This week’s podcast is all about fixing your food to fix your brain— and we welcome back special guest Mark Hyman MD!
The food we eat matters, especially to our gray matter. An international leader in the functional medicine movement and author of best-selling books on diet and physical health, today’s guest, Mark Hyman, is here to tell us how our systems of agriculture, policymaking and science affect our access to good nutrition, and consequently, our mental performance.
Today’s conversation is based around Dr. Hyman’s latest book, Food Fix: How to Save Our Health, Our Economy, Our Communities, and Our Planet—One Bite at a Time.
In today’s conversation, we explain the key factors that might be preventing you from optimizing your food choices, and what needs to happen within our food system to ensure everyone has access to good nutrition. Mark will then take us through his daily nutrition routine, to give us an example of a day of healthy eating to boost brain performance.
WHAT DRIVES OUR FOOD CHOICES
- There is no such thing as junk food—there is junk, and there is food. If there is an aisle of “health food” in a supermarket, what is the rest of the food?
- Food can cause suffering, but it can also be medicine.
- For many people, it can be hard to access and find good food. Our food choices are dictated by the food industry, which drives the education of our lawmakers, who drive government policies relating to food and nutrition.
- Food can contribute to a wide variety of chronic illnesses and mental illnesses.
- Food can affect our mental performance, and can negatively affect the ability of children to concentrate and perform in school—kids who go without breakfast or subsist on processed foods will struggle to participate.
- Brain exercises and training won’t work unless you are looking after your brain with good nutrition.
- It is much harder to be focused and attentive when your brain is fuelled by junk.
- If you care about your health and your brain, you will make food choices that will have a positive ripple effect.
- If you are depressed, anxious, malnourished, and you have brain fog, how are you going to make good food choices and help your brain work properly?
- To live a fulfilled and satisfying life, you have to be present, but it is impossible to do this when you feel bad.
- The way we farm affects our health—there has been a 90% decline in available edible plant species because of the way we farm, which has severely limited our food options.
- There are grains out there like Himalayan buckwheat that are incredible for our health and the environment, but they are not freely available for consumption—we need more science in our food chain to make grains like this available.
- Coca-Cola is one of the biggest recipients of funds through food stamps—we need to put good nutrition back in the guidelines for the SNAP program.
DR HYMAN’S DAY OF NUTRITION
- Dr. Hyman has a morning coffee and waits to eat until 10 or 11 am in the morning.
- Breakfast is an “alkagiser” shake, which is tons of veggies mixed in a blender.
- Lunch is a big salad, with wild salmon or sardines, and pumpkin seeds.
- Dinner is more vegetables and a small serve of plant-based proteins and sustainable fish.
- When dining out, try to find restaurants focused on whole foods and nutrient dense foods.
- Always take snacks with you in your bag, so you don’t get caught out—anything made from a few simple ingredients. This could include jerky, macadamia nuts, and nut butter.
- Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us (@jimkwik and @markhymanmd) and tell us your favorite aha! moment. We’ll repost some of our favorites!
*Please note, this episode is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.*
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