A Pyramid by any other version…

Back in December I referenced this pyramid in a post discussing Aaron Nelson’s suggestions for improving your memory. For U.S. readers who have ever taken note of the Government’s Food Pyramid, the one below is distinctly different from the old pyramid, as well as from the new pyramid. (You can also see an interactive version of the new U.S. Food Pyramid at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s site.)

What I like most about the pyramid below is that everything rests on DAILY EXERCISE. Every recent book about the brain that I have read includes EXERCISE as one of the most important features of building and maintaining a healthy brain.

Exercise ~

  • promotes neuroplasticity
  • promotes neurogenesis
  • releases norepinephrine, which facilitates memory and neuron communication
  • boots the protein BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) that fosters neurogenesis
  • improves executive function, which is managed in your frontal cortex
  • promotes memory
  • helps deal with and manage stress

Yes, I know, some of these overlap. Come at it any which way you like, but there’s no getting around the fact that EXERCISE is BENEFICIAL for your BRAIN. You already know it is beneficial for your body, and since your brain resides in your body, the sum total of this is that EXERCISE is GOOD for YOU!


You can read more about this Healthy Eating Pyramid in Food Pyramids: What Should You Really Eat? and see a larger image of the pyramid by clicking any one of three links at the end of this article about the pyramid. I asked for, and was given permission to repost the pyramid, providing the following attribution was included:

Copyright © 2008 Harvard University. For more information about The Healthy Eating Pyramid, please see The Nutrition Source, Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health, http://www.thenutritionsource.org, and Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, by Walter C. Willett, M.D. and Patrick J. Skerrett (2005), Free Press/Simon & Schuster Inc.


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