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Brain Food: How to Eat Right to Think Right


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Your brain runs your life and is the greatest asset you possess. Yet many people spend more time and money considering whether they are nourishing their skin and hair properly than nourishing their brain. In this lecture, Medical Doctor, Tracy Thomson explains why learning to feed your brain can effectively increase your productivity, enhance your relationships (including your sex life) and generally make you happier on a daily basis!

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Brain Food: How to Eat Right to Think Right

  1. 1. Brain Food!how to eat right to think right.Dr. Tracy ThomsonGaia Collaborative MedicineMarch 19, 2012
  2. 2. Brain Health @Gaia Clinic!•  We use neuroscience to slow and reverse the aging process by up to 15 years.!•  We can also improve the function of unhealthy brains and make good brains GREAT.!
  3. 3. Brain function = Quality of Life!
  4. 4. Brain Functions!•  Attention! •  Memory! •  Movement !•  Concentration! •  Relationship! •  Understanding!•  Curiosity! •  Reasoning! •  Emotion !•  Flexibility! •  Creativity! •  Self-justification!•  Learning! •  Coordination! •  Sensory awareness!
  5. 5. All healthcare is HEAD FIRST! Great No onehealing relies knows what on early silent detection of disease lurks disease! inside them! 5 core principles! Great healing uses You’re only as young as multimodal your oldest treatments part! creatively!
  6. 6. The Brain-Black Box!
  7. 7. A highly complex organ! 100 billion neurons! 3lbs! More connections than stars in the universe! 60% fat! uses 25% of body’s energy!
  8. 8. The Brain is the General!•  Any illness will age the brain!•  Disorders of the brain, affect the body, mind, and spirit.!•  Why not treat the command centre as a priority?!•  Why not learn to feed your brain!!•  Every brain is very personal, like a unique signature requiring unique food/substrates!
  9. 9. When your brain works right, you work right.!
  10. 10. The Role of Nutrition: Food as Medicine!Nutrition is THE most important (least used) tool for stayingmentally and physically fit.!Typical North American diet is toxic. !!Sugar, saturated fat & chemicaladditives all invite free radicals andinflammation to invade your brain.!
  11. 11. Good for the Brain!•  Exercise! •  Stress reduction!•  Hydration! •  New learning!•  Hormonal balance! •  Socialization!•  Meditation! •  Conscientiousness!
  12. 12. Cognitive decline is becoming thegreatest health crisis of our time.!
  13. 13. !The greatest discovery of any generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering the attitudes of their minds.! ! Albert Schweitzer!
  14. 14. The EDGE Effect! Energy! Youth! Power! D! A! Memory! Voltage! Speed! BRAIN-BODY! CONNECTION! Sleep! Calm! Rest! S! G! Level! Symmetry! Rhythm!
  15. 15. Dopamine Functions!•  Reward/salience•  Pleasure, euphoria•  Motor function (fine tuning)•  Compulsion•  Preservation
  16. 16. Low Dopamine!•  Decreased libido!•  Weight gain!•  Fatigue-age-accelerator!•  Hypertension!•  Carbohydrate and sugar cravings, caffeine!
  17. 17. Dopamine!building blocks are phenylalanine and tyrosine!Beef GranolaChicken Oat flakesPork Ricotta/Cottage cheeseDuck Wheat germTurkey MilkWild Game YogurtEggs
  18. 18. Acetylcholine Functions!Provides the body and the brain with internal lubrication. !!A healthy, high acetylcholine brain is fast-moving, quick-thinking andmoist, so information can pass easily from the brain into the body.!
  19. 19. Low Acetylcholine!•  Decreased memory!•  Attention issues!•  Accident prone!•  Decreased learning!
  20. 20. Acetylcholine!building block is choline (main source FAT)!Almonds! Celery! Oranges !Beef Chicken! Peanuts!Blueberries Coffee! Peanut butter!Broccoli Eggs ! Soybeans!Asparagus Fava beans ! Tofu!Cabbages Fish ! Wheat germ!Cauliflower Grape juice ! Lettuce !Caviar! Hazelnuts !
  21. 21. Serotonin Functions! •  Mood! •  Memory Processing! •  Sleep! •  Cognition!
  22. 22. Low serotonin!•  Depressed!•  Crave chocolate!•  Irritable!•  Fatigue!•  Sleep disorder!•  Unexplained aches!
