Best Brain Foods: Berries & Nuts Put to the Test

Best Brain Foods: Berries & Nuts Put to the Test
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Randomized controlled studies put nuts, berries, and grape juice to the test for cognitive function.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

When you read articles like this in Alzheimer’s disease journals, about how “Eating more berries may reduce cognitive decline in the elderly,” they’re talking about observational studies like this, where “berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years” in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, or the “intake of nuts” appearing to delay brain aging by two years. They’re just talking about associations. Berry-eaters and nut-eaters tend to have better brain function as they age after trying to control for a bunch of other lifestyle factors, but you don’t know if it’s cause and effect…until you put it to the test. Thankfully, we now have a growing number of interventional studies that have done just that. Randomized, controlled trials where people eat berries or nuts and you can prove it—actually show improvements in cognitive performance, raising the berry nutty idea that we may be able to forestall or reverse the effects of neurodegeneration in aging with food.

For example, this study on the “effects of walnut consumption on cognitive performance.” College students split up into groups doing two months of walnuts, followed by two months of placebo or vice versa, and then they switch. How do you make a placebo nut? They baked it in. They gave people banana bread with or without nuts; same ingredients, just one with walnuts, and those on the nuts showed a significant improvement in “inference capacity,” the ability to accurately draw conclusions from a set of facts—in other words, critical thinking. And so, on a practical level, “maybe students or young professionals in…fields that involve a great deal of critical thinking or decision-making could possibly benefit and gain a slight advantage through regular consumption of walnuts.”

Or this berry study, where they randomized folks to some crazy berry smoothie with blueberries, black currants, elderberries, lingonberries, strawberries, and…a tomato. And not only did their bad cholesterol drop about 10 points, they “performed better” on short-term memory tests. So, good for heart, good for the brain. And not just better on like pencil-and-paper tests, but real-world applications. Give people Concord grape juice versus some fake grape Kool-Aid-type placebo, and you can get improved performance on everyday tasks—like quicker response times in driving tests. Why not just give people Concord grapes instead of juice? Well, then, it’s harder to create a placebo, and, of course, the study was paid for by Welch’s.

Okay, fruit and nuts; what about vegetables? “Consumers of cruciferous vegetables, (cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts) [have been found to perform] better in several cognitive tests than non-users.” And, in terms of cognitive decline with aging, “women consuming the most green leafy vegetables” did better—effectively slowing brain aging a year or two, and not just cruciferous, but other dark green leafies like spinach; so, maybe it’s the nitrates.

As we age, our cerebral blood flow drops—the amount of blood flowing through our brain, “which may be due to an age-related decrease in the production of [nitric oxide],” the open-sesame molecule that dilates our blood vessels and is boosted by the consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables. “This reduction in blood flow to the brain [may be] a major risk factor for the impairment of cognitive function and development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.”

We know nitrate-rich vegetables like leafy greens and beets can improve physiological performance, like beet juice does for athletes. But what about cognitive performance? We’ll find out…next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: StockSnap via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

When you read articles like this in Alzheimer’s disease journals, about how “Eating more berries may reduce cognitive decline in the elderly,” they’re talking about observational studies like this, where “berry intake appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years” in the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study, or the “intake of nuts” appearing to delay brain aging by two years. They’re just talking about associations. Berry-eaters and nut-eaters tend to have better brain function as they age after trying to control for a bunch of other lifestyle factors, but you don’t know if it’s cause and effect…until you put it to the test. Thankfully, we now have a growing number of interventional studies that have done just that. Randomized, controlled trials where people eat berries or nuts and you can prove it—actually show improvements in cognitive performance, raising the berry nutty idea that we may be able to forestall or reverse the effects of neurodegeneration in aging with food.

For example, this study on the “effects of walnut consumption on cognitive performance.” College students split up into groups doing two months of walnuts, followed by two months of placebo or vice versa, and then they switch. How do you make a placebo nut? They baked it in. They gave people banana bread with or without nuts; same ingredients, just one with walnuts, and those on the nuts showed a significant improvement in “inference capacity,” the ability to accurately draw conclusions from a set of facts—in other words, critical thinking. And so, on a practical level, “maybe students or young professionals in…fields that involve a great deal of critical thinking or decision-making could possibly benefit and gain a slight advantage through regular consumption of walnuts.”

