“Eat these foods to boost your thinking.”
“Eat these foods before you take a test.”
You’ve seen blog posts like that. With a clickbait title, they lure you into checking out a list of foods with a promise to boost your brainpower.
And who wouldn’t want to boost their brainpower?
However, when you start to look at the sources they have – often none – the results tell a completely different story than what the post tells you.
The worse examples are websites which are affiliated or are selling supplements claiming to boost your brain power. They often link to a single research which is favorable for their conclusion – ignoring other clinical trials with different outcomes.
What I wanted to do is thoroughly research and write a guide for the most common brain foods, and find out whether they really boost your brain power or not.
And of course, linking all the sources and research papers properly, so that you can check the facts for yourself.
On a side note: I’m not a medical professional, and the information and recommendations you find on this post, and on this website altogether is not meant to be taken as a medical or professional advice, so use your own common sense folks.
- 1 What are brain foods?
- 2 What is cognitive decline?
- 2.1 Antioxidants
- 2.2 Salmon, Avocado, Nuts, lentils and sources of omega-3
- 2.3 Beans, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables and other sources of Folate
- 2.4 Eggs, broccoli and other sources of Choline
- 2.5 I don’t want to eat eggs, they contain cholesterol!
- 2.6 Beets
- 2.7 Whole grain foods
- 3 What about other vitamins?
- 4 What NOT to eat?
- 5 Conclusion
What are brain foods?
First, we have to find out what brain foods actually are.
Brain foods are foods that can enhance your brains’ cognitive capabilities, or support and help to maintain a good brain health.
For example, you are a completely healthy 25-year-old adult, and you eat a cup of blueberries before you take a test and fare better at the test because of your increased attention, memory or other cognitive processes in your brain.
On the other hand, we can claim that some foods are generally good for your brain health.
If we are talking about brain health in general, then the area of focus expands, because after that we are also concerned about fighting cognitive decline, dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Age-related cognitive decline is argued to happen because of several different reasons.
So as we lose muscle mass when we age – if we don’t exercise – we also start to lose our cognitive abilities.
Then when does this age-related cognitive decline start to happen, and when do our cognitive powers peak?
There’s no scientific consensus as when our cognitive abilities are said to peak, and when and how fast they normally start to decrease.
A research article done on 2015 presented data from 48,537 online participants, measuring the peak of different cognitive abilities. The research concluded that there is no age at which all cognitive areas peak at the same time.
The age where raw processing speed peaks is around 18 to 19 years old and starts to decline immediately after that. Short-term memory peak is around 25 years of age and stays the same until about the age of 35 when it starts to decline.
However, many other cognitive abilities, like comprehension, arithmetic, and general information tend to peak at a much later age. (40-50).
What this comes down to is, that probably we start to lose a bit of our processing speed after 20 years of age, but we make better decisions due to more general knowledge and life experience. So while your raw calculation power could be less when you’re 40 than when you’re 20, the experience you’ve gathered actually lets you make better and faster decisions after all.
However, if we can fight the cognitive decline in some areas by consuming certain foods, wouldn’t we want to do that?
What does the research say?
Let’s find out.
Did you know that oxygen is actually toxic to us?
Yes, it’s true. However, it’s also the only way we can get rid of excess carbon in our bloodstream which we have gathered through energy metabolism.
Because oxygen is a very reactive gas, it can attach to carbon and form another gas – carbon dioxide (co2).
But there’s a downside in breathing this gas.
Oxygen is toxic to us because it’s the basis that all free radicals form in our body.
Free radicals in your body also form in your brain, resulting in a cognitive decline. Antioxidants are said to help with this decline, but do they help as much as we think?
Let’s take a look at the most common antioxidant classes.
Blueberry, blackcurrant, cherry, cranberry and grape (Anthocyanins)
Anthocyanins are the largest class of pigments in the plant kingdom. It is because of anthocyanins that blueberries have the dark blue color because blueberries are believed to contain the highest amount of anthocyanins of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
There is a review done on 2015 which took several studies into review when finding out if acute anthocyanin consumption had any effect on cognition.
There’re studies on young adults which came out completely negative, and three studies were done on children and old adults which came out positive for word recall, but didn’t have any effect on cognitive functions.
There’s also similar studies done on blackcurrants, cherries, and grape juice, and the results are very inconsistent. Some of the studies reported improved attention, but some of them reported no effect whatsoever.
Another problem with blueberries is that the flavonoid content in them is known to vary widely depending on growing, processing and storage conditions.
