Grow Your Brain, And Keep It
Brant Cortright, Ph.D. is a Professor of psychology at the California
Institute of Integral Studies, and the author of The Neurogenesis
Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life, a holistic
approach to optimizing brain health.
Neurogenesis is the process of growing new brain cells. The rate of
neurogenesis is an excellent indicator of cognitive health or decline.
In order to have a healthy rate of neurogenesis healthy food,
healthy exercise, and avoidance of toxins, including sugar, are
Omega-3 fats, including DHA, at high levels is a necessity for
building a healthy brain. Flax oil and chia seed are often used to
replace animal sources of omega-3s. This is not enough, because so
little of these fats are converted to DHA, about two to five percent.
There is an algae derived eicosepentenoic acid or EPA that does
more readily convert to DHA, so vegetarians can be a little less
Increasing neurogenesis with diet is not enough, as the body will
trim away brain cells that are not necessary. There are substances
which can be used in order to maintain brain cells, once grown.
Hesperetin, a bioflavanoid occurring naturally in citrus, is one of
these, along with epigallocatechin-3 gallate or ECGC, a polyphenol
contained in green tea. Many other nutrients useful for neurogenesis
and maintaining growth are addressed in Dr. Cortright's book.
Also discussed are antidepressants, the effects, on the baby, of
stress during pregnancy, chronic stress reduction in general, and
exercise in relation to growing new brain cells and keeping them.
Brant Cortright - Neurogenesis Diet & Combating Cognitive Decline