If you’ve ever had a moment where you walked into a room and forgot why you were there, or you couldn’t find your car keys for the millionth time, or you just couldn’t quite remember that person’s name that you just met, then you know how frustrating it can be to feel like your brain is turning to mush.

And the reality is, you’re not alone. In fact, cognitive decline, whether you want to call it brain fog, forgetfulness, or just not feeling as sharp as you used to be, is a huge issue for many adults, and it only gets worse as we get older.

But believe it or not, it doesn’t actually have to be this way. The reality is that you have a LOT more control over your the health and function of your brain than you think you do.

Not only that, there are actually some really simple steps you can take starting TODAY to improve your brain health and reduce your risk of cognitive decline in the future.

And today, we’re going to talk about exactly that.

If you’re new to this blog you should know that I’m a 46 year old woman who knows what it’s like to struggle with getting healthy and losing weight, because I struggled with that very thing for a very long time.

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And it wasn’t until I finally decided to STOP dieting and take a totally different approach, and actually start RESEARCHING the real science of weight loss—not just the nonsense we’ve always been told about “calories in and calories out,” that I was finally able to lose more than 40 pounds and actually keep it off for good.

So I’m pretty passionate about it.

And I guess now I’m also what you’d call a “research junkie.”

I absolutely love learning about the science behind how our bodies work—why we gain weight in the first place, how our metabolism functions, and the impact that certain foods and lifestyle choices have on our health.

Because I’ve seen what a huge difference it has made in my own life, and also in the lives of so many women that we’ve been able to help through our TAS program.

And that’s also why, in this blog post, I want to talk about a topic that’s actually pretty near and dear to my heart—the health of our BRAINS, and specifically what we can do to keep our brains healthy and firing on all cylinders as we get older.

Because let’s be honest—it’s not fun to feel like your brain just isn’t working the way it should, or to feel like you’re just not as sharp as you used to be, or to feel like you’re in fog all the time, and like you just can’t remember anything.

It sucks to feel like you’re losing it.

But what we don’t always realize, is that there is actually SO MUCH that we can do on a day-to-day basis to improve the health of our brain, and yet most of us just keep going about our business, assuming that this is just a normal part of getting older.

We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we just keep on doing what we’re doing—eating all of the wrong foods, and doing all the wrong things—and then we end up suffering the consequences of that, without even realizing that almost all of the symptoms we’re experiencing are largely preventable.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There’s actually a LOT that we can do to improve our brain health and reduce our risk of cognitive decline in the future, and it’s all based on SCIENCE.

And that’s what I want to talk about a little today.

The Alarming Rise in Cognitive Decline

So let’s start by talking about the problem—specifically, the alarming rise in cognitive decline that we’re currently seeing, especially in the US.

Because just like obesity, it’s a BIG problem. And it’s only getting worse.

And believe it or not, those two problems are not unrelated.

So first a few stats for you….

Right now, in the United States, more than 5.8 million adults are currently living with Alzheimer’s disease, which is the most common form of dementia.

That number is expected to increase to 14 million by the year 2050. That’s more than double the number of people who currently live in New York City.

It’s a lot of people.

Not only that, but it’s estimated that by the time we reach our mid-60s, one in every nine people will be diagnosed with some form of dementia, and by the time we reach our 80s, that number jumps to one in three.

Again, that’s a THIRD of all people over 80 being diagnosed with dementia.

So basically, if you live long enough, your odds of getting dementia are pretty high. In fact, the odds are about as high as they are of dying from heart disease or cancer.

And I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s a pretty scary statistic.

Because like most people, I’ve had some experience with dementia in my family.

When I was young—maybe 8 or 9, my grandfather was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and I spent a big part of my childhood watching him slowly deteriorate and lose all of his memories.

He didn’t actually pass away until I was in college, so it was a long, lingering, excruciatingly painful goodbye.

By the time I was in junior high, it had got to the point where he didn’t even recognize me or any of my siblings, or my dad, or even his own wife—the person he was closest to in the world.

He was a shell of the man he used to be, and it was devastating to watch.

