Dr. Brant Cortright is a clinical psychologist and has a practice in San Francisco. What makes his work unique is the fact that he focuses on a holistic and neuroscience based approach to brain health. Dr. Cortright specializes in depression, meaning, relationships, and anxiety. He is the author of two books, a professor, and will also do speaking engagements and workshops.
The journey to writing his book…1:05
- His whole career, Dr. Cortright was involved in consciousness work and how we have underestimated the brain. His book, Neurogenesis Diet and Lifestyle: Upgrade Your Brain, Upgrade Your Life, focuses on brain health and diet. He was writing a book about depression when he came upon neurogenesis and decided to run with that.
How to increase the rate of neurogenesis….5:00
- Diet is probably the biggest influencing factor because to build a good brain, we need high quality materials. The brain is made up of fat; so in turn, we need a diet with high quality fats. Stay away from oxidized fats (vegetable oil) and make sure you get plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (molecularly distilled fish oil). A low carbohydrate, low sugar, and low caffeine diet is best for many reasons.
Top supplements we really need…12:15
- Omega-3, green tea extract, curcumin, and tumeric.
Does neurogenesis benefit from physical activity…14:30
- Yes! Whether it’s writing, talking, or learning a new skill. Stimulating our brains is key.
Other aspects to improve our brain health…16:45
- All physical activity is good for the body. When it comes to neurogenesis, aerobic exercise has a powerful effect on our brains. High intensity interval training has no effect on neurogenesis but for brain health, we should be doing aerobic training. Being in nature also stimulates brain growth.
- There are two different kinds of spiritual practices that help stimulate neurogenesis. One is mindfulness mediation: bringing our attention into the now. This involves being extremely aware of the present moment you are in. The other form is being aware of the heart opening. This could include devotionals, prayer, kindness or loving acts.
Other components that would help brain growth…21:00
- Bad stress is a killer to our brain cells. Good stress is short term and low/moderate stress that helps us get stronger. Don’t be ‘on’ all the time. Unplug from phones and computers to disconnect and take a break.
One thing to start making their brain healthy…24:15
- Reduce carbs, increase good fats -especially Omega-3s.