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9+ Foods to Improve Brain Health and Memory

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!

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Dinner Tonight? How About Some Wild-Caught Salmon!

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

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Improved Attention From Your Child? Feed Them This.

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

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Omega-3: Krill Oil, or Fish Oil?

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.

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Fish Oil – A Terrific Lifestyle 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

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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Michael Lewis

Today’s interview on The Empowering Neurologist is with Dr. Michael Lewis.

Dr. Lewis explains the profoundly protective and restorative effects of omega-3 fatty acids in brain trauma, an all too common experience. He is a renowned expert on brain health, particularly the use of omega-3 fatty acids for the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of concussions and traumatic brain injury. He founded the Brain Health Education and Research Institute in late 2011 after he retired as a U.S. Army Colonel with a distinguished 31-year career. His pioneering work has helped countless thousands of people around the world and has been recognized by the American College of Nutrition with their prestigious 2015 Humanitarian Award. Dr. Lewis’ work has been featured on Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN program, and he regularly appears in the media. He is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans. He completed post-graduate training at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Johns Hopkins University, and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is board-certified and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the American College of Nutrition.  He is currently in private practice in the Washington, D.C. area, and the author of the book, When Brains Collide.

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DHA Improves Sleep in Children

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

Gut Bacteria & BDNF

What if I told you that your gut bacteria have a large role to play in levels of BDNF, or brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which acts like growth hormone for the brain? In this video we look at probiotic supplementation and other ways to stimulate this brain protective hormone.

Yes, it’s true! Simply by engaging in basic lifestyle adjustments like regular exercise and smart dietary adjustments, you can increase production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, in your body, which stimulates the healthful development and production of your brain.