Difficulty: 4/10 (Moderate-Light)
Genre: Health, Nutrition
Main Idea: Eat whole, natural foods for better mental and physical health.
Recommended For: Anyone interested in health. Anyone suffering from anxiety or depression or just wants to improve brain function should try it out.
Here’s an interesting health book. Written by a practicing medical doctor who suffered from what he calls a “broken brain”. He proposes that anxiety, depression, mental fog, ADD, Alzheimer’s, and even some cases of autism are a result of this broken brain epidemic. He describes many reasons that explain why this brain problem exists. Toxins and pollutants in the air, mercury in fish, chemicals in our meat, loss of nutrients in our crops, increase of preservatives and chemicals in our food, poor diet, and the list goes on. The book gets more comprehensive than just talking about diet, as it also talks about the keys to a healthy lifestyle, mentally and physically, which are exercise, relaxation, mental exercise, and sleep.
Few Vitamins and Minerals, So Many Jobs
Here is the secret behind why what we eat is so important: There are a handful of vitamins and minerals that support a tremendous amount of functions in the body. From detoxification to regenerating new cells, to protecting against disease, the body has no problem staying busy. The only way to get these nutrients is through food. A low supply of just one nutrient can affect multiple physical functions.
Essential Supplement List
The book contains questionnaires and way more information on nutrient supplementation, but here’s the key vitamins that Dr. Hyman recommends for everyone.
Magnesium (aspartate, glycinate, ascorbate, tauate or citrate).
-Avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate, or oxide. They are the cheapest forms and poorly absorbed.
-Magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm steady, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong.
-A muscle relaxant that can help with anxiety.
-Try to get calcium from greens like spinach, kale, mustard greens, etc
-Maintains proper bone mass
-Calcium is needed for muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction and expansion, the secretion of hormones and enzymes, and transmission of messages through the nervous system. The brain is a key part of the nervous system.
-Calcium is absorbed best with Vitamin D3
-Dose: 2,000 IU/day
-Best form of D3 is cholecalciferol
-80% of people have suboptimal d3 in their blood.
-Low vitamin D is linked to depression
-You can get D3 from sunlight. This is the optimal way. If possible, get out in the sun for 30 minutes a day.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
-1,000 mg twice a day. One at night, one in the morning
-Get a reputable brand free from heavy metals
-Higher mercury levels are found in fish higher on the food chain since they eat more and live in the environment longer. Get a source of fish oil from smaller fish like sardines.
Folate (folic acid)
-800mcg with at least 400 coming from the active form or 5-MTHF
-If you are low in folate it is unlikely that an antidepressant will work.(People with low folate had a 7% response rate to anti-depressants in one study)
-In one study of elderly patients with memory complaints showed 15 mg of folate per day to significantly improve memory.
-50mg per day
-Vitamin B6 is needed for the brain to produce serotonin, the neurotransmitter that lifts mood and relaxes you
-May help ward off depression and improve memory and focus
-Good sources: fish, avocados, bananas, non-citrus fruits, nuts
-1,000 mcg per day with at least half coming in the form of methylcobalamin
-May improve ADHD symptoms by turning on dopamine receptors, which often get disturbed in people with ADHD and autism.
-May improve mood, memory, and energy levels
Exercise is more effective than Prozac at treating depression. Relaxation sessions can negate the effects of a stressful day. Mental exercise like reading, singing, dancing, or drawing can keep your brain young. Sleep is critical because that’s the time that your brain grows new neurons and stores information. The Ultramind lifestyle outlined in this book is real cool. It’s motivating to see a doctor research and write about things seemingly unmedical like relaxation.
Overall, awesome book. It drags a little too much at the beginning going on about how bad the environment is for us, but after that, the information is awesome. Mark Hyman comes across as very genuine in his research and in his message. In a genre where a lot of people just want to sell you on some fad bullshit (), Hyman comes across as the real deal in this book
“Treat the body, and heal the brain.”
“Are we defectively designed so that we cannot be happy, or concentrate or remember things, without pills? Is depression a Prozac deficiency? Is ADHD a Ritalin deficiency? Is Alzheimer’s an Aricept deficiency?”
“We are a drug addicted society, and we are overperscribed medication when there are better solutions.”
Click Here to check out the book!