And then about eight years ago, my MOM was diagnosed with dementia and we started preparing ourselves for the worst. After all, my siblings and I had all been through this before.

But something crazy happened with my mom.

It turned out that dementia diagnosis wasn’t actually correct.

You see, I don’t actually talk about my mom a whole lot, but she has struggled with mental illness for most of her life. And as she got older, because she was living alone in a big house that required a lot of maintenance, I think she just started struggling to actually take care of her basic needs—hygiene, proper nutrition, that kind of thing. And it was really hard to help her because she wasn’t really receptive to any help.

It all came to a head when the police picked her up driving the wrong way down a one way street, and it was clear she needed help.

But that actually ended up being a huge blessing in disguise, because when we took over her care, and were able to get her access to quality 24-hour care and good food, her symptoms actually very slowly began to improve, which you don’t usually see when someone is diagnosed with dementia.

And it took a long time—close to a year—but now what we think that it was a very severe chronic UTI that basically mimicked all the symptoms of dementia.

But like I said, in her case the dementia diagnosis ended up being a huge blessing in disguise because we were able to get her the right care, and now she’s actually thriving, and all my siblings and I are able to have a relationship with her again, and it’s wonderful.

I feel like we dodged a bullet.

Because like I said, we’ve been down that road and we know how the story usually ends.

And I think for a lot of us, that’s exactly what we associate with dementia—this loss of identity, this loss of self, where we can’t remember the people we love or the experiences we’ve had. It basically strips away everything that makes us who we are.

And yet, we keep on chugging along, eating our Doritos and drinking our Diet Coke and thinking it’s not really a big deal.

I guess maybe we’re just in denial. We think it’s not going to happen to us.

But the reality is that for SO many of us, it already is happening.

We’re just not connecting the dots. Because cognitive decline doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a slow, insidious process that creeps up on us over time. It starts with something like “Oh I just can’t remember names,” or “I’m so forgetful these days,” and then it progresses to where we can’t remember where we put our keys or what we went into the other room to do.

And we don’t think anything of it, because it’s just a normal part of getting older, right?


It truly doesn’t have to be this way.

Because the truth is that there’s actually a LOT that we can do.

The Surprising Link Between What We Eat and Our Brain Health

And this probably won’t surprise you to hear me say this, but it STARTS with what we’re eating. Because believe it or not, there is a huge link between what we eat and the health of our brain.

And I think it’s important to understand that connection between our diet and our brain health, as well as what the science actually says about how what we eat affects how our brain functions.

Because the reality is that our diet DOES have a huge impact.

On the one hand, there are certain foods and substances that can actually protect our brain and keep it functioning optimally, and on the flip side, there are certain foods and substances that are having a really negative impact—foods that actually accelerate cognitive decline and increase our risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

And I don’t know about you, but that’s something I want to avoid at all costs.

I mean, think about it—our brain is responsible for EVERYTHING. It controls our thoughts, emotions, movements, and memories. It’s what makes us who we are. And yet, we often neglect taking care of it.

We’re so focused on the external appearance and taking care of our physical health, but we often forget about the vital role our brain plays in our overall well-being.

But the good news is that it’s never too late to start making changes.

So let’s talk about that connection between what we eat and how our brain functions.

The first thing you need to understand is that your brain is an organ, just like your heart or your liver or your kidneys. And just like all of your other organs, your brain depends on certain nutrients in order to function properly. It needs things like vitamins and minerals and essential fatty acids in order to keep all of its various processes running smoothly.

Specifically, your brain needs a lot of B vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants in order to function optimally. B vitamins are important for maintaining healthy nerve cells and preventing a buildup of homocysteine, which is an amino acid that can be toxic to nerve cells and is often associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for building and repairing brain cells, and can also help reduce inflammation in the brain. And antioxidants are important for protecting your brain from oxidative stress and free radical damage.

And so, as you can probably guess, the foods that are RICHEST in all of these essential nutrients—B vitamins, omega-3s, and antioxidants—are the foods that are going to be the BEST for your brain health.

And what are those foods?

Well, it probably won’t surprise you to hear that the best foods for your brain are the same foods that we talk about ALL THE TIME on this blog!

