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!
There is certainly a lot of discussion these days about the ketogenic diet, especially as it relates to brain function. I thought it would be instructive to review one of the most important, and early, research studies in this area, as it reveals several very important findings that are worthy of attention.
The study, Effects of beta-hydroxybutyrate on cognition in memory-impaired adults, dates back to 2003. Why this is relevant with respect to the ketogenic diet is because beta-hydroxybutyrate is one of the ketones produced when somebody is in ketosis. The ketogenic diet is one that is aggressive in terms lowering dietary carbohydrate intake while increasing dietary fats. The production of ketones is amplified in people who supplement with things like coconut oil or MCT oil. Continue reading
The relationship of the ZIka virus to the development of microcephaly has certainly been receiving a lot of attention in the news lately, and with good reason. Microcephaly is a devastating, although rare, consequence of this viral infection, and it is for this reason that we are now seeing recommendations that women who are pregnant, or are considering pregnancy, avoid going to places where Zika infection is possible.
But the story is now becoming more complicated and worrisome. We are now seeing research that indicates that the Zika virus has a predilection for attacking cells in the brain’s memory center, in adults. Continue reading
This is a rather short version of a long story.
In 1987 I weighed about 205 lbs. I was eating all kinds of trashy foods, from doughnuts to fried fish to French fries. While I exercised regularly, I also suffered from severe eating disorders. What I ingested was a lot of sugar, and I ate very poorly One morning I woke up, and a lightning bolt smacked me in the head. I needed a change.
I was given Grain Brain and Brain Maker as birthday presents on Jan. 22, when I reached age 71, and started a gluten-free, sugar-free, high-fat diet on Feb. 1.
After 25 days, I have solved two of the 3 “neurological” health problems I had: left arm trembling while leaning the arm on the arm of a chair, loss of equilibrium, and memory deterioration. The first two are now gone, but for the memory recovery I cannot yet claim an improvement, but I am hopeful. Further, I would like to think that maybe I have improved my speech as well, since before the diet I was reaching the point where it was difficult to have a fluent conversation, because my brain and mouth simply could not speak to each other. I have also lost 3kg of weight!