  23. 23. Serotonin!building block is tryptophan!Avocado! Whole milk!Chicken! Rolled oats!Dark chocolate! Pork!Cottage cheese! Turkey!Duck! Wheat Germ!Egg! Yogurt!Granola!
  24. 24. GABA Functions!Helps in the production of endorphins that provide you with a sense ofwell being. That sense of calm you feel when endorphins areproduced, for example during exercise or sexual intercourse, iscommonly referred to as the ‘endorphin effect’ .!!GABA brings your nervous system back to base, and makes you feelmore relaxed, calmer and more able to meet these challenges that lifeoften throws at you. !!
  25. 25. Low GABA!•  Anxiety!•  Irritability!•  Mood swings!•  Physical pain!•  Risk for alcohol, drug addictions!
  26. 26. GABA!building block is glutamine!Beans High fiber breakfast cerealsCorn Cassava (yucca)Lentils Root Vegetables (carrots,Peas beets, rutabagas, turnips)Fish Yams (sweet potatoes)Meats Whole grain breadsPoultry OatmealBrown rice BranWild rice Green Tea
  27. 27. General Feeding Principles!
  28. 28. FATS = Brain!•  Needs fat more than any other nutrient!•  Unhealthy fat = unhealthy brain!•  Monounsaturated: brain-friendly, olive oil, canola oil, safflower oil, nuts, avocados!•  High in antioxidants, less prone to free radical attack and damage!
  29. 29. Saturated Fat!•  Sluggish brain cells!•  <10% OK, meat, eggs, whole fat dairy!•  Increase homocysteine-excess toxic, memory problems, mood disorders, increased risk Alzheimer’s!
  30. 30. Polyunsaturated Fat!•  Some forms, great, we don’t eat enough of them, have all essential fatty acids that can’t be made by the body!•  Critical for well-functioning brain!•  Omega-3 ( cold water fatty fish, deep green veg-purslane, pumpkin seeds!•  EPA:DHA!•  Low DHA-decreased cognitive function, depression, slow response time, Alzheimers!•  Omega-6 (cooking oils, nuts, seeds, cereals), trans fats, GLA avocados, walnuts, sees, borage oil)!
  31. 31. Trans-Fatty Acids!•  Ban them!!•  Rigid, tough, brain cells!•  Manufactured, shelf life, margarines, polyunsaturated, baked goods, fried foods!•  Age faster, progressively become less functional!•  Cell membrane pigs, displace good fats!
  32. 32. Fat Suggestions!NO: ! !Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (nearly all ! ! !processed refined –commercial breads, crackers, ! !cookies, snack foods), fried food (French fries, ! ! !donuts, chips-corn, cheese, potato)!!REDUCE: !Meat, full-fat dairy!!INCREASE: !Lean meat, wild game, plant sources-legumes, ! ! !omega-3’s-Alaskan sockeye, tilapia, flax seeds, ! ! !walnuts, pumpkin seeds, eggs!
  33. 33. Antioxidants!•  RAINBOW DIET-> 6 veg, 2 fruit!•  Phytochemicals-pigments of plants, natural antioxidants-prevent free radical attack, fortify against bacteria, fungi, parasites!•  Mixed green salad every day!•  More cruciferous (broccoli, beet greens, watercress, collard, mustard greens, Swiss chard, Kale, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower)-Vit E, folic acid!
  34. 34. Get Poisons Off Your Plate!•  Pesticides!•  Organic-more for your money!•  Wash!!•  Buy whole, natural foods!
  35. 35. Hydration!•  Spring water, green tea, herbal tea, limit coffee!•  NO: soda, diet soda (excitotoxins), no sugar!•  Alcohol-limits!
  36. 36. Foods that make you smarter!1.  Berries (anthocyanins-antioxidant)!2.  Omega-3 enriched eggs (free range, vegetarian, high Vit. B)!3.  Purslane (weed, salad, omega 3)!4.  Wild sockeye salmon (omega 3 esp. DHA, low Hg, studies- happiest, healthiest, smartest on the planet!)!5.  Spinach (lutein-antioxidant, folic acid, Vit. B)!6.  Seeds (pumpkin, ground flaxseed, omega-3, GLA!7.  Walnut and walnut oil (omega-3)!
  37. 37. Herbal remedies!•  Tumeric!•  Calorie restriction-decrease 25%!•  Use of both Vitamin C and E-decreased prevalence of Alzheimer’s by 78%!•  Co-Q10!•  Exercise training increase size of hippocampus-memory!•  Vitamin D-activates> 900 genes!
  38. 38. Know Your Important Numbers.!•  BMI/Waist-to-Height! •  Vitamin D level!•  Calorie intake! •  AA/EPA Ratio!•  # fruit and veggies! •  Thyroid level!•  Sleep! •  Testosterone level!•  Water! •  Homocysteine!•  Blood pressure! •  C-reactive protein!•  CBC! •  HgA1c!•  Lipid panel! •  Fasting blood sugar!
  39. 39. The brain we developreflects the life we lead. ! ~His Holiness the Dalai Lama!
  40. 40.!thanks.! @Gaia_Clinic!!