Nutrition for brain.

post by Just Learning · 2021-03-17T05:00:37.053Z · LW · GW · 3 comments

This is a question post.

If I want to build muscles, I should use a certain diet (usually involving lots of protein).
If my purpose to increase my learning abilities, or long-term productivity, or something like that - what would be the proper diet? Are there any studies in this question? Thank you! 

Answers

answer by aaronb50 · 2021-03-17T05:19:22.881Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

There is a good amount of this discussion at r/nootropics - of which some is evidence based and some is not. For example, see this post

comment by Just Learning · 2021-03-19T21:29:03.551Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Thank you. There was one paper at the post about older adults and calorie restriction. However, it is kind of biased - they have slightly overweight people in the experiment. So yes, calorie restriction is good for overweight. Duh. 
Do you know any other studies? Thank you! 

Replies from: aaronb50
comment by aaronb50 · 2021-03-20T04:09:03.604Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I don't know much more than you could find searching around r/nootropics, but my sense is that the relationship between diet and cognition is highly personal, so experimentation is warranted. Some do best on keto, others as a vegan, etc. With respect to particular substances, it seems that creatine might have some cognitive benefits, but once again supplementation is highly personal. DHA helps some people and induces depression in others, for example.

Also, inflammation is a common culprit/risk factor for many mental issues, so I'd expect that a generally "healthy" diet (at least, not the standard American diet), and perhaps trying an elimination diet to see if eliminating certain foods produces a marked benefit could be helpful.  Supplements like resveratrol might help with this as well. Also might be worth experimenting with fasting of different lengths; some people find that they become extremely productive after fasting for 12-14 hours. There are a million studies on all these topics that will come up in a Google search.

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