Or this berry study, where they randomized folks to some crazy berry smoothie with blueberries, black currants, elderberries, lingonberries, strawberries, and…a tomato. And not only did their bad cholesterol drop about 10 points, they “performed better” on short-term memory tests. So, good for heart, good for the brain. And not just better on like pencil-and-paper tests, but real-world applications. Give people Concord grape juice versus some fake grape Kool-Aid-type placebo, and you can get improved performance on everyday tasks—like quicker response times in driving tests. Why not just give people Concord grapes instead of juice? Well, then, it’s harder to create a placebo, and, of course, the study was paid for by Welch’s.

Okay, fruit and nuts; what about vegetables? “Consumers of cruciferous vegetables, (cabbage, cauliflower, kale, collards, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts) [have been found to perform] better in several cognitive tests than non-users.” And, in terms of cognitive decline with aging, “women consuming the most green leafy vegetables” did better—effectively slowing brain aging a year or two, and not just cruciferous, but other dark green leafies like spinach; so, maybe it’s the nitrates.

As we age, our cerebral blood flow drops—the amount of blood flowing through our brain, “which may be due to an age-related decrease in the production of [nitric oxide],” the open-sesame molecule that dilates our blood vessels and is boosted by the consumption of nitrate-rich vegetables. “This reduction in blood flow to the brain [may be] a major risk factor for the impairment of cognitive function and development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.”

We know nitrate-rich vegetables like leafy greens and beets can improve physiological performance, like beet juice does for athletes. But what about cognitive performance? We’ll find out…next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: StockSnap via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

81 responses to “Best Brain Foods: Berries & Nuts Put to the Test

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  1. Interesting video,thanks!
    But I wish you didn’t have the whooshing sounds at the start & end of the videos,it’s very unpleasant when wearing earphones.Is anyone else bothered by it?

    1. I always thought the sound at the beginning and end were different , after just listening to it now they are the same . It really doesn’t affect me as it seems to help me take my mind off other things and get ready to listen .
      On another subject , juices normally don’t come out to good in nutrition fact videos , however drinking beet juice may be a simple convenient way to get a more nitrite rich vegetable into your diet .

      1. I don’t mind the sound, but I don’t use ear phones.

        Mr Pinkerton,

        I have been pondering the to juice and smoothie or not to juice and smoothie and I find that I am back to not eating fruit unless I juice and smoothie.

        It encourages me that some of these studies use juices.

        I love grape juice and grapefruit juice and pineapple juice and carrot juice and apple cider and tomato juice but I don’t drink them because I stopped seeing value in them and for a while I eat the whole foods, then I stop. Then I start again. Then I stop.

        I get confused about whether I am better off getting the nutrition or whether it is going to mess with my calories and blood sugar.

        1. Deb, I LOVE fruit!! I love eating it whole. Well, ok, sometimes cut into slices. And when I make a smoothie, I drink it too fast and my stomach hurts. But I wouldn’t make juice: I hate to waste food, and juicing leaves a lot of waste. Plus, the “waste” is good food, full of fiber and who knows what else that my body likes. So, I eat fruit whole. Or sliced.

          Oh, and I have a small kitchen, and definitely don’t want another appliance.

          I also make soy milk at home, but I don’t filter it, for the same reasons: I hate to waste food, and I want to eat the whole soybeans, and not leave parts of it behind.

          1. Dr J, I agree that it’s better to eat the whole food rather than juicing it, throwing away the fiber and other good nutrients. I blend fruits and a variety of berries into a smoothie and drink about 12 oz over a period of a day.so it’s not all gulped down in one sitting. Seems to work very well for me.

            1. I will say that it is more that I went 30 years of not eating even one piece of fruit, but I genuinely like juice. And I like juice better than smoothies, which when I do smoothies, they are heavy in bananas and don’t have many other fruits other than a few green grapes.

              Juices, I could drink a whole container of grape juice or grapefruit juice or tomato juice and I don’t do that, but I find I fall back to no fruit when I don’t do juice.

              1. Even talking about it, I suddenly started wanting orange juice or carrot juice.

                Those all are comfort foods.

                Maybe it is because they digest easily.

                I haven’t thought that part through.

                And, no, I am not juicing yet. Pondering it because I stopped eating fruit.

                Pondering it for my dog when I bring him off the water fast.

                I feel like carrot juice being Gerson might be a good first food to try.

                1. I might be craving juice because of missing some nutrient. The problem is that if I buy fruit and don’ juice it, I end up throwing it out.

                  I am very picky about textures and ripeness and sweetness versus bitter, etc.