While more research is needed with larger sample sizes, it is safe to say that it is possible that acute anthocyanin intake can improve some cognitive processes.
One Study reveals that acute flavanone consumption in higher doses can lead to enhanced cerebral blood flow and improvements in psychomotor skills, attention, and executive functions. However, more research is needed.
High in Quercetin and Epicatechin. There’s a study done on acute apple consumption, which came out negative for cognitive findings.
Dark Chocolate (Flavanols)
Cocoa is a rich source of flavanol epicatechin, however, it also contains little amounts of caffeine and theobromine which have psychoactive properties.
There is one study, where 30 young adults were administered a 520 mg dose of cocoa flavanol, and later a 994mg dose, and they resulted in significant improvements in working memory.
However there is a contradicting study where a middle-aged group was given water-based chocolate drink, and the results turned out negative for cognition and mood.
And one study where 90 older people with mild cognitive impairment were given a drink containing cocoa flavanols. The results came back positive for cognitive function, mainly verbal fluency.
There’s also an older study review done in 2009, which reviewed fifteen flavonoid studies, and the conclusion was that while most of the studies came out positive on executive function and memory, there is little consistency in the studies. On top of that the sample sizes of the studies were relatively small (less than 100 participants.)
Tomatoes are full of antioxidant organic pigments called carotenoids, particularly beta-carotene and lycopene. These are said to be beneficial to your brain health.
Review done on 2014 concluded that carotenoid-rich diet was found to be associated with a higher cognitive score.
Back in 2007, there was a randomized trial of beta-carotene supplementation, and it found no short-term effect (1 year) on cognition. However over a long-term period (18 years) the global score was significantly higher than in the placebo group.
This leads to believe that over a longer period, beta-carotene supplementation may have positive benefits to cognition.
However, there’s also a study where a group of smokers received beta-carotene supplementation, and it increased their lung cancer rate.
As for the other major carotenoid in tomatoes, lycopene; there isn’t enough research to draw any kind of conclusions.
There’s no consensus on the benefits of antioxidant supplementation. In some of the cases, consuming antioxidant rich foods helped with cognition, and in others, it did not, so the evidence is inconsistent.
For the aging brain, in theory, it’s good to get antioxidants throughout life to help with free radicals.
However, too much of antioxidants, or unnecessary antioxidant supplementation may even increase mortality.
- Consume antioxidants from organic sources. Since antioxidants are usually pigments in the plant – eat a lot of different colorful food.
- Think twice before taking further antioxidant supplements, they may have negative effects.
Omega-3 has been heavily researched during the past decade, and it shows some promising results, although most of the research on omega-3 fatty acids on human cognition has centered on the effect of reducing cognitive decline.
Omega-3 fats we need to get from diet include Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).
Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is the most abundant omega-3 fatty acid in the brain, however, the human body is not efficient in synthesizing DHA, so we must get our DHA from dietary sources.
60 percent of our brain is made of fat, so it’s a good reason to believe that consuming healthy fat does indeed help to maintain proper brain health.
There is a study review done on 2015 which reviewed 24 studies done on omega-3 supplementation. The review concluded that omega-3 supplementation affects cognition in those who are omega-3 deficient, meaning, those individuals who don’t get enough of omega-3 from their diet.
However, the review declared that if you have a proper diet with enough of omega-3, further supplementation of omega-3 yields no cognitive benefits.
A study review done on 2014 gathered all the most relevant clinical trials on omega-3 supplementation in older adults. On cognition, they got 9 positive studies and 3 negative studies – leading to believe that it’s very likely that omega-3 supplementation does indeed help with cognitive decline.
So how much of omega-3 we need?
The expert opinions vary on how much omega-3 you should consume, but most of the recommendations fall into a minimum of 250-500mg of combined EPA and DHA each day.
What’s the maximum amount you should take per daily?
The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety surveyed the research behind high dosage omega-3 supplementation and found that adverse effects were not present below 6.9 g.
The evidence somewhat inconsistent, but it’s pointing to a link between omega-3 supplementation and cognitive benefits. This is only if you don’t get much omega-3’s from your diet (less than 250mg of combined EPA and DHA).As for the cognitive decline goes, there seems to be a relationship between omega-3 intake and decreased rate of cognitive decline.
- Consume at least 250 – 500mg of combined EPA and DHA fatty acids per day.
- Try to get your omega-3’s from organic sources, since a lot of the foods which contain omega-3’s, also have a good amount of other different healthy substances, like antioxidants.