Foods like non-starchy vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds, nutrient-dense protein, especially red meat, wild-caught fish, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocados and MCT oil.

All of these foods are absolutely PACKED with the nutrients your brain needs to function optimally, and by making these foods a regular part of your diet, you’ll be doing a whole lot to protect your brain and reduce your risk of cognitive decline.

And honestly it shouldn’t be a surprise that the same foods that will heal your body and help reverse insulin resistance and balance your hormones and heal your leaky gut are the foods that will help to heal and protect your brain.

Because it’s all connected.

And that’s great news, because it means that if you’re already trying to lose weight and get healthy by changing the way that you eat, then you are also protecting your brain.

But of course, there’s also some bad news, because the sad reality is that most of us are NOT eating a diet that is rich in these essential brain-boosting nutrients.

In fact, it’s estimated that the typical standard American diet is actually very LOW in all of the nutrients that your brain needs, while at the same time being very HIGH in the foods and substances that can have the biggest negative impact on your brain health.

And what are those foods and substances that are having such a negative impact?

Well, they’re the foods that we talk about pretty frequently on this blog as being the WORST for your overall health and weight loss—foods like sugar and refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and vegetable oils.

And while I’ll admit that sometimes I feel like a broken record on this stuff, the reality is that al of these foods and substances are incredibly TOXIC to your body as a whole AND your brain, and can lead to inflammation, oxidative stress, and a whole host of other issues that can eventually result in cognitive decline and an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

So basically, all of the foods and substances that are the WORST for your overall health and weight loss are also the WORST for your brain health.

There’s a reason that Alzheimer’s is often referred to as “type 3 diabetes”—because the same insulin resistance and inflammation that leads to type 2 diabetes can also contribute to cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s.

And so regardless of whether you actually care about losing weight, if you want to protect your brain and reduce your risk of cognitive decline, you’ve got to cut back on these foods and substances as much as possible.

So that’s the connection.

What you eat—or don’t eat—has a huge impact on your brain health.

The foods that are best for your brain are the same foods that are best for your body—fresh, whole, unprocessed foods that are rich in nutrients and low in sugar and carbohydrates. And the foods that are the worst for your brain are also the worst for your body—sugar, refined carbs, processed foods, and vegetable oils.

And so if we want to talk about improving your brain health, it’s impossible NOT to talk about making a shift to a healthier overall diet and lifestyle. Because it all goes hand in hand. You can’t have a healthy brain if the rest of your body isn’t healthy too.

And I guess in light of that, this would probably be a good time to remind you that if you’re new to this blog and new to Thinlicious in general, and want to start improving your health and healing your body in a way that is actually SUSTAINABLE, then I have a really awesome free resource that you should definitely go grab.

It’s a free guide called Flip the Switch and it will help you understand why, if you’ve reached a certain age, it might feel like your metabolism has stopped working, and what you can actually do about it. And the best part is that it’s totally FREE.

All you have to do to get your hands on it is go HERE

So definitely go grab that if you haven’t already. Because like I said, changing the way you eat is going to be the biggest and most important step you can take to improve your brain health.

4 Strategies for Improving Brain Health

But what if you’re already doing that, and you’re still noticing some signs of cognative decline or brain fog, and you want to do more? Or what if you want to make sure you’re doing EVERYTHING you possibly can to keep your brain healthy?

Well, in that case, there are a few more things you might want to focus on.

Strategy #1: Reduce Inflammation

The first big strategy for improving your brain health is to focus on reducing inflammation in your body.

Because what a lot of people don’t understand is that inflammation is the underlying cause of pretty much every chronic disease and health problem that we face—from heart disease and diabetes to cancer, but also to Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline.

That’s because when your body is constantly in a state of inflammation, it can’t function properly. And this includes your brain—inflammation in your body can lead to inflammation in the brain, which can cause damage and impair cognitive function.

Unfortunately, most women in the United States who are eating a standard American diet filled with highly inflammatory ingredients such as vegetable oils, processed foods, and sugar are constantly dealing with chronic inflammation. 

