Add to that diet colas, other crackers and chips, and the daily oatmeal my doctor told me to eat, and it should be clear I was on a dangerous path. Once information about a low-carb, high-fat, gluten-free lifestyle was put before me, I instantly realized this was the information I had been waiting for.
I went to an olive oil store and bought a bottle, started eating grass-fed beef, eliminated grains, switched to green tea, and bought some stevia for (occasional) sweetening. I’ve also begun to eat more organic greens (daily in fact).
Previously, I also suffered from arthritis in my joints, especially at night when the pain woke me up several times. If a change in sleep pattern is any evidence that this diet is working, then it is worth it to me for that reason only. It has only been six weeks, and the change is already AMAZING!!!
-A.K. from Destin, FL
While we can use food to nurture and protect our bodies and our brains, supplements play an important role in preventing inflammation and helping us achieve total health. In both Grain Brain and Brain Maker, in addition to laying out the lifestyle plan you should follow to avoid brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s, I mention some of the most important supplements you can take for your health.
However, I’m often asked what my own daily routine is. Well, today I’m here to tell you.