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!
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
I made a point in Grain Brain to emphasize the importance of wild fish as opposed to farm-raised fish for several important reasons. I’m well aware that wild fish may not always be available (a situation that will no doubt become more common in the future), but given the chance, wild fish should be your choice, and here’s why:
- Farmed fish will provide your body with higher levels of inflammation producing omega-6 fatty acids, and lower levels of inflammation fighting heart and brain healthy omega-3s. Inflammation is a key player in virtually all the medical issues you don’t want to get including cancer, diabetes, arthritis, coronary artery disease and even Alzheimer’s. Continue reading
Monia’s story makes me wish I had been able to write Grain Brain a decade earlier. This book has brought to me so many stories of individuals who were looking for answers on these topics but couldn’t find them. I’m glad that Grain Brain can finally give them the information they’ve been looking for. – Dr. Perlmutter
I have been on my low-carb, high-fat journey for some time, but I only recently came across Dr. Perlmutter through his videos on YouTube. When I first started I had a nutritionist to guide me along, but even though I was diligent, I wasn’t losing any weight. So, I decided to gather all the knowledge I could about nutrition.
After much studying, I gave up sugar in 2001, followed by dairy in 2003 and meat (besides fish) in 2009. Finally, in 2010, I lost 100lbs. Unfortunately, I couldn’t maintain it and I quickly put 30lbs back on, accompanied by unstoppable carb cravings. Soon thereafter, I read Wheat Belly and cut out bread. However, it wasn’t until I read Grain Brain that I found the plan that would really work for me.