Interested in looking at brain nutrition and brain health in a whole new way? The brain is one of our favorite and most important organs, and yet it’s often overlooked when it comes to how to best feed it, care for it, and keep it functioning at a high level. Marc David, author, Nutritional Psychology expert, and founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating delivers a lively, engaging, straight to the point, and results oriented presentation about how to love on your brain. Expect a lot of useful information in a brief amount of time. We think your brain will feel very uplifted by this video!
In the comments below, please let us know: What’s your favorite way to feed your brain? We love hearing your thoughts!
Here is a transcript of this week’s video:
Greetings, friends. This is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Today’s topic — nine great ways to feed your brain. These days, brain health is a no-brainer. Of all the organ systems in the body, it seems that in the nutrition universe the brain has never truly received the attention it deserves. The brain is a super sensitive organ. Brain tissue is literally the most protected in the body. The brain is encased in your skull. Talk about some pretty hard and tough protection! We also have this thing called the blood brain barrier. This is a set of fantastic chemical and physiologic barriers that are exquisitely designed to protect the brain from anything in the bloodstream that would harm it.
Evolution clearly understands that this all-important organ needs to be nurtured and safeguarded at all costs. These days, we live under a tremendous amount of nutritional and environmental pressure, all of which impact the brain in a very intense way. So here’s my list of nine great ways to feed your brain, many of which you might not have considered brain food.
#1 — EFA’s, Essential Fatty Acids
If there was one single foodstuff that is arguably one of the most important for brain health, brain nutrition, and optimal brain functions, it’s essential fatty acids — in particular omega 3 and in particular DHA. These substances have been shown to have absolutely profound effects when it comes to recovery from brain disease or trauma and when it comes to optimum cognitive function. If you only supplemented your diet with one brain food, that’s it.
# 2 — Sleep
Sleep is arguably the most underrated of all brain health strategies. Every bit of research that’s ever been done on brain health and sleep is clear. Lack of sleep equals lack of cognitive function. Lack of sleep impacts memory, brain performance, learning ability, retention of information, and mood. Long term sleep deprivation can lead to all sorts of cognitive challenges and literal changes in brain physiology. If you want to help the brain, get some sleep.
#3 — Herbs
There are all sorts of over the counter supplements that one can take for brain health. Allow me to make it easy for you – herbs. For most people, you can’t go wrong with herbs. They are simply plants that we’ve evolved with over eons of time that have stood the test of human evolution. There’s a stunning amount of research on the impact of certain herbs on brain health. The common household herbs to take that impact brain function, nervous system transmission, increased oxygenation in the brain, and decreased inflammation include turmeric, oregano, ginger, garlic, and rosemary.
#4 — No Sugar
Of all the foods to let go of when it comes to brain health, sugar is arguably number one. Just as the consumption of this substance over time can cause insulin resistance, which means diabetes, so too can it literally cause insulin resistance in the brain. The brain becomes more inflamed and less functional. Eliminate this food as best you can from the diet, and your brain will be happy.
#5 — Learning
How’s that for a brain food? Learning is literally exercise for the brain. It’s as if you’re taking every brain cell and giving it some weights to lift and a nice treadmill to run on. The brain loves new pathways, new input, novel information. It’s hungry to learn. The more the brain learns, the stronger it becomes and the more it can stay on the top of its game well into your later years. Don’t get lazy — keep learning.
#6 — Filtered Water
More and more our water supply is filled with substances that adversely impact brain health. Perhaps the most important substance to protect yourself against that’s found in our water supply is fluoride. Do your own research, please. One Harvard study showed that in areas of more water fluoridation, the IQs of children are significantly decreased. There are countries and countries all over that are letting go of this absolutely bizarre practice of putting a neurotoxin in the water. For long term brain health, clean up your water, please.
#7 — Oxygen
Oxygen is the brain’s most vital nutrient. Increased oxygen rejuvenates brain cells, wakes them up, repairs them, strengthens them, and increases their overall function in a big way. The future of treating brain disease is in part finding ways to oxygenate the brain more fully. One of the great ways you could do this right now is by this thing called exercise. Move your body through space. Take deep breaths. Get outside where the air has more oxygen. Hike. Run. Walk. Bike. Swim. Whatever gets you taking in more air. Even doing some simple deep breathing or yogic practices is a powerful way each day to oxygenate your brain and get it functioning better. The beauty of oxygen — it’s free.
# 8 — Meditation
The volume of research on meditation when it comes to creating coherency between the two brain hemispheres, increasing our ability to learn and bettering our mood is stunning. Even meditating for ten to fifteen minutes a day has been shown to increase overall brain functioning. Just as physical exercise strengthens the cardiovascular system and the muscular foundation of the body, so does meditation strengthen the brain.
#9 — Higher Power
There’s not a lot of research on brain function and our connection to a higher power, but in my own personal experience it makes a huge difference. I believe that the future of brain research will show that not everything that happens in the brain comes from the brain. Have you ever had moments of a flash of insight or ideas and images that seem like they came from elsewhere? My postulation here is that when we tune into a higher power, when we begin to access higher intelligence of the universe, the brain is actually your receiving station for all kinds of frequencies that emanate from an unseen place. The only way to know that this is true or possible is to test it out. Each of us is quite smart in our own ways, but the intelligence that created everything we see before us, including the known universe is probably just a wee bit smarter. Why not tune into that source of brain power? Just talking about brain health feels like it’s making my brain feel healthier. I like that.
I hope this was helpful, my friends.
To learn more, go to psychologyofeating.com. The Institute for the Psychology of Eating offers the most innovative and inspiring professional trainings, public programs, conference, online events, and much more. Through our Eating Psychology Coach Certification training, you can grow a new career and help your clients break through the most compelling eating challenges of our times. If you’re focused on your own eating and health, the Institute offers a great selection of one-of-a-kind opportunities to take a big leap forward in your relationship with food.
We are proud to be international leaders in online and live educational events that are designed to create the breakthroughs you want most. Our professional and public programs are powerful, results-oriented, and embrace all of who we are as eaters. I’m talking body, mind, heart, and soul.
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This is Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. Thank you so much for your time and interest.