- If you eat just ten walnuts per day (30g), you get 2500mg of omega-3 fatty acids. After this, taking further omega-3 supplementation is likely just a waste of money.
Folate also called Folic acid, or Vitamin B9 is an essential water-soluble vitamin which humans cannot synthesize themselves. The recommended daily intake for Folate is 400 ug for adult males, 600 ug for pregnant women, and 500 ug for lactating women.
The number of studies on Folic acid supplementation is limited but based on the research data, individuals with a deficiency in Folate may gain cognitive benefits with Folic Acid supplementation. But if you don’t have a deficiency in Folate levels, further Folate supplementation may even have negative effects on your cognition.
Folate research on the decrease in cognitive decline on elderly has yielded mixed results. Again, there could be negative effects if you have too much of dietary Folate.
In one study, median Folate intake of 742 ug/day resulted in lower cognitive score than median intake of 186 ug/ day. The limited data also suggests that people with low vitamin b12 status may be at risk for negative cognitive effects from excess folate intake (>400 ug / day).
Folate research on elderly has yielded mixed results. By looking at the research data, it seems that both low and high levels of Folate can have detrimental effects for cognitive function.
One prospective study performed from 1993 to 2002 with a total of 3718 participants of 65 and older were measured for cognitive decline over time. The rate of cognitive decline was more than twice for the participants who had median Folate intake of 742 ug/day, compared to the participants with median intake of 186 ug/day.
Nutrition review done on 2014 reviewed the studies done on Folate, B12 and Vitamin E, and concluded that the strongest evidence for cognitive benefits from Folate supplementation is when your dietary intake is lower than 350 ug per day.
CONCLUSION ON FOLATE
Research concerning Folate, or Folic acid supplementation for cognitive benefits is limited. There’s some studies to support Folic Acid supplementation, but in some cases, this resulted in negative cognitive scores.
- First and foremost, try to get your folate from organic sources. Add in legumes and dark green vegetables to your diet.
- If you think your dietary intake of Folate is less than 350 ug per day, you can take Folic Acid supplementation.
- If you get enough Folate from organic sources, further Folic Acid supplementation may even have negative effects on your cognition. If you are unsure of your Folate intake, go take a blood test to determine your Folate levels.
Choline is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which has a role in various cognition systems in the brain. Because of that it’s been said that through a dietary increase of choline, you can increase your acetylcholine production, and thus, gain cognitive benefits.
The current recommendations for Choline set by the Institute of Medicine are 550mg/d for men, 425mg/d for women, 450mg/d for pregnant women and 550mg/d for lactating women.
It’s known for some time that the majority of people in the U.S are not getting enough of Choline. This is partly because of the dietary advice to avoid red meat and eggs, which contain a good amount of choline.
For example, just one egg yolk contains about 115 mg of choline, and on the other hand, you have to eat a full cup of broccoli to get just 65 mg of choline.
The pre-conceptual intake of Choline is linked to neural tube defects in offspring, and there is some (1), (2), (3) research data to show that choline supplementation can have cognitive benefits if you are deficient in Choline.
Since Choline deficiency is so common, it’s advisable to add Choline sources to your diet, or take Choline supplementation.
Be warned, though, if you take too much Choline, it can make your body odor smell like rotting fish.
The problem with Choline is that foods that have a high amount of Choline often have a high amount of Cholesterol too, like eggs. People today are still scared of foods containing Cholesterol, so following a low Cholesterol diet, they may have a higher chance of having a Choline deficiency.
CONCLUSION ON CHOLINE
Based on limited research, there seems to be a benefit for Choline supplementation if you are deficient in it. But if you have enough dietary choline intake from food, taking further Choline may only make you smell like rotting fish. For pregnant women, choline intake is crucial to avoid neural tube defects in offspring.
- Consider adding eggs to your diet – they are a great source of Choline.
- If you think you don’t get enough of Choline through diet, you can take Choline supplements.
- If you are a pregnant or lactating woman, it’s critical to make sure you get enough of Choline.
I don’t want to eat eggs, they contain cholesterol!
In the sixties American health association announced a dietary recommendation to restrict whole eggs consumption down to a maximum of three eggs per week, because of the high cholesterol content in egg yolks was supposed to raise human Cholesterol levels, and thus, it was argued to contribute to cardiovascular disease.
This restriction of eggs came at a cost of deficiency in several nutrients, including choline which we talked about earlier.
