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Dr. Amen's Brain-Diet Tips Part II
7/9/2012
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Adapted from “Use Your Brain to Change Your Age”
Published in the United States by Crown Archetype, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. Available at
amazon.com

Brain-health expert Dr. Daniel Amen is the author of several bestsellers and hosts a series of corresponding PBS-TV shows.
 
He’s a featured participant in JJ Virgin’s upcoming mid-July telesummit, 7 Days with 7 Celebrity Docs … stay tuned to Vital Choices for registration and other info.
 
In addition to Dr. Amen, the participating thought leaders include Stephen Sinatra, M.D., Mark Hyman, M.D., Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., and Jen Landa, M.D.
 
JJ Virgin is a leading fitness-weight trainer, and bestselling author (see “Building Strong Bones for Life and “JJ Virgin's Smart Guide to Building Big “Guns”.)
 
The telesummit runs for seven days from Wednesday, July 18 through Tuesday, July 24.
 
Several of the telesummit stars kindly permitted us to share selected essays … and we’re pleased to present Part II of a two-part essay from Dr. Amen.
 


Food, Longevity, Cheat Days, Bizarre Times and the Little Lies, Part II
By Daniel G. Amen, M.D.
 
We all have “little lies” that can prevent us from living longer. So we have to realize, you literally are what you eat.
 
Throughout your lifetime, your body is continually making and renewing its cells, even brain cells.  Your skin cells make themselves new every 30 days! 
 
So eating right can have a dramatic positive impact on your skin in a short period of time.  Food fuels cell growth and regeneration, so what you consume on a daily basis directly affects the health of your brain and body.
 
In addition, you likely have already noticed how foods affect your mood and energy level.  Ever feel buzzed for an hour, then ready for a long winter’s nap after a Grande Americano? Have you ever felt shaky, foggy, headachy or weak after a breakfast of orange juice with pancakes drowned in syrup? 
 
How about that stuffed feeling after you’ve eaten too much of anything, and just want to lie down and sleep it off? 
 
Too much white bread and protein, and an absence of fresh fruit and vegetables is constipation waiting to happen … which is one of the reason why, besides the lack of exercise, people struggle with a sluggish digestion when they travel. 
 
They’re grabbing burgers on white bread, chicken nuggets, and downing it with a soft drink loaded with high fructose corn-syrup (or a yeasty beer) as they head through the drive-through or at an airport kiosk.
 
In short, if you want to feel old, weak, bloated, cranky, sleepy and constipated, this is the diet for you!
 
Cheat Days Not Required or Encouraged
If you want to feel and look happier, healthier and younger in the future, be a warrior for the right nutrition. 
 
Cheating and cheat days are not required or encouraged.  I am often amazed at the number of health programs that encourage cheat days.  Since food can clearly be addictive, would it ever make sense to tell any addict that it is OK to have cheat days?
 
Imagine telling a cocaine addict or smoker or alcoholic to have cheat days?  That could trigger a relapse.  Or a sex addict?  Would it be ok to say, take a day off from your sobriety and grab a few prostitutes? 
 
Use your brain, and good common sense, to change your age.
 
7 Rules for Brain Healthy Eating for the Long Run
Over the years I have been able to distill our message about brain healthy nutrition into seven simple rules.  If you follow them, food will become your longevity medicine.
  • Healthy fats
  • Eat from the rainbow*
  • High quality lean protein
  • Low glycemic, high fiber carbohydrates
  • Cook with brain healthy herbs and spices
  • High quality calories and not too many of them
  • Drink plenty of water and not many of your calories
*Colorful fruits and veggies.
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