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THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FISH: An Excerpt from The Pescetarian Plan

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FISH: An Excerpt from The Pescetarian Plan

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From The Pescetarian Plan:
The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food By Janis Jibrin and Sidra Forman

With more than 100 mouthwatering recipes, switching to a vegetable- and seafood-based diet has never been easier, healthier—or more delicious!

You can go vegetarian to slim down, help reduce your risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease, feel great, and probably live longer. Or you can eat fish to help protect your heart, quell appetite, stay sharp, be happier, and even have better skin. (You read that right!) Better yet, you can enjoy the best of both worlds with The Pescetarian Plan—a delicious, easy-to-follow, one-of-a-kind program for weight loss and optimal physical and mental well-being.

Inspired by the traditional Mediterranean way of eating (“pesce” is the Italian word for “fish”), veteran nutritionist Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., offers step-by-step portion- and meal-planning instruction, including a wide variety of quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to help you meet your weight-loss and health goals. She shares her deep knowledge of the science behind the healthiest diet on the planet, deftly explaining the amazing potential benefits of eating the pescetarian way—including whittling your waist, reducing chronic inflammation, preventing arterial plaque, and possibly warding off Alzheimer’s. She also breaks down the latest information about mercury, overfishing, and the environmental impact of your ingredient choices.

With Chef Sidra Forman’s expert guidance, you’ll become confident in the kitchen—fish and other types of seafood are much easier to prepare (and much harder to mess up!) than you may think. And the mouthwatering recipes and photos—including Broiled Trout with Preserved Lemon and Thyme, Grilled Shrimp with Peach BBQ Sauce, Roasted Chick Pea Snacks, Blueberries Baked with Sweet Cream, and Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Icing—give you options the whole family will love.

Quite Possibly the Healthiest Eating Style on the Planet!

On the Pescetarian Diet you will:
• See inches around the waist disappear
• Feel more active and productive
• Fill your plate with the best, most nutritious food
• Stop counting calories—it’s all in the portions
• Go at your own pace: start slowly or dive right in
• Really enjoy your food and its many benefits
From The Pescetarian Plan:
The Vegetarian + Seafood Way to Lose Weight and Love Your Food By Janis Jibrin and Sidra Forman

With more than 100 mouthwatering recipes, switching to a vegetable- and seafood-based diet has never been easier, healthier—or more delicious!

You can go vegetarian to slim down, help reduce your risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease, feel great, and probably live longer. Or you can eat fish to help protect your heart, quell appetite, stay sharp, be happier, and even have better skin. (You read that right!) Better yet, you can enjoy the best of both worlds with The Pescetarian Plan—a delicious, easy-to-follow, one-of-a-kind program for weight loss and optimal physical and mental well-being.

Inspired by the traditional Mediterranean way of eating (“pesce” is the Italian word for “fish”), veteran nutritionist Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., offers step-by-step portion- and meal-planning instruction, including a wide variety of quick and easy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to help you meet your weight-loss and health goals. She shares her deep knowledge of the science behind the healthiest diet on the planet, deftly explaining the amazing potential benefits of eating the pescetarian way—including whittling your waist, reducing chronic inflammation, preventing arterial plaque, and possibly warding off Alzheimer’s. She also breaks down the latest information about mercury, overfishing, and the environmental impact of your ingredient choices.

With Chef Sidra Forman’s expert guidance, you’ll become confident in the kitchen—fish and other types of seafood are much easier to prepare (and much harder to mess up!) than you may think. And the mouthwatering recipes and photos—including Broiled Trout with Preserved Lemon and Thyme, Grilled Shrimp with Peach BBQ Sauce, Roasted Chick Pea Snacks, Blueberries Baked with Sweet Cream, and Chocolate Cupcakes with Mint Icing—give you options the whole family will love.

Quite Possibly the Healthiest Eating Style on the Planet!

On the Pescetarian Diet you will:
• See inches around the waist disappear
• Feel more active and productive
• Fill your plate with the best, most nutritious food
• Stop counting calories—it’s all in the portions
• Go at your own pace: start slowly or dive right in
• Really enjoy your food and its many benefits

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Published by: Random House Publishing Group on Feb 24, 2014
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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04/18/2014

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Chapter 3
THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON FISH
Y
our brain consumes about a fifth of the oxygen in your
body, and where there’s oxygen, oxidants— molecules that can destroy cells— are formed. The antioxidants in all the fruits and vegetables and whole grains on the Pescetarian Plan fend off those oxidants. In conjunc-tion with the program’s anti- inflammatory and blood pressure– lowering agents, they also help clear the arteries, supplying blood to the brain and minimizing the risk of stroke. The Pescetarian Plan also keeps you well stocked with B vitamins, which are so crucial to cognition. And those are just a few of the protective elements!The food that has attracted the most attention in the scientific commu-nity when it comes to brain health is fish. Its omega- 3 fats are vital to proper brain function, helping you think more clearly and be happier. Omega- 3s— especially the fish oil DHA— allow your brain cells (neurons) to do their job: talk to one another.To picture what’s going on in your brain, look at the image on the next page. The bottom neuron is “talking” to the top one. In order to get its mes-sage across, it has to “shout” over that little gap between them, called the synaptic cleft.To do so, neurons send chemical messengers (little dots) over the cleft. These are called
neurotransmitters
 or
brain chemicals.
 They get picked up by receptors on the next neuron (the little wrenchlike structures at the end of the top neuron). Receptors are all shaped a little differently; they’re tailored
 
26
THE PESCETARIAN PLAN
to accept specific types of neurotransmitters in the same way that a key fits into a lock.There are scores of neurotransmitters that affect mood, reasoning, mem-ory, desire, and other brain functions. For instance, serotonin can boost mood and make you think more clearly. Opiates relieve pain and stimulate pleasure. (Heroin, morphine, and other opioid drugs are shaped a lot like natural opi-ates and can also bind to their receptors, creating a drug high.)For this neuron- to- neuron communication to run smoothly, the cells need a quality cell membrane or lining. (In the image below, it’s the dark border on both the top and bottom neurons.) Here’s where fish comes in. One of the omega- 3 fish oils— DHA— plays a key role in keeping brain cell membranes healthy. This fat is actually part of the membrane, keeping it fluid, which eases communication across the synapses. It also helps repair injured brain cells and quash destructive inflammation in the brain. DHA even has a hand in creating brain chemicals. Every one of its functions in the brain ultimately affects mood and intellect.But if your diet is low in DHA— like the typical American diet— other fats crowd into the membrane, which can impede neurotransmitter travel. And that can dampen mood, contributing to depression, anxiety, and pos-sibly attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Americans’ omega- 6 to omega- 3 ratio is about 16 to 1. The Pescetarian Plan has a 1- to- 1 ratio— which our brain and bodies were designed for.
Image credit: National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services.
BRAIN CHEMICALSRECEPTORSDHA-RICH BRAIN CELL MEMBRANE

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