June 2012

In anticipation of the launch of my new book: The Kalish Method: Healing the Body and Mapping the Mind, I’m tossing out some brain food ideas for consideration.

The main issue with your brain is to simply not mess it up. How can you eat in a way that messes up your brain? Well, clearly neurotoxins, or nerve poisons, trigger brain cell death and should be avoided. Mercury, a potent neurotoxin, is found in high concentrations in some fish which should be avoided entirely or eaten rarely. Big fish = bad, i.e. the bigger they are the more likely they are to contain higher concentrations of mercury. Tuna tops the list. Does this mean no sushi, no how, no matter what? Depends. Small amounts eaten occasionally are ok. Sushi every day for lunch is an invitation for brain drain.  Vegetables contain the anti-oxidants your brain uses to protect brain cells from the destructive effect of inflammation and oxidative stress, so put them in the “brain protective” category.

Excessive sugar and excessive grains trigger inflammation, damaging brain cells. Small amounts of grains and sugar are ok, but again, only in small quantities.

The second issue with the brain involves giving it nutrients it can make use of to keep itself healthy. Ironically, fish oils are probably at the top of this list of what’s good for your brain. Just be sure the brand you use has had all the heavy metals removed. Second to these essential fats are healthy animal protein, rich in the amino acids your brain uses to make the major neurotransmitters, or brain chemical messengers, serotonin and dopamine. You’ll need protein with all three meals, every day.

And, as you are heading away from the fish aisle towards the butcher counter, don’t worry about any of this because stress kills brain cells faster that you can say “essential fatty acids.” Don’t worry, eat protein, be happy.

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