                  I think that is why I had the perception of hating fruit.

                  I also got sick on it when I was young and fainted if it wasn’t organic.

                  1. Wow, Deb, no fruit in over 30 years? You are indeed an unusual lady. I love them all. Mother Nature at her creative best!

                    I don’t even have a favorite; they all have special unique attributes. Watermelon; juicy ripe peach; banana; cherries in season; a pear (which I haven’t had in a long time, dunno why); blueberries; apples, etc. etc. Am sure I’ll think of others. (Am not including the dried fruit, just the fresh fruit.)

                    Naturally, we can’t overdo the fruit eating, just like anything else we eat or do.

                    1. I am more like: I like green grapes when they are sweet. I like watermelon when it doesn’t taste vinegary. I like bananas when they aren’t brown or slimy. I like red delicious apples when they are juicy and big and sweet and don’t have any brown spots at all. When I eat fruit, every answer has qualifying sentences. I like tomatoes when they are in a sauce or paste or in my wraps. I like oranges if they are perfectly sweet and that happens sometimes. I can get Cora Cora’s or Clementines or Navel oranges, but I haven’t liked the taste of the Navel ones in a few years.

                      When I drink juice, I have never had a “it’s not ripe enough or sweet enough or it is too slimy” experience, so emotionally: I like cranberry juice. I like carrot juice. I like apple juice. I like tomato juice. I like grapefruit juice. I like orange juice. Oops, that is where I lied already. I have had orange juice, which tasted bitter.

                  2. I think that is why I had the perception of hating fruit.

                    I also got sick on it when I was young and fainted if it wasn’t organic.
                    ———————————————————————————————

                    I seriously doubt you could tell the difference via taste alone… mind over matter. ‘-)

                    1. It doesn’t take much for Deb to faint, from what’s she’s posted earlier.

                      As I once told her, I’ve never fainted in my life…..have no idea what that feels like.

                    2. Well, that’s some serious sensitivity. ‘-)

                      As for fainting, I’ve fainted 3 times in my life. Once when in grade school and a couple of friends were playing stretch… that is, throwing pocket knives at each others feet. Can’t remember exactly how the game went but I do remember one guy trying to get close to the other guy’s foot and nailed him right in the top of his U.S. Keds. Back then I couldn’t stand the sight of blood. Now I sit and watch when blood is drawn and ask the technician if she could draw some extra so my marrow could be triggered to make more. She doesn’t listen and 4 vials is all she ever draws.

                      Another time was in the Army in the chow hall when coming in from a cold and damp Louisiana basic training day into the very hot chow hall. In the chow line I still had my field jacket on and got swimmy headed and fell over. Turns out I had a fever and spent a few days in an army hospital… if you can call a wooden barracks a hospital.

                      The third time was about a year or so ago when in Tampa getting a 7 unit plasma transfusion to replenish my blood proteins with younger versions. The trainee guy trying to get the needle in kept missing the vein on my left arm and the Dr told him to move over to my right arm. He went too deep and hit the bone and I went out like a light. I do remember when I woke up I felt refreshed and the needle was in and the plasma was flowing.

                    3. I’d love to know if anybody here has had a/an NDE. Now THAT would be interesting! (Probably nobody’s reading this older comment section, though.)

                      Fainting is just….well….a sort of training bra, it sounds like. Away for a short while, and then back again, with nothing to “report.”

                      If you topple over in a faint, you could hit your skull on something sharp and then there’d be hell to pay! Glad I’m not prone to such stuff….so far.

                    4. If you topple over in a faint, you could hit your skull on something sharp and then there’d be hell to pay! Glad I’m not prone to such stuff….so far.
                      —————————————————————————————————
                      Something similar… someone I’ve known for years (ran around with my older brothers) was trying to load his eight dogs into his 4 wheeler and one of the dogs jumped into the front seat and hit the gas pedal. The 4 wheeler was in reverse and idling but the paw on the pedal caused the quick response rearward and knocked him down, hitting his head on stone. He lived some 20 miles from the nearest medical center but probably didn’t matter as he bled out quickly.

                    5. “….but the paw on the pedal caused the quick response rearward and knocked him down, hitting his head on stone. He lived some 20 miles from the nearest medical center but probably didn’t matter as he bled out quickly.”
                      – – – – – – – – – – –

                      That’s sad. Lord, deliver us from death by freak accident!

