#330 The Best Foods To Nourish Your Brain with Max Lugavere


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My guest today is on a mission to help people feel better, live longer, and maximise their brain health by optimising their diet. Max Lugavere is a science journalist and a New York Times bestselling author. He believes brain decline is not inevitable, we all have agency in how we age, and the secret lies in our food. This drive began following his mother’s diagnosis with Lewy body dementia aged just 58, and his frustration at the medical world’s ineffective, drugs-only approach to treatment. Years spent trawling the research and asking experts, “Why her?” has given him a wealth of knowledge that he is keen to share with others.

Through his books Genius Foods, The Genius Life, and cookbook Genius Kitchen, as well as a long-running podcast, Max shares evidence-based principles that will help all of us protect our brains. And his passion, along with an encyclopaedic ability to recall and communicate the science, is why I really wanted to talk to Max on my show.

Max talks us through the three food types we should think about cutting out – and why. We discuss ultra-processed foods and why it’s not in our nature to consume them in moderation. He explains the wholefood matrix, and the protective synergy that comes with eating foods, in a minimally processed state. If you’ve ever wondered about the healthiest fats to cook with, Max covers this in detail.

He also shares which specific foods he recommends we all include in our diets and what brain-healthy nutrients they provide. Perhaps controversially, we discuss the adage ‘Everything in moderation’ and why this might not be the healthiest approach. If we’re going to declare some foods good, says Max, other foods must therefore be bad. And within the context of a sick population, surely we should be bolder about advising people to quit the food types we know are unnatural and harmful?

Having experienced the trauma of his mother’s illness, Max isn’t bothered about the critics, he’s just really keen to help people. He’s an advocate for informed consent, sharing facts to enable us to make tailored, better food choices. Above all, his message is one of balance and realism. We can all make choices every single day that set us on the path to better health, even if we’re only taking baby steps. I immensely enjoyed my conversation with him. I hope you enjoy listening.

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Show notes https://drchatterjee.com/330

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