It’s hard to overstate just how incredibly toxic these foods are to both your body and brain, and just how much they contribute to all sorts of issues, including leaky gut syndrome, insulin resistance, and a whole host of autoimmune diseases.

But given that these food often make up a huge part of our diet, it’s no wonder that we’re dealing with so much inflammation and all of the health problems that come along with it.

In fact, statistics show that over 80% of adults in the U.S. have some level of chronic inflammation, and this number is only expected to continue to rise.

So how do you reduce inflammation?

Well, not surprisingly, one of the biggest ways is through diet.

As we mentioned earlier, cutting out things like sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and vegetable oils is always going to be the best place to start.

But at the same time, you need to make sure you’re eating plenty of ANTI-inflammatory foods as well—foods like fatty fish, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, and low-glycemic fruits and vegetables.

In case you’re wondering, the top anti-inflammatory foods, according to Dr. Josh Axe, include

  1. Wild-caught salmon
  2. Turmeric
  3. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale
  4. Blueberries
  5. Broccoli
  6. Bone broth
  7. Walnuts and almonds
  8. Coconut oil
  9. Chia seeds
  10. Dark chocolate

And all these foods are not only packed with brain-boosting nutrients, but they’re also great for reducing inflammation in your body.

That said, if you’re struggling to get enough of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet, one of the best things you can do is start taking a good-quality omega-3 supplement.

Omega-3 fatty acids are incredibly important for reducing inflammation, and they can have a huge impact on your brain health. Just make sure you’re getting a supplement that’s high in EPA and DHA, which are the most beneficial forms of omega-3s.

So that’s the first strategy—focus on reducing inflammation in your body by cutting back on inflammatory foods, and increasing your intake of anti-inflammatory foods and supplements.

Strategy #2: Improve Gut Health

The second strategy for improving your brain health is to focus on improving your gut health. You may not realize it, but your gut and your brain are actually closely connected. In fact, your gut is often referred to as your “second brain,” because it has such a big impact on your cognitive function and overall mental health.

So if you want a healthy brain, you’ve got to start by healing your gut.

And again, the BEST way to heal your gut is to avoid the foods that damage your gut the most—all the foods we’ve already been talking about. Sugar, refined carbohydrates, processed foods, and vegetable oils.

All of these foods contribute to leaky gut syndrome, which is a condition where the lining of your intestines becomes permeable, allowing toxins and bacteria to leak into your bloodstream. Not good, right?

But to actually heal your gut faster, it’s not just about avoiding the bad foods.

It’s also about nourishing your gut with the right foods and supplements that will help restore your healthy gut bacteria and repair the lining of your gut.

That means you’ll also want to make sure you’re eating plenty of gut-healing foods, like bone broth, fermented foods like fresh sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir, and also collagen. These foods are packed with nutrients that can help repair and restore your gut lining, and they’re also great for your brain.

In addition to that, you may also want to consider taking a good-quality probiotic supplement. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help balance your gut flora and improve your overall gut health. Just make sure you’re getting a supplement that contains a variety of different strains, and that it’s stored in a cool, dark place to keep the bacteria alive.

You may also want to consider adding a digestive enzyme supplement to your routine. Digestive enzymes can help break down and digest the food you eat, making it easier for your body to absorb all the nutrients it needs.

Remember, a healthy gut = a healthy brain. So make sure you’re taking care of both!

Strategy #3: Consider Nootropics

My third strategy for improving your brain health is to consider incorporating nootropics into your routine. Nootropics are basically any supplements or substances that can enhance cognitive function, memory, creativity, and motivation. They come in both chemical, manmade versions, which I probably wouldn’t recommend, but there are also a number of natural nootropics that you can take.

And there’s definitely a lot of debate and controversy over nootropics and whether they actually work, but a lot of people I respect absolutely swear by them, and I have to admit that I’m pretty intrigued by the topic.

Here are the ones I’m most interested in:

Green Tea and L-Theanine

First, there’s green tea, which is a natural source of L-theanine. Many studies have shown L-theanine to increase attention performance, improve sleep, boost reaction time, and promote relaxation.