                      Every once in a while we hear of a young person — with everything to live for — who falls off a mountain or something while taking a selfie. Or a beloved pet suddenly turns on its owner and does him in. Just for starters. :-(

                1. Tom,

                  Thanks. That is seriously helpful.

                  Mentally, that is where I go back to Gerson. They don’t use a whole lot of fruit, but they do use some and have people healed of Diabetes on their program. Apple and Carrot juice is big in their program.

                  I wonder if Dr. Barnard limited fruit juice.

                  He got people off of Diabetes meds and I think he did it limiting fat and animal products and refined carbs.

                  I have to find a question and answer page for him.

        2. Deb, remember the avocado and wine video (I don’t remember the name) where it showed that red wine actually was able to keep blood sugar closer to baseline in a meal due to the antioxidants? On the other hand, the alcohol increased blood triglyceride levels from the meal so it was suggested (based on my memory) that grape juice would have done the same thing without raising triglyceride. Do a juice high in antioxidants might not be so bad going on that.
          Obviously you get the most from the whole food but I also see the value in enjoyment. I think in other videos or another video, going on memory, apple juice was shown to spike blood sugar.

    2. You need to listen to gmorevealed.com It’s a 9 part documentary that covers all the adverse effects that if eliminated would vastly improve overall health.

    3. It seems to be a annoying trend for youtube videos that people think they need an ‘intro’ before they start the actual video presentation the video was clicked on for. At least the one here is very short and just a sound that is about the same volume as the rest of the video. Not the case with so many others elsewhere.

      1. Have to agree with you, Reality. In many vlogs the “host” feels we need the flashing lights, beating drums, bells and whistles etc. as an introduction. This nonsense takes up a good coupla minutes. I always think let’s get on with it already, or I’m outta here!

        Have posted before that I go directly to the transcript rather than listen to Dr. G’s video. Nothing against Dr. G., am just sayin’. :-)

        1. The intros here are like a millisecond! If someone is gonna be THAT nit-picky, they’re just trying to be at that point. Lol come on…

          YR, I totally agree about long intros on YouTube videos that actually take up time.

          I like the little bell sound here, personally.

  2. I was actually back to watching Gerson videos yesterday and was pondering fruit and vegetable juices even for my dog.

    I went to the Paleo and Keto and Vegan Keto websites first and the Paleo and Keto people who are more respected are saying things like: if you are going to eat animal products, you need about 10 servings of higher nutrition vegetables per day. They aren’t arguing against the conclusions that animal products cause Cancer. They are communicating that 10 servings of cruciferous vegetables and garlic neutralizes the damage from animal products. I thought it was interesting that they were arguing from that direction. They might be eating more veggies than some vegans.

    1. Deb, don’t you think it’s odd that Paleo and Keto folks are admitting that animal products cause damage? I do. So why eat the animal products in the first place?

      Also, it’s not only fruits and veggies that are healthy, but also legumes and whole grains. So why avoid these? And what about nuts and seeds?

    2. Deb, I agree with Dr. J. I never really understood the logic behind saying that if you eat or drink a lot of one thing, then it’s okay eat or drink something that’s harmful to you. Why not just eat stuff that doesn’t kill you in the first place?

      It reminds me of a friend of a friend who was a heavy drinker. He told me on several occasions that he never got hangovers because he drank at least a litre or 2 of water before going to bed. He said the water counteracted the effects of a hangover. That was back in the late 90s. He’s dead now.

      1. Dr. J. and Nancy,

        I agree with you. If people can eat the healthy stuff, that is what they should eat.

        I have people who are so far Keto that they would just do meat and coconut oil and I am pondering that there is a version of Keto, which eats 10 servings of plant-based superfoods.

        Mostly, I am pondering it for my dog. In a week or so, I am going to have to feed him again and he stopped eating Vegan and he never would eat Coconut oil. It is likely that he will still need a week or two or three more of low Methionine or staying in Keto if I stop the fast too soon. It is a toss up between juices and trying to get him to eat coconut oil again and I am wondering can I feed him hamburgers if I feed him enough low glycemic index superfood vegetables? He never liked lentils or rice or berries. He used to like sweet potatoes and tempeh and he might start that again, but it really is hamburger that he still loved the most. I have tried various vegan dog foods and vegan homemade dog food recipes and I tried meat-based canned foods, too. When we left off the feeding, he was only eating Wendy’s Hamburgers. He looks markedly better since fasting and is still communicating that he wants to eat, but I don’t know what I will feed him. He didn’t like dog broth or raw or fish or most vegan but constantly was communicating, “Feed me” and he is back to communicating “Hey, It’s me, your dog. You forgot to feed me again.”

