The Brain Bible: How to Stay Vital, Productive, and Happy for a Lifetime is based on recent developments in neuroscience and health psychology. Instead of a gimmicky quick fix, this book offers a formula of the five main factors shown to contribute to brain health.
The book was written by John Arden, PhD, who in 2010 took the publishing world by storm with his book Rewire Your Brain.
The three areas where you can make a difference with eDiets and Dr. Arden are DIET (what you eat and drink directly affects your brain health), EXERCISE (starting a fitness routine is simpler than you think.) and SLEEP (get enough but not too much sleep).
Dr. Arden recently sat down with eDiets for this exclusive interview.
You say small changes mean a lot when it comes to keeping the brain vital and productive. Let's start with diet and fitness. What kind of small steps can we make here to be happy for a lifetime?
Practice these dietary guidelines:
A healthy brain diet consists of a mixture of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). Consume whole and balanced foods to build a healthy brain. Avoid simple carbohydrates. The lower a carbohydrate is on the glycemic index, the better. Make sure that your fats are balanced and avoid trans fatty acids entirely. Stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. Avoid red meat as a regular part of your diet. Eat fish two to three times a week. Consume a balanced diet consisting of a complex carbohydrate, a protein, and a fruit or vegetable. Avoid fried foods. Avoid highly processed foods.
What are some of the best "brain boosting activities" and why?
If you have a lawn, use a mower that requires you to push it or at the very least walk behind it. Take advantage of seasonal chores such as raking leaves and shoveling snow. Use the stairs instead of the elevator. Sweep the driveway, patio, and walkway. Take public transportation, walk to the station, and get off one or two stops before your stop and walk home from there. Make running errands a form of exercise. Park at the far end of the parking lot and then circumnavigate the shopping mall before entering it. Go dancing. Walk the dog briskly. Bicycle or walk to explore your neighborhood and increase the distance each time.
What is the activity-brain connection and how much activity is the sweet spot for a better and sharper brain?
Take a class in a subject in which you have limited knowledge. Join a book club that assigns nonfiction books. Learn to play chess and play it often. Engage in working memory exercises. Travel to foreign countries, especially in the third world. Learn to play a musical instrument. Learn another language. Take in a museum on a regular basis. Go to community lectures on a wide range of subjects.
What inspired you to enter this field – and to go on to write books about the brain?
I have always been interested in bridging unaddressed gaps in our knowledge. In this case it is the intersection between health, mental health, and the brain.
How is this book like a Bible? Is it the answer to our prayers for a stronger mind?
It represents a consensus by researchers of the five most important brain healthy factors.
To what do you equate the apparent growth of mind-robbing afflictions such as Alzheimer's, senility and dementia?
We are living longer while we are not preparing for extended age with good lifestyle practices, which is why my SEEDS factors are so critical
For more information, grab a copy of The Brain Bible right now – we offer it here at eDiets because we know the mind is a terrible thing to waist – just as much as your waist is a terrible thing to mind.
eDiets Chief Editor John McGran has an extensive background in online dieting and tabloid news. He covers the celebrity beat for eDiets.