What you eat has a massive impact on your brain’s health. Good dietary choices can protect you against severe neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. But eating well doesn’t just help improve your long-term health – it can also make you sharper, more balanced and happier.
Author Max Lugavere has developed The Genius Plan, which starts with a 14-day period in which you focus on eliminating brain-toxic foods like sugar, processed oils and grain products. Reducing your consumption of these types of foods will reduce long-term brain inflammation.
Brain inflammation can cause all sorts of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer’s, ALS and Parkinson’s, anxiety, depression, lethargy and reduced cognitive functioning.
So, according to Max, what do you need to eliminate? Firstly, throw out all the refined and processed carbohydrates. Next on the list are wheat and gluten, concentrated and synthetic sweeteners, commercial cooking oils, juices and soft drinks.
Once you’ve eliminated or reduced your intake of these foods, start to place more emphasis on the types of foods you should be eating.
The first two weeks of the Genius Plan are all about stocking up on nutritious brain foods. These include omega-3-rich oils and ketone generating fats, as well as grass-fed and free-range beef. Add plenty of raw nuts and seeds, non-starchy root vegetables, low-sugar fruits like berries, dark chocolate, and fermented vegetables.
You don’t have to stop eating carbohydrates entirely, but you should aim to eat no more than between 20 and 40 grams a day. When you eat some carbohydrates, good options are fibrous vegetables such as asparagus and broccoli and low-fructose fruits such as berries.
By day 14, the Max guarantees that you’ll feel sharper, have better stamina, better digestion, deeper sleep and feel much happier.
During the next stage of the plan, you’ll keep eating brain-nutritious foods while re-introducing specific carbohydrates. Keep your pantry stocked with lots of dark, leafy greens, carrots, avocados, coconut, eggs, mushrooms, flax and chia seeds. Increase your carb intake to between 50 and 70 grams a day. If you want to maintain your weight and aren’t doing more than a light daily workout, you can stay at this level.
But if you’re doing more physical activity and weight loss is not a goal, focus on eating a bit more of the right kind of carbs such as bananas, sweet potatoes and white and brown rice, consuming these after high-intensity workout sessions will minimize fat storage and help your muscles to recover.
So there you have it, an overview of The Genius Plan – a low-carb diet with significant benefits for brain function, long term health and weight management. For more about diet and brain health, check out the book Genius Foods.
By Simon Coghlan MSc, BScPhysio, DipMedAc
Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay