Fall Brain Food Smoothie: Gingered Pumpkin Spice - Drew Ramsey MD

What are some small food changes that improve brain nutrition?

One simple step we prescribe at the Brain Food Clinic is:

Eat the Rainbow

The different colors in plants represent different “phyto-nutrients”, or plant molecules that influence our health. Red usually means lycopene, levels of which are linked to your risk of dementia. Orange means the presence of carotenoids, which are critical to the health of brain and nerve cells.

With Fall upon us (and the Pumpkin Spice Latte craze heating up again), I wanted to help you get a little carotenoid pop in your morning. And here’s a bonus. The Gingered Pumpkin Smoothie recipe below from Eat Complete delivers more than phytonutrients, you’ll also get 179% of the RDA for Vitamin A, 57% for Vitamin C, 40% for Fiber, and 35% for Magnesium 35%.

Gingered Pumpkin Smoothie

Serves 2

Help preserve your brain with carotenoids, as these orange-yellow plant pigments come with a bevy of health benefits (and are linked to a decreased risk of dementia). This smoothie is based on creamy 100 percent organic canned pumpkin; pair that with a carrot, and you’re starting the day with two top sources of beta-carotene. The recipe calls for only 1 cup of pumpkin, so preserve the remainder in the refrigerator in an airtight container, or freeze if you aren’t planning to use it again within five days. The ginger makes the recipe pop. Add curry powder and black pepper and you’re in for a savory nutritious treat; the pepper unlocks the benefits of the turmeric in curry by increasing the absorption of curcumin by 2,000 percent.


1 cup 100 percent pure organic canned pumpkin
1 orange, peeled
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1⁄2 cup plain, 2 percent yogurt or plain kefir
1⁄4 cup sunflower seeds
1⁄4 cup cashews
1 tablespoon peeled and grated fresh ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon turmeric or curry powder (optional)
Dash of freshly ground black pepper
4 ice cubes
1⁄2 cup cold water

Place the pumpkin, orange, carrot, yogurt or plain kefir, sunflower seeds, cashews, ginger, vanilla, pumpkin pie spice, curry powder, if using, and pepper in a blender along with the ice cubes and cold water and process until smooth. Divide evenly between two glasses and serve immediately.

Turmeric (an ingredient in curry powder) is a superspice in the ginger family that has wide-reaching healing benefits due to its anti-inflammatory properties. This yellow spice makes for a nice addition to this smoothie without altering its fruity flavor. Shop for turmeric in the spice aisle of your local grocery store.

Enjoy and let us know how you like it!



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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