        My coworker is so upset with me for doing this process and he told me that he was going to sneak him the burgers. He said, “I hate that you believe all of that junk on the internet. He needs calories.” He is a dear old friend who puts up with my families nonsense and has for 20 years and I am not upset that he was threatening to go into my house and feed my dog. I know he thinks I am killing my dog. I don’t even know how to explain that I didn’t tell him about it for 9 days until he guessed because he is anti-everything I would try to do to save my dog’s life.

  3. Glad that walnuts were on the list. That one is easy for me.

    Maybe I can eat a handful of walnuts and then figure out fruit better!

  4. Ah, so not all oil is bad after all? I don’t think I have ever heard it here before.

    Nut oils keep the brain and nerves in top shape, and their skin is rich in anti-oxidants. The perfect compliment to fruit.

    1. There’s a difference between whole nuts and nut oils. Nut oils are highly processed. Nuts like walnuts are a whole food. I don’t recall seeing oils mentioned in the video as healthy.

          1. If it’s literally just ‘a few drops’, you could probably get the same effect by squeezing an olive between your thumb and forefinger?

            Well, unless Mercury is in retrograde of course.

            1. Nah, easier to drip the olive oil from a small bottle.

              Alas, Mercury will officially turn retro a week from today, Thursday. As we’re in the “shadow,” we’re gearing up for it, and starting to feel it aready.

              Wait for it! Should be lots of fun ‘n games going on around here during that 3-weeks transit. :-(

              1. Yup, feeling it already is right. Thursday should be amended to read “Friday” of next week.

                Are we perfectly clear on this? (Does anybody really care?) :-)

        1. Navy Corpsman, “Part of the reason we don’t tend to gain weight when adding nuts to our diet may be because we end up flushing nearly one third of the calories down the toilet because we just don’t chew well enough. This is why we think there’s so much less fat in our bloodstream after eating whole almonds compared to the same amount of almond oil taken out of the same quantity of nuts.” https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/11/08/almonds-vs-rice-vs-potatoes-for-osteoporosis/

    2. Nuts and seeds are very healthful, as opposed to oils, as Lisa S said. Here’s a recent link summarizing the effects of nut-eating among the 7th Day Adventists.
      https://publichealth.llu.edu/adventist-health-studies/findings/findings-past-studies/adventist-health-study-findings-nuts

      Dr. Fuhrman claimed in his The End of Heart Disease book that the longest lived group among the 7th Day Adventists were actually vegans who ate nuts, although I have not been able to track down the original study showing that.

      Skip the oils, eat whole foods!

      1. gengogakusha,

        Have you seen a page with the actual foods eaten?

        I know that the Vegan women died earlier than the fish eating women and the lacto-ovo women and that the Vegan women ate meat analogues (25% of them ate them more than 4 times per week and 76% of them were eating them and were getting the Sodium from them.)

        I want to know if the Vegan women ate nuts.

        1. So far my list of what went wrong that the vegan women messed up the results are:

          They ate meat analogues – meaning processed food with salt.

          They were the group less likely to do hormonal replacement therapy and more likely to get wrist fractures – possibly related to low B-12 (That is a guess, but low B-12 messes up arterial benefits of vegans and low B-12 might be linked to fracture. They aren’t sure yet, but it is related to hyper homocysteine which can cause all sorts of problems.

          Now, did they also not eat nuts?

    3. Hi Navy! Perhaps it is more accurate to say not all fats are bad after all. As others have mentioned, in this video Dr. Greger is referring to whole nuts rather than nut oils. While nuts of course have plentiful health benefits, oils can actually have adverse effects on arterial function. But whole nuts certainly are the perfect compliment to fruit!

      1. You have to watch out when you buy nuts though because some brands use oil on them. I never knew that until recently.

        I was always buying raw nuts, but I bought a jar of Planters mixed nuts and it tasted good, but I immediately knew that the nuts had salt and when I looked they also had oil.

      2. Please folks, I have a highly distressing psychological condition. It’s called pedantry and I experience severe physical pain when people refer to ‘compliment’ when they mean ‘complement’, or to ‘disinterested’ when they mean ‘uninterested’.

        it’s a good thing that I don’t live in the US with its easy access to guns or I would have shot myself years ago.

        Have mercy on me, please!

        1. LOL!

          There are so many better reasons to shoot oneself or other people if you live in America than spelling and word choice errors.

