We can eat for better skin, for more energy, so why not eat for a better brain? Florida-based neurologist, Dr. David Perlmutter, says it’s entirely possible. Even on his website he says it’s possible:
“The cornerstone of Dr. Perlmutter’s unique approach to neurological disorders is founded in the principles of preventive medicine. He has brought to the public awareness a rich understanding that challenging brain problems including Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, depression, and ADHD may very well be prevented with lifestyle changes including a gluten free, low carbohydrate, higher fat diet coupled with aerobic exercise.”
Dr. Perlmutter says there are five steps you can take today for a better brain.
1. Set aside cook time
This is one Kayla has also talked about in some of her meal prep posts. Dr. Perlmutter is particularly suggesting this to keep us from quickly grabbing something bad for you. But even some of those “health” bars and shakes are chalk full of ingredients (and sometimes chemicals) that can be damaging for you. Since he prescribes to the gluten-free diet, he is especially against relying on granola or cereal. He suggests taking time during the weekend to cook for the entire week; prepare things like hard-boil eggs, vegetables and chicken breasts. Bonus: you only have to clean up once!
2. If it can go bad, it’s good for you. If it stays good, it’s bad for you
Food is exposed to expire. Period. Well, REAL FOOD will expire. As much as possible, choose foods that are as close to nature as possible. Even if you grab something pre-packaged, opt for the ones with the fewest ingredients, trying to eliminate any preservatives.
3. The Anti-Alzheimer’s Trio
Dr. Perlmutter says it best: “It’s become one of my staples of conversation, and it should become one of the staples of your diet. When it comes to eating “memory food” there is no better trio of items to fight Alzheimer’s and dementia than grass-fed beef, avocados, and coconut oil. This group of high-fat, brain-smart foods are a staple of the Grain Brain diet, and should work their way into your weekly meal plan as well.” You can read more about the superfood benefits of coconut oil here.
4. It’s all about a cup of joe
There’s one more reason, in case you needed one, to grab that extra cup of coffee in the morning. And it’s not just for the extra bolt of caffeine. Dr. Perlmutter says it fight off stress and help prevent neurodegenerative diseases. Some studies even found a cup of joe can decrease the risk of dementia by 65%!
5. Make sure you get enough DHA
“Your body is only minimally able to make DHA, a critical fatty acid for brain health,” Dr. Perlmutter says. “So supplementation is key. I recommend a total daily dosage of DHA of around 1000mg. This can come from eating wild fish or better, take either a fish oil supplement or a DHA supplement derived from algae.”