Nutrients For Brain Health & Performance | Huberman Lab Podcast #42

In this episode of The Huberman Lab Podcast, Andrew Huberman, a professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford School of Medicine, discusses the relationship between food and the brain. He emphasizes that the foundation of all mental and physical health is getting quality and ample sleep regularly, and cardiovascular health and exercise are also crucial for heart health, which directly relates to brain health. The most important food element for brain function is fat, specifically the essential fatty acids and phospholipids that make up the structural fat of neurons. Omega-3s, specifically EPA, are crucial for maintaining normal cognitive function and can be found in fish, chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and other plant-based foods. Phosphatidylserine, abundant in meats and fish, has been shown to improve cognition and reduce cognitive decline.

The context discusses various foods and supplements that can enhance brain function, including creatine, blueberries, and glutamine. The taste system is also discussed, including the five basic tastes and the role of the insular cortex in processing taste information. The taste of food is not just about what we like or dislike, but also about the subconscious signals from our gut that are related to the nutrient content of the food.

The context discusses how humans are wired to pursue foods that increase blood glucose levels and allow neurons to be metabolically active. The taste system is hard-wired to prefer sweet things, but there is also some soft-wiring that allows it to change. Artificial sweeteners can tap into the dopamine system and lead to increased consumption, but consuming them with foods that raise blood glucose levels can disrupt insulin management and lead to pre-diabetes. It is important to consume artificial sweeteners away from any food that raises blood glucose levels.

Overall, the episode emphasizes that a balanced diet with the right nutrients can provide a natural and effective way to support brain health. The speaker also shares their personal approach to incorporating these compounds into their diet and emphasizes the potential to change our taste preferences through conditioning.