          1. Thanks Tim. Yes, I do feel that way myself sometimes. For example, when people wrongly use an adjective instead of an adverb (yes, you Dr Greger). Or this bizarre habit people have of adding ‘of’ every single time they use the words ‘outside’ or ‘inside’. It used to be that people just laughed when some poor illiterate soul did that. Now everybody does it, even educated people..

            My reaction must be an illness …. it causes me to have apoplectic fits on a regular basis after all. It’s a good thing that here at the asylum, they don’t allow me to have a gun. Mind you, that fire axe looks mighty handy………..

            1. Fumbles said, ” For example, when people wrongly use an adjective instead of an adverb.”
              – – – – –

              How ’bout when we (yes, I’m guilty of this ) mess up the nouns/verbs by saying,”I plan to train down to NYC.”

        2. Sorry Fumbles, I’m scared of guns, so don’t have one to give to you.

          And I cringe whenever I hear or read somebody say “I could care less.” If they truly thought about it, what they really mean is “I could NOT care less.” Or they say “less” when it should be “fewer.” For instance, fewer calories, not “less” calories.

          What to do? As the holy penguins in parochial grade school used to tell us, “Offer it up for the poor souls in Purgatory.” :-)

          1. Yes.

            It is a natural thing for language to change over time but nevertheless these sorts of things remind me of the hypothesis that domesticated animals become less intelligent than their wild equivalents or forebearers. Or at least they have smaller brains. This is perhaps because a big brain is expensive calorifically but confers no real advantage to domestic animals.

            The corollary is that humans have also domesticated themselves and intelligence doesn’t aid reproductive success in such situations.. In modern (Western) societies, the argument goes, the intelligent (or at least the better educated) have fewer children while the less educated have more.

            It has been said that over the last 20,000 years human brain size has also been shrinking.

            “Which brings us to an unpleasant possibility. “You may not want to hear this,” says cognitive scientist David Geary of the University of Missouri, “but I think the best explanation for the decline in our brain size is the idiocracy theory.” Geary is referring to the eponymous 2006 film by Mike Judge about an ordinary guy who becomes involved in a hibernation experiment at the dawn of the 21st century. When he wakes up 500 years later, he is easily the smartest person on the dumbed-down planet. “I think something a little bit like that happened to us,” Geary says. In other words, idiocracy is where we are now.”
            http://discovermagazine.com/2010/sep/25-modern-humans-smart-why-brain-shrinking

            It’s humbling to think that we are all stupider than some flea-ridden caveman from 20,000 years go.

        3. Mr Fumblefingers, Re your statement:” it’s a good thing that I don’t live in the US with its easy access to guns or I would have shot myself years ago.”

          No fear, come and live in Chicago. We have some of the most strict gun control laws in the world here in Chicago, so It’s very safe here. Not a single law-abiding citizen here has a gun.

          Oh, did I say it was safe here…. oh, never mind.

        4. BTW, Fumbles, what brought on this topic? Yikes, was it something I/one of us said? Curious minds wish to know.

          I admit I often get mistrust and distrust mixed up. And lay and lie. Always have to go to that Grammar link to double-check.

          Unless, of course, I don’t give a rat’s ass. Or if “I couldn’t care less.” :-)

          1. A couple of people were talking about how nuts were a ‘compliment ‘ to fruit, which caused me great psychic distress. Then I whined about it and, half a dozen posts later, here we are.

      3. “…..oils can actually have adverse effects on arterial function.”
        – – – – –

        I think it depends on the kinds of oils and just how much of it is used. I have no fear that my few EVOO drippy-drips will cause me grief.

        People seem to angst over the nuttiest things! (Did I make a punny-poo?)

  5. I have been wondering if I was the only person who had a problem with the “sounds”! I have not listened to this video. However, the volume of the videos is inconsistent and some of them are too loud. The volume could easily be standardized to avoid damage to hearing and provide an excellent educational experience! With all the effort to put the videos in a multiple languages, standardizing the volume is something that should take a little effort for a big return. Thanks

  6. For the record, “Concord” is pronounced like “conquered” not like “con-chord”. I have relatives who grew up in the very town the grapes come from as well as Welch’s headquarters.

  7. Nice fruit mix added to the bowl of granola in the picture. And what plant milk do you suggest we dampen the whole thing down with since (according to previous videos) soy interferes with phytonutrients from berries?

