Neuron Illustration

I just saw this amazing TEDTalk by Dr. Sandrine Thuret called “You Can Grow New Brain Cells. Here’s How.” In the video, Dr. Thuret describes the process of brain cell growth and how diet, and lifestyle affect our ability to grow new brain cells. I was struck by how similar her recommendations for growing healthy nerve cells aligned with the principles of my 7 Steps to Feel Fabulous, Look Vibrant,and Think Clearly. It truly is a time that modern science and collective human experience have found a meeting place for health and longevity.

I found it amazing that by the time we are fifty, we have a whole new set of neurons. This clearly demonstrates that we can recreate our body and mind on a daily basis. Even though this process of creation slows as we age, it continues throughout our entire life. It also reaffirms that it is never too late to start moving in the direction of health. The majority of my clients, including elderly ones report that they are more physically and mentally energetic sometimes only days or weeks after making these changes. They often feel more calm, think more clearly and have better moods when they improve their diet and lifestyle. One elderly client in his 80s reported that his recall improved significantly and his IQ increased by several points during two years of macrobiotic practice. Even though he did not have Alzheimer’s, he participated in a study for Alzheimer’s research.

It is becoming more well known that our second digestive system in our gut has a strong influence on our overall health, moods and mental processes. This research demonstrates how the quality of our diet and lifestyle affect both our digestive and mental health. This research also explains why a high fat, high sugar, soft diet devoid of nutrients is so harmful to health as well as neurogenesis.

When we have a varied, nutrient rich diet coupled with healthy, natural, life-related activity and an open, positive attitude, we create the best conditions for a healthy, older, active mind. Elders in the past were esteemed for their mental acuity, which was the natural result of their healthier diet and lifestyle. I wanted to compare some of her suggestions with my 7 steps.

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All of these important nutrients are abundantly available through the regular consumption of grains, beans, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and fruits (a varied plant-based diet). In addition, proper methods of cooking and food preparation (includes raw, well and lightly-cooked foods) enhance and increase the bioavailable nutrition in foods. I would like to stress that macrobiotic practice focuses on foods rather than specific nutrients. This list I provided may look different, but contains all the same nutrients and more, with the addition and emphasis of sitting down to meals and chewing well, including cooked grains, pickled, and fermented foods.

Isn’t it amazing that all of these things have been known and practiced for thousands of years around the world?

Tradition is a guide and not a jailer.– W. Somerset Maugham