Next, there’s ginseng, which in addition to helping to increase concentration, also helps support healthy blood sugar levels and may help with menopause, cancer, blood pressure, and heart disease. That said, you should know that because it’s a powerful herb, it has the ability to interact with other drugs and may not be a good choice for people taking certain medications, so definitely consult a doctor before adding it.

Lion’s Mane Mushroom

Lion’s mane mushroom is one that that my husband and I take daily in the form of a liquid that we drop into water. Lion’s mane mushroom has been shown to have neuroprotective benefits, help with cognitive function and may even help regenerate nerve cells.

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba is another nootropic that’s commonly used to improve memory and concentration. It’s also believed to increase blood flow to the brain and protect against age-related cognitive decline.

Ultimately, whether or not you choose to add nootropics to your routine is a personal decision, but it’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking to improve your overall brain health and cognitive function.

Strategy #4: Get Plenty of Sleep

And finally, the fourth strategy for improving your brain health is to make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. And this might sound obvious, but it is actually something that a LOT of us struggle with, including me!

But the reality is that lack of sleep can have serious consequences for your brain health, which means we should all be working a lot harder at it.

When you don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis, you’re dramatically increasing your risk of cognitive decline.

That’s because during sleep, your brain goes through a process of clearing out waste and toxins that build up throughout the day. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, then your brain isn’t able to effectively clear out all that gunk, which can lead to inflammation and other problems. Plus, lack of sleep can also impair your memory and decision-making skills.

And unfortunately, it’s not something you can really make up for by just sleeping in a little longer on the weekends. Your body and your brain both need CONSISTENT, high quality sleep in order to function properly and reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s and other cognative decline.

So what can you do if you’re struggling with sleep?

Well, the first thing to look at is your diet, because as we just talked about, what you eat has a big impact on how well you sleep. If you’re eating a lot of carbs and sugar, that can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes that can disrupt your sleep. So just by cutting out sugar and processed foods, and adding more protein and healthy fat, you’ll probably find you’re sleeping better.

Another thing to consider is your sleep environment. Make sure your room is cool, dark, and quiet, and try to limit screen time before bed. The blue light emitted from screens can actually suppress the production of melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you sleep.

Lastly, make sure you’re getting enough physical activity during the day. Regular exercise can improve your sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster.

And if all else fails, don’t be afraid to try natural sleep aids like melatonin, valerian root, or even an extra magnesium supplement before bedtime. As always, though, make sure to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any supplements to your routine if you are currently taking any other medications.

So that’s the fourth and final strategy—make sure you’re getting plenty of high quality sleep to support your brain health and reduce your risk of cognitive decline. It may take some effort and adjustments, but the benefits for your brain are well worth it.

Final Thoughts

So what are my final thoughts on this?

Well brain health is a big deal. None of us want spend the last years of our life slipping into the darkness of dementia, losing the best parts of ourselves, and not recognizing the people we love.

And yet it’s happening far too often, which means we’re all at risk.

The best thing you can do is change the way you eat. All the positive changes to your diet that will help you lose weight and reverse insulin resistance and balance your hormones and reduce inflammation and heal your gut are the SAME changes that will dramatically improve your cognitive function and brain health.

So start there.

But then if you really want to get serious about boosting your brain power, focus on reducing inflammation even more by loading up on anti-inflammatory foods and Omega 3 fatty acids. Improve your gut health with probiotics and fermented foods. Consider adding in some nootropics like Gingseng or Ginko balboa or Lions Mane. And get more sleep!

The reality is that taking care of our brain health isn’t just a singular action but a holistic approach involving various aspects of our lifestyle.

But if this all feels like a lot—and it is—remember that it’s okay to start slow. Starting with one small change—be it swapping out your afternoon snack for a brain-boosting alternative or setting a stricter bedtime—can lead to noticeable improvements in how you feel, think, and process the world around you.

Remember, every step you take towards improving your brain health is a step towards a happier, healthier you. It’s all about finding what works for you and incorporating those practices into your daily life. Here’s to making brain health a priority and noticing the vibrant changes that come with it!

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