However, there are tons of studies done by now which prove inconsistently that consuming eggs up to seven per week does not raise plasma levels of LDL cholesterol more than slightly. And raising LDL might not be a bad thing after all.
However, egg consumption is measured to raise the ”good” HDL cholesterol.
There’s also a study where a group of people consumed up to two eggs per day when dieting and it did not raise plasma levels of LDL cholesterol.
There’s also one research paper from 1991 where an 88-year-old male had a compulsive behavior towards eggs, and consumed them 25 per day.
When measured, he had completely normal LDL plasma levels. However, this is just one case study and doesn’t prove that it’s really safe to consume that much eggs per day, so please reconsider if you want to start a 25 eggs per day diet.
Red beetroot has been of interest for a while as it’s a source of nitrate, thus, it’s been known to reduce blood pressure. And since beetroot has been measured to increase nitric oxide availability in humans, it has the potential of improving your cerebral blood flow, leading to an increase in cognition.
There’re not many studies done on beetroot supplementation while measuring cognitive performance, but based on preliminary results it’s possible that beetroot supplementation may increase short-term cognitive performance in healthy adults, but there’s only one study done on this so it’s not safe to make firm conclusions.
As for the older adults, there are two preliminary studies which explored the effect of acute beetroot supplementation on age-related cognitive function. One of these studies showed an increase in simple reaction time, but the other one showed no effects in cognitive performance. Although the difference between these results may be due to differences in the groups (type 2 diabetics vs. healthy older adults).
Anyway, further research is needed to reach firm conclusions.
CONCLUSION ON BEETS
Based on limited research, it’s possible that acute beetroot supplementation may increase cognitive performance. As for the cognitive decline, the research is lacking, and inconsistent, but since there’s no harm in eating beets, you may well include them in your diet.
- Add beets to your diet. Don’t expect miracles, think of it more like a healthy add in your diet.
Oh boy, this is going to be a very controversial topic. I’m talking about whether eating grain affects negatively on your cognition. It does, says neurologist David Perlmutter, who not only says that unhealthy carbs are bad for your brain, but the healthy ones too, like whole grain.
On the flipside of the coin, there is quite a bit of critique against David Perlmutter, some of which are justified.
So is David Perlmutter right or wrong?
There’s a lot of debate about this subject going on; some experts are advocating paleolithic diets – where we would leave grain out altogether. Others are in favor of whole grain consumption.
I think we need much more evidence to say that whole grain foods are really bad for your body and your brain. What this comes down to is, you should try for yourself. Some people have positive experiences when leaving out the grain, others report a loss of energy.
So leave out the bread, and see how it makes you feel. Don’t change anything else in your diet, so you can make sure that the effect – whatever it may be – is really coming from the absence of bread.
If you want to go further with this, you can leave out other sources of carbohydrates too.
Take notes on every step, and how they affect your willpower levels, mental clarity, memory, and motivation.
Remember that if leaving certain foods out is not affecting you much in terms of your energy, but leaving them out is causing you too much of a hassle, you don’t have to be anal with your diet.
So, low carb diets are certainly quite safe to experiment, and you should see how they make you feel. Do they enhance your mental clarity?
Articles and blog posts which advocate for whole grain consumption because you need a steady stream of glucose in your brain, are certainly right that your brain needs glucose. However, our bodies are able to synthesize glucose from fats and protein through gluconeogenesis.
There are other vitamins which are often though of having positive effects on cognition. These are mainly Vitamins C, B, D and E.
Let’s take a look at the research behind these vitamins, and find out if you need supplementation.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, and it’s generally safe to consume it in large quantities, though there’s no reason you would want to do that.
Because Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, it’s thought to have positive effects on cognition.
However, the results from studies concerning Vitamin C’s effect on cognition are highly inconsistent. Therefore, the causality between Vitamin C supplementation and cognitive benefits are unclear.
If you eat a healthy diet consisting vegetables and fruit, you don’t have to be concerned with Vitamin C deficiency.
CONCLUSION ON VITAMIN C
Studies are too inconsistent to draw conclusion whether Vitamin C supplementation helps with cognition, or if mild deficiency affects cognition negatively.
If you don’t think you get enough of Vitamin C from your diet, you can safely take it as a supplement.
B vitamins are also water-soluble vitamins. Deficiencies in most B vitamins are rare if you are a healthy adult and eat a balanced diet. The most common exceptions are for elderly and for vitamin B12.
