Can Plastic Damage Your Baby’s Brain? - Drew Ramsey MD

Image courtesy Flickr/Alicia Voorhies

Emerging science indicates that infant brain development is negatively affected by exposure to bisphenol A, or BPA, a chemical widely used in plastic food containers, in the plastic lining of metal food cans, and even in the paper used for cash register receipts. Europe and Canada have already banned BPA for use in making baby bottles. In the U.S., the FDA is expected to rule by March 31, 2012, on a petition by the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban BPA from all food containers.

BPA has been proven to leach into food that comes in contact with plastic containers and plastic-lined cans. A Consumer Reports analysis of canned food found that one single serving of canned green beans had 80 times the recommended daily limit of BPA.

Researchers call BPA an “endocrine disruptor.” BPA mimics estrogen and in doing so interferes with proper brain growth. The conclusions of two studies in particular persuaded my wife and I to purge the plastics from our house. As parents of a baby girl, we no longer heat or store food in plastic containers.

One study published in Pediatrics in 2011 looked at 244 mothers and their three-year-old children. More than 97% of the children had BPA coursing through their veins. Behavioral assessments found that children with the most BPA in their blood also demonstrated more anxious and depressed behavior and had more difficulty with emotional control. The study supported earlier animal studies, including one published in 2010 in Frontiers of Neuroendocrinology, that showed how exposure to BPA severely disrupted early brain development by retarding growth in key areas that regulate memory and mood.

How dangerous is BPA? Some may want to see more evidence, by my take is that there is no point in taking the risk. I try to always wash my hands after touching store receipts, especially before handling food. At home we use only leftover containers made of glass. One certain way to drastically reduce your exposure to BPA is to replace the processed, packaged food in your diet with farm-fresh whole foods.

Building your best brain depends not only on packing your meals with brain essential nutrients. You also need to avoid the toxins that have made their way into the food supply. This is especially important for developing brains as some new toxins act like hormones in the body, which are key players in directing traffic during the explosion in brain cell connectivity during childhood.

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Eat Complete

Winner of a 2017 IACP Cookbook Award  •  Finalist for a Books for a Better Life Award

Named one of the top health and wellness books for 2016 by Well + Good and MindBodyGreen


From leading psychiatrist and author of Fifty Shades of Kale comes a collection of 100 simple, delicious, and affordable recipes to help you get the core nutrients your brain and body need to stay happy and healthy.

What does food have to do with brain health? Everything.

Your brain burns more of the food you eat than any other organ. It determines if you gain or lose weight, if you’re feeling energetic or fatigued, if you’re upbeat or depressed. In this essential guide and cookbook, Drew Ramsey, MD, explores the role the human brain plays in every part of your life, including mood, health, focus, memory, and appetite, and reveals what foods you need to eat to keep your brain—and by extension your body—properly fueled.

Drawing upon cutting-edge scientific research, Dr. Ramsey identifies the twenty-one nutrients most important to brain health and overall well-being—the very nutrients that are often lacking in most people’s diets. Without these nutrients, he emphasizes, our brains and bodies don’t run the way they should.

Eat Complete includes 100 appetizing, easy, gluten-free recipes engineered for optimal nourishment. It also teaches readers how to use food to correct the nutrient deficiencies causing brain drain and poor health for millions. For example:

• Start the day with an Orange Pecan Waffle or a Turmeric Raspberry Almond Smoothie, and the Vitamin E found in the nuts will work to protect vulnerable brain fat (plus the fiber keeps you satisfied until lunch).

• Enjoy Garlic Butter Shrimp over Zucchini Noodles and Mussels with Garlicky Kale Ribbons and Artichokes, and the zinc and magnesium from the seafood will help stimulate the growth of new brain cells.

• Want to slow down your brain’s aging process? Indulge with a cup of Turmeric Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, and the flavanols found in chocolate both increase blood flow to the brain and help fight age-related memory decline.

Featuring fifty stunning, full-color photographs, Eat Complete helps you pinpoint the nutrients missing from your diet and gives you tasty recipes to transform your health—and ultimately your life.


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The Happiness Diet

For the first time in history, too much food is making us sick. It's all too apparent that the Modern American Diet (MAD) is expanding our waistlines; what's less obvious is that it's starving and shrinking our brains. Rates of obesity and depression have recently doubled, and while these epidemics are closely linked, few experts are connecting the dots for the average American.

Using the latest data from the rapidly changing fields of neuroscience and nutrition, The Happiness Dietshows that over the past several generations small, seemingly insignificant changes to our diet have stripped it of nutrients--like magnesium, vitamin B12, iron, and vitamin D, as well as some very special fats--that are essential for happy, well-balanced brains. These shifts also explain the overabundance of mood-destroying foods in the average American's diet and why they predispose most of us to excessive weight gain.

After a clear explanation of how we've all been led so far astray, The Happiness Diet empowers the reader with simple, straightforward solutions. Graham and Ramsey show you how to steer clear of this MAD way of life with foods to swear off, shopping tips, brain-building recipes, and other practical advice, and then remake your diet by doubling down on feel-good foods--even the all-American burger.


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Fifty Shades of Kale

Kale gets sexy in Fifty Shades of Kale by Drew Ramsey, M.D., and Jennifer Iserloh, with 50 recipes that are mouth-wateringly delicious and do a body good.
Release yourself from the bondage of guilt and start cooking meals with the ingredients you love: meat, cheese, and yes—even butter. Nutrient-rich kale provides essential vitamins and minerals to keep you healthy, happy, and lean—so you can indulge in your most delicious desires. Whether you’re a cooking novice or a real kale submissive, you will undoubtedly succumb to Kale’s charms.

From Mushroom and Kale Risotto to Kale Kiwi Gazpacho, Fifty Shade of Kale offers simple ways to have your kale and eat it, too, as well as nutritional information, cooking tips, and a tutorial on kale in all her glorious shades.
Indulge your culinary passions with Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please.


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