  8. As for whether or not nitrates are good for cognition, I read some years ago that reperfusion to parts of the brain that have had low oxygen delivery, can result in that part of the brain becoming active again. The study I read said reperfusion occurred after consuming beet root juice.

    Something that in some ways seem contradictory to having high oxygen delivered throughout the body is found in the study in the link below:
    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/usmc-lel103116.php

    It said: Researchers with the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine gradually lowered the oxygen in the air breathed by mice until it was at 7 percent – about the concentration of oxygen at the top of Mt. Everest. After two weeks in the low-oxygen environment, the heart muscle cells – called cardiomyocytes – were dividing and growing. Under normal circumstances cardiomyocytes do not divide in adult mammals.

  9. Hey my friends, I have been looking where to ask this question..not sure where to go.
    I’ve been seeing You Tube Doctors talk about vitamin K2.
    They say it’s only in grass fed meats and cheeses, etc
    Is this at all true? Or just more BS?

    1. Bill, you can do an online search: food sources of vitamin K. Then go to a reputable site. Here’s the first one:

      “Food Sources
      The best way to get the daily requirement of vitamin K is by eating food sources. Vitamin K is found in the following foods:
      Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce
      Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
      Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain smaller amounts)”
      https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002407.htm

      Me? I vote for the plant based foods.

    2. Yes, you can get pre-formed vitamin k2 in animal foods but it doesn’t have to be grass-fed as far as I know.

      However, our intestinal bacteria also synthesise vitamin k2. The amounts vary according to the types of bacteria in our guts. The meat and dairy advocates claim that this isn’t adequate but the evidence for this claim is either wobbly or non-existent. The other side of the fence says that these claims are just another desperate attempt to try to find some health justification for eating meat and dairy.

      Current mainstream nutritional thinking is that either dietary k1 or k2 are acceptable.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222299/#ddd00193

      And, as usual, Jack Norris is a good source of information on this topic
      https://veganhealth.org/vitamin-k/

      Dr Greger also has a short piece on this
      https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/best-sources-of-vitamin-k/

      Personally, I take a vitamin D3 supplement as per Dr Greger’s optimum nutrition recomendations but mine comes in a combined D3/K2 tablet.

  10. Hello Dr. Greger,

    Is there any research to believe that palatability including all sensory modalities has implications in nutrition beyond motivation? After hearing you speak on how people can respond to the same foods in different ways via their gut microbiome, and knowing how cravings can also stem from nutritional deficiencies, it sounds to me that there may be some relationship between taste preference and one’s unique nutritional needs. With the rise in personalized medicine, could specialized nutrition also benefit human health?
    On the contrary, I also suppose that nutritional needs could be so consistent that there would be no need for personalized nutrition and that taste is more of an evolutionary product than an indicator of current needs.

    1. Chris,
      There are many factors that influence our perceived palatability of food. Some physical, some emotional, some psychosocial… We do know that our preferences can change over time and based on our environment and dietary habits. Furthermore, some foods have addictive properties. Check out the following videos for more information. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/neurobiology-of-artificial-sweeteners/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-fatty-foods-addictive/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-sugary-foods-addictive/

  11. Nuts: Nature saw fit to protect nuts by housing them in a shell. The shells were intended by nature to protect their high concentration of precious fats from the ravages of heat and moisture. The truth is, when you combine heat with fat you end up with potentially cancerous free radical peroxides, and when moisture meets up with fat the result is often toxic mold.

  12. If the cognitive improvement is due to the nitrate component and the release of NO dilating vessel, then drugs like viagra, cialis PdE 5 inhibitors should improve cognition. Thoughts?

    1. then drugs like viagra, cialis PdE 5 inhibitors should improve cognition. Thoughts?
      —————————————————————————————————————
      I’m thinking you have to draw a distinction between the big head and the little head when referencing these drugs. My thinking is the way to improve cognition is activating NO via beet juice and/or dark chocolate consumption.

  13. Hey, I read in few places that although vegetables are healthy (dha), it’s better not to eat them in the morning on empty stomach as the fibres hurt the stomach or something. is it right? did I got it wrong and what is a good starting breakfast.

    1. shahar, that is absolutely not true. Vegetables are not harmful to the stomach and you can eat them at whatever part of the day you want and will be healthier for it. There is a lot of shameless misinformation out there, you really have to be careful about where you’re getting your information. When in doubt, don’t trust it unless backed up by cited scientific evidence that you can look into and see for yourself—as Dr. Greger has advised, say “show me the evidence.”
      What you read sounds like archaic folklore and unfortunately, there is a lot of that out there.

