How to Feed a Brain: Nutrition for Optimal Brain Function and Repair

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In 2011 Cavin Balaster sustained a severe traumatic brain injury that left him comatose with less than a 10% chance of ever regaining consciousness beyond a persistent vegetative state. He didn't eat, walk, or talk for months while he was in the hospital. He was breathing from a tube in his neck, receiving nutrition from a tube in his belly, and his left hand was completely flexed inward.

About a year after his injury, he was introduced to a nutritional protocol that helped him begin to regain some clarity. That's when he dove into an intense study of why nutrition made such a difference. For over five years, he has devoted his life to studying metabolism, neurometabolism, mechanisms of neuroplasticity, neuroscience, and nutrition, while reaching out to doctors, researchers, practitioners, and neuroscientists, to learn everything he can to optimize his brain function and to maximize his recovery.

Cavin recently released the book How to Feed a Brain: Nutrition for Optimal Brain Function and Repair, which is the culmination of the nutritional tools he has learned through this journey. Cavin wrote this book to share with others the nutritional information that has helped him to regain his brain function. While his recovery has been an astounding example for brain injury survivors, this book is not just for those with neurological conditions – it is for anyone wanting to improve their brains.

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-The crazy story of Cavin's traumatic brain injury and subsequent diffuse axonal injury (DAI) …[4:25]

-How a brain injury causes a leaky gut, and vice versa…[6:55]

-How what Cavin did is very different than the current “standard of care” in modern medicine for TBI…[22:20] 

-The relationship between the brain and the eye, and how Cavin fixed his eyes…[27:45]

-The importance of neurometabolism…[29:55]

The lesser-known tools Cavin used for rehab and repairing the brain, including choline, DHA and a ketogenic diet…[34:45]

-Why Cavin endorses trying 15-20g of fish oil along with choline and uridine…[38:30]

-The importance of dessicated organ meats, kelp, dulse…[40:30]

-Some of Cavin's favorite books (aside from his own) that he recommends for brain resources…[42:45]

-And much more!

Resources from this episode:

-The Adventures in Brain Injury Podcast

-How to Feed a Brain: Nutrition for Optimal Brain Function and Repair

Flint Rehab (“a fun and effective rehabilitation device that helps restore hand function for individuals with stroke, spinal cord injury (SCI), traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other neurologic injuries.”)

Creative Harmonics (“a specialized, state-of-the-art cognitive prosthetic, delivered on an iPad…serves as “external memory” and has been specifically designed to provide the comprehensive cognitive structure and visual cueing supports that individuals with cognitive challenges need.”)

Kion Colostrum

-My article on How To Fix The Gut

The Autoimmune Paleo diet 

Dr. Alex Vasquez

KetoFX online ketogenic summit

My interview with Dr. Terry Wahls

My interview with Daniel Schmachtenberger

My interview with Dr. Kelly Ryder

My Interview with JJ Virgin

My Interview with Dan Engle

My Interview with Andrew Hill

My Interview with Tony Jeffries

Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Cavin or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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3 thoughts on “How to Feed a Brain: Nutrition for Optimal Brain Function and Repair

  1. Anthony says:

    Hi Ben

    I have a question about IF. You mentioned that by having coffee or supplements during a fast can mess up the fast. If I take activated charcoal on an empty stomach (detox) during a fast, will this interrupt the fast?

    1. Depends where you asked. I say no. Dr. Satchin Panda says yes. You probably have bigger fish to fry than to worry about this too much.

    2. No, as long as there are no calories.

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