One thing he's learned along the way (and which he routinely calls his patients), is that we're all "fatheads."
It's not an insult, says Dr. Sears, but rather an accurate assessment. The brain is 60 percent fat, and, of all the bodily tissues, fat tissue is most susceptible to oxidation/inflammation. This explains why neuro-degenerative diseases have surpassed heart diseases as the number-one health issue in our society today.
What are some ways you can control your inflammation and stave off the negative effects, particularly in your brain?
Dr. Sears recommends the "6-S Anti-inflammatory Diet," which includes the following:
- Seafood: Preferably wild salmon. Seafood is a top anti-inflammatory source because of the omega-3 fish oils, which benefit your brain, heart, gut, and joints. The pink color of salmon also contains the antioxidant, astaxanthin, which some experts call the "world's best antioxidant."
- Smoothies: A shake a day keeps inflammation away. The more colorful fruit and vegetables you include, the better (blueberries, kale, etc.).
- Salads: Put more color on your plate... dark leafy greens, tomatoes, avocado, and don't forget the salmon!
- Spices: Spices such as ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and black pepper all have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Snacking: Make sure you follow Dr. Sears' "rule of two." Eat twice as often, eat half as much, chew twice as long. When you graze, you avoid spikes in blood sugar and inflammation.
- Supplements: If you can't get all of your nutrients in food form, you need to supplement the ones you're missing.
Dr. Sears also advises to sip slowly on your smoothie. Vitamins like a nice, slow, steady release into the bloodstream. If you drink it too fast, those vitamins don't have time to be absorbed and you just urinate them out. And, don't forget to put some healthy fat into your smoothie to help your body absorb all the vitamins and nutrients.
Listen in as Dr. Sears explains more about his 6-S diet, as well as why taking a nutritional approach to inflammation is essential.