9+ Foods to Improve Brain Health and Memory

By: The Dr. Perlmutter Team

As we’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, we 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!

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Overcoming Your Genetic Legacy

Science has revealed something incredible: our susceptibility to disease is not predetermined by our genes. In fact, while our genes do carry with them markers that would usually lead to certain illness, what we’ve learned is that we can use preventative healthcare measures to control the expression of these genes. Now, we can tackle care proactively, rather than waiting for an untreatable disease to occur.

Brain Maker, building on Grain Brain, provides dietary and lifestyle suggestions on how to do this, and it begins with a low-carb, gluten-free, low-sugar diet meant to, among other things, help reduce inflammation and blood sugar. Doing so goes a long way towards facilitating the improvement of your overall health.

Fermented Foods: A Healthful Choice

If you’ve read Brain Maker, than you understand how important probiotics are for your health. They play a key role in helping you build the balanced gut microbiome that facilitates optimal health. Beyond just a probiotic supplement though, fermented foods are a natural way for your to work probiotics into your diet, and the options are both plentiful and enjoyable. From kimchi to sauerkraut to, in fact, pickles, fermented foods are a nutritional powerhouse that should work their way onto your plate at your next meal.