"Food is medicine and works better, faster and cheaper than any drug."

Dr. Mark Hyman

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Connect with Mark: Website | Facebook | Twitter | What the Heck Should I Eat? Book

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Optimal cognitive performance starts with looking after your physical health. If you are looking to increase your mental energy, think clearly, and optimize the health of your brain, today’s show is for you. We will give you usable tips to sleep better, help you choose the best foods for your brain, and understand why the neurochemistry of happiness is important for your brain function.

We have 3 guest experts with us to share their top strategies and tools for boosting your brain health. You can check out the full Kwik Brain episodes with our experts via the links!

Dave Asprey (@daveasprey) is a New York Times bestselling author, Silicon Valley investor, and technology entrepreneur.

Dr. Mark Hyman (@markhymanmd) is a 10-time New York Times bestselling author and head of functional medicine at the Cleveland Clinic.

Radha Argawal (@love.radha) is a bestselling author, speaker, investor and co-Founder of Daybreaker.

 

Show Notes

GUEST 1: DAVE ASPREY

IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

  • Avoid any light in your bedroom at night. When your bedroom is truly dark, you allow your mitochondria to talk to each other with light, but when there is light in the room, the are blind to each other.
  • You can try taping over the LEDs in your bedroom and blackout curtains.
  • TrueDark glasses block all the spectrums of light that enter your eyes that mess up your mitochondria.

TRY COLD SHOWERS

  • At the end of your showers, blast your face and chest with cold water for one minute.
  • At first, your body and mitochondria will hate the water, but they will quickly become more resilient and get used to it, and you will have more energy all day long.
  • If 1 minute is too long, start with 5 seconds of cold water, then work up to 30 seconds. 
  • Keep trying this overtime—after 4 days, it won’t hurt as much.

GUEST 2: DR. MARK HYMAN

EAT THE RIGHT FOOD

  • Food is the most powerful drug on the planet. Food is medicine and works better, faster and cheaper than any drug.
  • You can change your biology with every single bite of food.
  • Food isn’t just calories, it is also information and instructions that can upgrade or downgrade your biological software with every bite.
  • Next time you put something in your mouth, ask yourself about the quality of the information you are using every single day. How is it affecting your health?
  • The food plan is easy: eat real food. Leave the food that man-made, and eat the food that God made.
  • By volume, most of your diet should be plant-based. Most of your plate should be vegetables and a little bit of fruit.
  • By calories, most of your diet should be fat. You can try good fats like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, coconut butter and oil, and omega-3 fats.
  • One of the most powerful brain-healing compounds is DHA, found in fish.
  • Our brains contain a high percentage of fat, so fat deficiencies can be connected to memory and mood issues.
  • MCT oil is a powerful upregulator of brain function. It increases mitochondrial function, which are the energy factories you need to produce energy.
  • Good protein is essential for muscle synthesis.
  • Have the right nutrients in your diet. You might want to consider a multivitamin, fish oil, and vitamin D.

OTHER HEALTH-BOOSTING TIPS

  • Decrease the amount of sugar in your diet and eat more fat to reduce insulin resistance. The bigger your belly, the smaller your brain (the hippocampal volume).
  • Balance your hormones: this can include your thyroid, adrenals, and sex hormones. Your hormones are related to your diet.
  • Optimize your gut function. 
  • Common major triggers of inflammation are gluten and dairy, which can create brain fog and brain dysfunction.
  • Optimize your mitochondria. Supplements you can try include Coq10, niacinamide, nicotinamide riboside, lipoic acid, and B vitamins.

EXERCISE

  • Move your body and do high-intensity interval training to avoid age-related diseases.
  • Brain exercises will work so much better with a brain that is healthy and working well.
  • Prioritize sleep.
  • Your brain is an organ affected by your body and by fixing your body, you can fix your brain.

GUEST 3: RADHA AGRAWAL

HOW HORMONES AFFECT OUR BRAIN

  • You don’t get high from substances, high from being around crowds of other humans, and that high is why we keep returning to offline experiences.
  • We feel lonely because we have been pushed into selfies and worrying about how many followers we have.
  • Dopamine is the pleasure reward hormone. New and novel experiences and anything that gives you a sense of accomplishment will give you a rush of dopamine.
  • Study: differences in physical touches between Americans and Mexicans while in conversation resulted in Mexicans touching each other upwards of 180 times in conversation, but Americans only touching once. We are physically starved.
  • Oxytocin relates to connection and touch. 
  • Serotonin relates to your sense of worth and connectedness to a whole.
  • Endorphins are the same as the runner’s high.
  • If you can design your experiences to get higher doses of these hormones, you will be happier and want to repeat the experience.

BOOSTING YOUR HORMONES

  • To boost dopamine, ask: what can you check off your list?
  • To boost oxytocin: To boost your oxytocin levels, ask yourself this: how are you connecting with your friends? How can we connect with our friends in a way that isn’t sexual?
  • To boost serotonin: can you identify 3 things you’re grateful for? How can you become a part of something bigger than yourself?
  • To boost endorphins: What are you doing to sweat and release endorphins?

SELF-EXPLORATION

  • If you are self-aware, you are able to connect to your values and interests.
  • How can you contribute to your community in a way that feels natural to you?
  • If you go inwards first and understand what you need to be happy and what experiences make you joyful, then when you go out you will know yourself and be able to connect with your people.

SHARE

  • Tell us which expert you enjoyed hearing most on today’s show! Share one of your aha moments with us.
  • Take a screenshot and tag me (@jimkwik) and your favorite expert and tell us one action you will use in your own life moving forward.

 

Related Kwik Brain Episodes You Might Enjoy

Episode 3: 10 Keys to Unlock Optimal Brain Health

Episode 62: What To Eat For Your Brain with Dr. Mark Hyman 

Episode 16: My Morning Routine (How To Jumpstart Your Brain & Day)

Episode 145: Turn Your Brain On with Dave Asprey