Because plants don’t produce vitamin B12, it’s essential to eat either meat, eggs or dairy products to get vitamin B12. So vegetarians and vegans may need B12 supplementation.
Alcoholics are also at risk for deficiencies in vitamin B’s, because alcohol impairs the metabolism of B vitamins.
There is no research to support the fact that vitamin B supplementation could improve cognition in healthy adults, but there is some evidence to support that vitamin b supplementation could slow cognitive decline, but the research is inconsistent.
There is no research to support that taking general B vitamin supplementation could increase your cognitive abilities. However, if you are vegan/vegetarian, you can easily develop a deficiency in vitamin B12, so you must take them from B12 supplements.
As for the cognitive decline, there is some evidence to support that Vitamin B supplementation in elderly slow cognitive decline, but the research is inconsistent.
- If you are vegan/vegetarian, it’s almost guaranteed that you need to take vitamin B12 supplements, or you risk a deficiency.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, and many – most of all, elderly – people are deficient in.
But is there a positive impact on cognition with vitamin D supplementation?
If you don’t foods fortified with Vitamin D, and don’t like to spend time in the sun (or during the winter), you may have vitamin D deficiency. It’s very hard to maintain proper vitamin D levels from foods alone.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific conclusion on Vitamin D supplementation affecting cognitive performance in healthy adults. Even if you are a little deficient in vitamin D, and you take vitamin D supplementation, there’s no research to support that you’d get immediate cognitive benefits. The benefits are likely to come later with decreased cognitive decline.
The majority of studies implicate that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a lower cognitive function in elderly.
If you don’t enough sun, you may get too little Vitamin D, since it’s quite hard to get from diet alone. In that case, Taking Vitamin D supplements ensures a proper amount of Vitamin D intake, but there’s no guarantee of scoring you any cognitive benefits. However, Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to faster cognitive decline in some studies, so it’s reasonable to make sure a proper intake of Vitamin D, either from the sun or from dietary supplements.
- If you don’t get daily sunlight to your bare skin, take Vitamin D3 supplements. The recommended amount is 5000 units for adults.
Vitamin E has the main function of being an antioxidant – neutralizing free radicals in the body. There are quite a bit of research done on the importance of Vitamin E supplementation, if it’s necessary, or even dangerous.
Vitamin E deficiency is very rare, and deficiency symptoms haven’t even been found on people who get little Vitamin E.
Most research results do not support the use of Vitamin E supplements by healthy or elderly individuals to enhance or maintain cognitive performance.
Vitamin E deficiency is very rare, and there seems to be no positive effect in supplementing vitamin E. In some cases this can even be dangerous to your health.
- Don’t use Vitamin E supplements.
What NOT to eat?
So now that you have a general guideline of how different foods affect your brain positively, it’s time to look at what foods or what types of foods affect you negatively.
Also known as partially hydrogenated oil, which is primarily from industrial production. Trans Fats have been linked to several negative effects on metabolic function, inflammation, insulin resistance and cardiac health.
There was a survey research done in 2015 where researchers analyzed cross-sectional data from 1999 – 2005, with 1018 adult men and non-procreative women, and found out that it severely impacted their cognitive functions.
In short, these fats serve no positive purpose, so you shouldn’t digest any of them.
Don’t eat this shit. Period.
The effect sugar makes has been debated for a long time. It’s a well-known fact that eating a lot of sugar or foods with high glycemic index will result in all kinds of physiological symptoms, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases. But does sugar affect the brain and how?
The most common sugars in foods are fructose and glucose. When you combine these you, you get sucrose, also known as table sugar.
What many people might not know is that fructose is the culprit here. Most of the fructose in not actually metabolized in your body, but in your liver. That’s why over time high fructose consumption may lead to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
That’s why eating high amounts of fruits can actually be bad for you because you get too much fructose. If you are overweight or insulin resistant, it’s best for you to limit your fruit consumption containing high amounts of fructose (grapes, bananas, apples).
For example, eating just three apples contain the same amount of fructose than in 20 oz soda.
Glucose, on the other hand, is metabolized widely in the body and used as energy.
Processed foods and sweet beverages are sweetened by using artificially produced high fructose corn syrup. That’s because fructose tastes 50% sweeter than glucose. So through those foods, you get an abnormal amount of fructose, compared to eating fruits for example.
The consumption of high fructose corn syrup has been linked to a multitude of different problems in your body, such as obesity, heart disease, liver failure, and more.
Unfortunately, clinical trials on humans on acute fructose or sucrose consumption, measuring cognitive outcomes, is lacking, and there is no consensus whether fructose itself is detrimental to your brain.
There is a link between high fructose consumption and cognitive decline over time, but it’s unclear whether it’s because of fructose itself or by the increase of overall energy intake.
But since sugars – especially fructose – are known as empty calories, you don’t really need them for anything. It just comes to how strict you want to be with your diet. My personal advice is that try to limit refined fructose and sucrose to a minimum, or eliminate it altogether. Take note how it affects your mental clarity.
On a side note, you don’t have to be super strict with your diet and never eat ice cream anymore. For example, you can go no-sugar in the weekdays and eat ice-cream on the weekends. What I’ve noticed however, is that when you’ve detoxed yourself from sugar, you don’t get so many of those cravings anymore.
If you’re not obese or insulin resistant, then eating fruit is fine, because you get many other healthy substances from them, like antioxidants. Just don’t go overboard with fruit either.
While taking a look at these research studies, it becomes clear that most of the cognitive benefits come from actually supplementing yourself to a healthy baseline, so called over supplementation does not yield any results. So if you are eating healthy already – like you should! – further antioxidant or vitamin supplementation may even be detrimental in some cases.
Again, the best option is to have a healthy diet consisting of organic quality food sources, without neglecting cholesterol sources like eggs.
Some quick tips to take note:
- Add sources of antioxidants in your diet. Berries, dark chocolate or perhaps wine.
- Add dark leafy greens in your salad, or add them in a blender to make a healthy green smoothie.
- Eat eggs. It’s completely safe to add 1-2 eggs per day to your diet, you get choline and many other nutrients from them.
- Eat fatty fish, nuts, avocado or other good sources of omega-3:s. Try to get at least 1-3g of omega-3 per day.
- Eat beets alongside dish.
- Don’t consume Trans Fats.
- Limit your consumption of sugar and fructose.
- If you like to experiment with your diet, consider eating low carb for a few months taking notes of the changes.
- If you want to go hardcore, you can try ketogenic diet, eating max only about 20g of carbohydrates per day.
- Don’t be afraid of dietary cholesterol sources.
- If you don’t get a massive amount of sun, consider taking a vitamin D supplement.
- If you don’t eat eggs or you are not consuming much of animal protein, consider taking choline supplementation.
- If you are vegan/vegetarian, consider taking vitamin b12 supplementation.
There are too much research, evidence, and experts, all contradicting each other!
Yeah, I hear ya. It’s real easy to get confused with all the contradicting opinions, and all of them seem to have some research and evidence behind them.
Well, what I like to do is to go the middle ground and be reasonable with it. What this means that you look for the food that people eat which have a lot or if not all evidence pointing out in the same direction, such as:
- Limit your consumption of free sugars. We don’t need them. But if you feel like having an ice cream once in a while, don’t be anal with it.
- Don’t consume trans fats, we certainly don’t need them.
Then there’s a massive amount of opinions on other nutrition, like:
- Don’t eat saturated fat, it’s bad for you.
- Don’t eat cholesterol, it’s bad for you.
- Don’t eat meat at all, it’s bad for you.
- Don’t eat grain, it’s bad for you.
- Don’t eat carbs at all, you don’t need them.
- Don’t eat sources of omega-6, because it’s bad if your omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is too high.
- Don’t eat milk or dairy products, they cause inflammation and are bad for you.
- Don’t eat soy products, they cause cancer, and are bad for you.
Now what combines all of these opinions?
They all have some evidence against them, and some evidence for them.
So I think for now the best plan is to go midway, and be reasonable with it.
For example, what this would mean is:
- It’s probably ok for you to consume some saturated fat – you don’t have to be anal with it.
- It’s probably ok for you to consume some dietary cholesterol – so don’t fear the egg.
- If you like to eat meat, and you don’t have a moral dilemma with eating meat – by all means, eat meat, but don’t go overboard with it either.
- If you have no stomach problems eating grain, and you feel like grain gives you a nice variety in your meals, then eat grain.
- It’s wise to eat sources of omega-3’s, but you don’t have to stress about omega-6’s all the time.
- If you feel you have to stretch out too far to give up every dairy product, don’t do it.
And most of all, experiment with it. For example, try leaving out dairy products, and if you feel better both physically and mentally, then you should listen to how you feel and leave the dairy out.
Finally, I’d love to hear your opinions on foods or supplements you have tested. Does certain foods help you with your mental clarity, or do some foods cause you a brain fog? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.