The Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life
Dr. Brant Cortright: Ph.D
The Neurogenesis Revolution is quite compelling as the author begins his book with information that is quite valuable In order to spotlight what the author is trying to impart to readers I will tell you what I learned and took away from reading this book. “To increase neurogenesis is to improve you entire life, how you think, feel and act.” Strong statement. Within this chapter the author talks about many different breakthroughs in this area. The first being the brain keeps growing new grain cells your entire life. This process of Neurogenesis is how the brain upgrades itself and enhances your quality of life. Up until the last century he writes many scientists believed that as you get older your brain stops growing. Fortunately for us that is wrong as stated on page 11. In the 1950’s the author states that medical science found that the brain: Is more malleable, adaptable and fluid than previously thought. He continues with detailed reasons in this chapter but the one statement that really hits home and will make you smile especially if you are older is : the ability to create new memories-which we do throughout our lives means something new is happening to the brain, suggesting some kind of plasticity and dynamism. A myth that he dispels is the one that many think that our brains stop growing and lose brain cells in our early twenties. The other myth is that aging means cognitive decline and memory loss after middle age life and is just one gradual downhill slide into decrepitude. Thank goodness that is not true. There is a great variation he relates in breakthrough 2 in people’s rate of neurogenesis. A statement that will make you enlighten you is: When neurogenesis is high, you are alive, engaged, expansive, fulfilling your potential. In other words your mind’s abilities are enhanced. You are protected from stress and depression.
He describes in Chapter 3 his diet but first in chapter 2 the program and how it enhances your brain. Page 35 is very informative dealing with a Holistic approach to Brain health and how it opens up all four levels of being. Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit described in detail. Your body is your foundation. The Heart he states signifies your emotional level. Mind: Ability to learn throughout your lifespan makes life endlessly fascinating and Spirit is the last he describes. His diet plan is described as a cafeteria-style plan and the diet he states if a key part of brain health and this chapter is devoted to it in detail. The diet begins in Chapter 3 with how it focuses on foods that promote neurogenesis and brain health. So, what foods would I eat? Foods and Nutrients that Stimulate Neurogenesis are many. Here are the ones that would fit my dietary needs: Blueberries, green tea, omega3 fatty acids and grape seed extract. The superstars are blueberries, Omega 3s, Green tea and Cur cumin. Why? find out when you read pages 61- 82. There is much more that I learned regarding cholestrol and why it is an essential nutrient of the brain. He includes extensive research as to why cholestrol is getting rehabilitated and appreciated for its important role in brain function. Continuing with Unhealthy Fats, why Alzheimer’s is called Type 3 Diabetes. Here is where it gets really interesting and you need to read this for yourself. He concludes the chapter with General Principles of a Neurohealthy Diet. Within the next chapter titled Body he includes case studies of people that used this diet and how it helped them. Exercise, touch, sexual experiences and even sleep play a part in brain function. He focuses on many different aspects of how regeneration of brain cells correlates with diet and different abilities at different age levels to stimulate neurogenesis. His research continues in chapter five with the heart at the primary focus and in chapter 6 the Mind. Within this chapter when we learn new things, the mind is stimulated and neurogenesis increases. He continues with why if we actively engage our minds it pays off doubly.: by promoting neurogenesis and by enlarging our world. He includes another case study and then continues with discussions dealing with the different types of mental functions. Spirit is described in Chapter 7 and 8 why increasing neurogeneis and not slowing it down is vital. He relates the four poisons: Chronic inflammation, chronic stress, physical assaults and depreviation. Putting all together in Chapter 9 will help readers understand this lifestyle in a more concise fashion. The Appendix and glossary sections will help with terminology. The appendix is unique and asks that you the reader take a tour of your brain and understand the Triune Brain, the three brains in one and much more. Why is BDNF your best friend? Find out when you read the final pages of the appendix and decide just how neurogenesis can help you keep your mind and body active and alive.
Author Brant Cortright presents the information in an interesting and informative way. One that once you start reading it you won’t want to put it down. So, I underlined what I wanted to keep within my mind. I folded in the pages that I want to revisit and I suggest that for those who want to have upgrade your life learn more about : Body, Heart, Mind and Spirit and much more. The General Principles of this diet focuses on eating plenty of vegetables and fruits. A diet high in quality fats like omega 3s and avoiding those low in omega 3s. Talking about healthy fats and different types of oils that improve cognition such as organic, extra virgin coconut oil. What are the best carbohydrates and why they come with lots of fiber and let’s not forget weight loss, which is an important by-product of diet. Read chapter 3 to learn what foods you need to eat, eliminate and to understand the program in detail. This is the primary chapter that I found most enlightening and folded for further reference. Of course: before starting any diet or program speak to your medical professional. The information is invaluable.
Fran Lewis: MJ magazine/ Just reviews