  14. Hi all! I am new to this site after having just purchased the How Not to Die cookbook. I have a question regarding food allergies. I have pollen allergies that cause me to have severe food allergies related specifically to birch pollen fruits/veggies. This means I cannot eat raw fruits and vegetables such as apples, carrots, celery, or pitted fruits like avocados, cherries, peaches, etc. It even stretches to fruits without a pit such as kiwis and strawberries, and other foods such as soy and raw almonds. I can eat these foods cooked or processed though, so I can eat an apple pie or soy sauce with sushi. This obviously severely limits what I can eat on a daily basis, especially if I am trying to become more plant based and unprocessed in my diet. Has anyone like myself ever successfully become strictly plant based or do you know if anyone has maybe been able to work to lessen their allergies to these types of food? (I did allergy shots in the past and just got epi injections after because my reactions were so severe.) Thank you in advance for any insight. I am very curious to know if I will ever be able to work past these allergies (I am 30, first developed them in my teens) or if I just will never know what an apple tastes like again :)

    1. There’s a ton of variety in the plant kingdom, that’s the good news. Even if you could never eat those raw foods again, you have so many others to choose from. And sticking to beans and whatever fruits, veggies, and other plant foods you can have, would be a lot healthier than eating eggs or meat or dairy. And that’s pretty cool you can still have them cooked at the very least.

      Good luck!

    2. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Welcome to the NF community.
      The biggest thing I would eliminate is all dairy. There has been some research which has shown that dairy is pro inflammatory and tends to increase our risk of having allergic reactions to other substances. There is evidence to suggest if you strengthen your immune system and decrease inflammation, you may be able to get past some of your allergies.
      This is a video Dr. Greger has made about allergies:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-food-for-hay-fever-seasonal-allergies/

      Dr. John McDougall, another plant based warrior and mentor of Dr. Greger’s has written more on this. I think you’ll find this information very helpful:
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/common-health-problems/allergic-reactions-to-food/

      All the best,
      NurseKelly

  15. Hi Kirsten, thanks for your comment. It would be a good idea to work with a dietitian to work on an elimination diet. The true food allergy is an immune based response and that is why you had to use epic pen to reduce the reaction you had after consuming the food that you are allergic to. One good news is that by cooking you can consume these food which is better than not being able to have them totally. There is

    Birch pollen (March­May) Hazelnut, apple, pear, peach, plum, cherry, strawberry, carrot, orange, persimmon,
    zucchini

    Grass pollen (May­ July) Tomato, peanut, pea, cereal grains, wheat, rye, apple, carrot

    Mugwort pollen (August­October) Celery, coriander

    Ragweed pollen (August­October) Melons, banana

    Other allergy: Latex Banana, chestnut, kiwi, avocado

    This is from CHESTER COUNTY OTOLARYNGOLOGY AND ALLERGY ASSOCIATES
    (A Division of Pinnacle Ear, Nose and Throat Associates) protocol.

    Keeping a diary helps to manage this much better.
    1. Write down in the Diet Diary “everything that enters your stomach” for two weeks . This includes medicines, vitamins,
    snacks, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and coffee as well as food.
    2. List the composition of mixed dishes and combinations of foods. It is not enough to write down “ham sandwich.” You should also indicate the kind of bread, spread, and dressing (e. g., ham sandwich, whole wheat bread, butter, mustard”).
    3. List all your symptoms and always indicate exactly when the symptoms started, how long they lasted, and how severe they were. Some of the common allergic symptoms which people experience are: running or congested nose, wheezing, shortness of breath, sneezing, cough, itching, cramps, gas, hives, headache, migraine, tired feeling, etc.
    4. Don’t put off filling out the diary until the end of the day. Memory, at best, is often unreliable. Write down exactly what you eat, drink, or take in any form when you do it or as soon as possible. This particularly applies to between­ meal snacks. It is a good idea to carry the diet diary with you in your purse or pocket.
    5. Be sure to record an observation of your symptoms before each meal or snack and after a meal or snack. Please mark the time of the meals, symptoms and medications.
    6. Always record any time a symptom is worse or better.
    Food Allergy Assessment
    Food allergy diagnosis and therapy: where are we now?

  16. Thank you all for your responses! I appreciate your time and the encouragement to keep going with a plant based diet, even with my limitations. Looking forward to watching even more of Dr. Greger’s videos.

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