Grain Brain by Dr Perlmutter

  One of the hardest parts of working in a pharmacy is seeing the stark contrast between the cheerful 90+ year olds who waltz in to buy cod liver oil or vitamin D tablets; and the 60 year olds who resignedly hand over their prescriptions for 5+  medications sagely muttering, “when you get to my age…” Statins to swallow alongside fat-free diets, laxatives to knock back after chewing through high-fibre bread; hundreds of capsules of tramadol, thyroxine, and pain killers dispensed every day. And picking up a weekly prescription seems, for many of our customers, to be an inevitable way of life, staving off surgery or death for just a few more years. 

It would be neither ethical nor professional for me to suggest customers ditch their margarines, low-salt condiments and low fat breakfast cereals when they look for over-the-counter relief for joint pain, heartburn and inability to sleep at night. I am unable to offer advice when I take their blood pressure and give them readings of 180/100. I can only apologise when they ask me how I look so well and I have to answer high-fat, low-sugar and no sunscreen. 

But, if I could, I would recommend Dr Perlmutter’s Grain Brain to every customer who walks through our door. Because, while the book focuses on brain function (depression, migraines, bipolar, Alzheimer’s etc) the advice would be equally relevant to anyone looking to relieve digestive issues, inflammatory conditions, circulatory diseases and diabetes, to name but a few. 

Grain Brain is authoritative, comprehensive, well referenced and a surprisingly easy read. Perlmutter’s case studies are presented with compassion, the four week plan is totally do-able and his recipes realistic. (Quick Flat-Roasted Chicken with Roasted Seasonal Vegetables and followed by Chocolate Truffles anyone?)

When I coached nutritional therapy clients one of the major stumbling blocks in avoiding gluten was that breakfast was boring. And this despite an enormous array of options, from Flojo’s SuperSmoothies to full fry-ups to eggs on gluten free toast. And this was from people who had only had toast for breakfast for years! Here is Perlmutter’s excellent explanation for that scenario, “We’ve known since the late 1970s that gluten breaks down in the stomach to become a mix of polypeptides that can cross the blood-brain barrier. Once they gain entry, they can then bind to the brain’s morphine receptor to produce a sensorial high. This is the same receptor to which opiate drugs bind, creating their pleasurable, albeit addicting, effect.” Sound familiar?!

Gluten-Free has become big business in the last decade or so and for every desperate soul who purchases commercially produced gluten free bread and sadly passes on the offer of biscuits in order to alleviate bloating, control their weight or deal with other seemingly inexplicable ailments there is a sceptic who believes that there is no scientific explanation for avoiding the very grains that have apparently sustained the human population for thousands of years. If either of these sounds like you, your friends or your family, please read Grain Brain and then lend your copy out! Your brain and body will thank you tenfold!

Related Post: 

How Flojo Got Her Mojo Back

Some Gluten Free Recipes:

Cheap n Cheerful Chocolate Chilli 

An Easy Curry Recipe

A Curried Chicken and Coconut Soup

Chia Breakfast Bowl 

Peanut Butter Muffins


6 thoughts on “Grain Brain by Dr Perlmutter

  1. Great review! I have Grain Brain and agree with everything you write. Have you read Wheat Belly? After reading both, as well as the Primal Blueprint, I look at family and friends with all sorts of mental health and physiological issues, and their diets, and it all just makes sense. There is no mystery as to why some of us get ill and others don’t. As Whole30 says: it starts with food.

    Thanks for the follow ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Hi Danielle! Good to connect – you’re up and on it pretty fast for a Sunday morning!
      I just read Wheat Belly a couple of weeks ago – good to get yet another take on the wheat issue.
      I’ve let my nutritional therapy practitioner status lapse (since a rough patch of depression a little while back – my story is on marksdailyapple too!!) bit I’m thinking that in a couple of years I’d love to re-qualify and specialise in mental health – primal, keto, bulletproof etc would all be massively useful! Have you looked at the Weston Price foundation yet? Great research into ancestral health patterns and every new book I’ve read in the last year seems to point the way forward into turning inherited health conditions around. Exciting times!


      • We’re early risers because we go to sleep at roughly the same time every night. I’ve been up for a while now.

        What’s the name of your MDA success story? I will look for it. I’ve read a few other of your posts, as you’ll have noticed via comments: you’re such a good writer! Your voice and ability echo throughout, and you use punctuation correctly! NOt many bloggers are able to do this.
        p.s. I’m a secondary English teacher ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I haven’t looked into the Weston Price Foundation, but I will. Thank you for the suggestion!


      • We are in bed by ten and up at six in term time (my husband teaches too!) but I can easily sleep ’til seven or eight at the weekends – I love sleeping!

        Thank you so much for your compliments, I am slightly paranoid about my grammar but I write like I think and as my internal punctuation is sometimes a bit iffy I guess it’s authentic…

        My success story went out on the 24th of July. My 11 top benefits of going primal (was meant to be 10 but I miscounted!)

        Right, I’m off to browse your blog now… Xx


  2. Pingback: #brainmaker: “Brain Maker,” A new book by Dr. David Perlmutter | crossgrained

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