How to protect your brain health

Season #1

The brain is a complex organ that controls our movement, our emotions and stores our precious memories.   When we talk about brain health, there are a few definitions and the one I have chosen is from World Health Organisation (WHO) due to its inclusive language. 

 “Brain health is the state of brain functioning across cognitive, sensory, social-emotional, behavioural and motor domains, allowing a person to realize their full potential over the life course, irrespective of the presence or absence of disorders.” 

How do we maintain our brain health? Is it possible for us to reduce our dementia risk as we age? To answer these questions and more, I have invited Professor Anne-Marie Minihane from the University of East Anglia.   Prof Anne-Marie Minihane’s research looks at the impact of certain foods and the Mediterranean diet on brain health. She will also discuss the possible effects of menopause on dementia risk.   

Bullet points of key topics + chapter markers    

1/ Anne-Marie's career in nutritional biochemistry to researching plant-based foods and brain health with a focus on the menopausal period.

2/ The effect of dehydration on cognitive performance and concentration

3/ Incorporating a Mediterranean style plant-based diet. Purple, red and blue fruits, green leafy vegetables and red cabbage and onions, nuts. Using canned and frozen veg. Soffritto sauce and its benefits.

4/ The gut brain connection, enteric nervous system and neurotransmitters. Ensuring sufficient fibre in the diet through wholegrains. Fibre hacks - check your carbohydrate to fibre ratio.

5/ Cognitive health and memory loss. Focus on what you remember!

6/ Menopause and its impact on brain health. Research on the loss of DHA in the brain and the interest in omega 3 and phytoestrogens in the diet. Benefits of oily fish - a plug for sardines from Cornwall, herring and mackerel from Scotland!

7/ One in 14 people over 65 are likely to develop dementia. 12 modifiable risk factors are responsible for 40% of our risk including diet, physical activity, hearing impairment and low social contact.

8/ Information on brain health and more tips from Alzheimer's Research UK. Please note that this podcast is not intended for use by non-medically qualified individuals as an alternative to any medical treatment.

List of resources:  

Brain healthy habits quiz Brain healthy habits - Think Brain Health - Alzheimer's Research UK (Think Brain Health - Alzheimer's Research UK (

World Health Organisation - Brain health Brain health (Brain health (

Gill Livingstone report - Dementia prevention, intervention and care Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission - PubMed (Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission - PubMed (



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