Eating Yourself Smarter

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Brain health is largely determined by a diet and lifestyle, but it can be supported further with the right supplements. Today we are going to break down some of the top nutrients and supplements for eating yourself smarter!

ALA: Alpha-linolenic acid

ALA is an omega-3 fatty acid, but unlike other popular omega-3s, this one cannot be synthesized in the body, you must get it via diet. ALA is suspected to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which is a huge part of how you maintain neurons and increase learning and memory. ALA can be found in olives, avocados, walnuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has so many benefits I have a whole article on its various uses! Its extreme efficiency for detoxing (it’s used in the ER for overdoses) can prevent toxins from reaching your brain. Activated charcoal works as a sponge to soak up toxins and heavy metals that can mess with brain health in ways such as causing brain fog, depression, and anxiety. 

Activated charcoal soaks up everything, so be sure to take it away from food and other supplements. However, if you’re drinking or eating something that contains anti-nutrients, you can take activated charcoal with your alcohol or meal to help reduce toxic load.

Butyric Acid

Also known as ‘butyrate,’ butyric acid is a fatty acid found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, and butter. Butyric acid inhibits NF-kB gene activation in the colon, which is involved in inflammatory immune responses, thereby acting as an anti-inflammatory and minimizing inflammation of your central nervous system: the brain included. Grass-fed butter is my favorite way to get the benefits of butyric acid!

Click here to schedule a consult with a functional medicine doctor to improve your brain health!

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)

CLA is another fatty acid beneficial for brain health. It can improve immune response and can protect brain health, too! It is found in grass fed beef and lamb as well as in grass fed butter.


CoQ10 works as an antioxidant helping to break down free radicals, as a ‘coenzyme’ helping to break down food, and also plays a crucial role in the production of ATP, our cell’s energy currency. In addition to all of this, research has found CoQ10 has the potential to treat mitochondrial disorders and neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). A 2014 study showed that those with higher levels of CoQ10 were 77% LESS likely to develop dementia. You can get CoQ10 from oily fish, grass fed beef, organ meat, or as a supplement


Curcumin has been used for centuries as an anti-inflammatory agent in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. Because of its ability to inhibit inflammation, curcumin has been studied as a treatment for colitis, arthritis, and cancer. Curcumin has the potential to protect against chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. It is the active ingredient in turmeric, which can be used in food or as a tea, or you can take pure curcumin as a supplement!

DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid

This omega-3 fatty acid is well-known as a brain nutrient–the brain is primarily made up of fat, so when you consume foods rich in DHA, you are quite literally consuming brain food! DHA is crucial for brain development in infants, and equally important as an adult to have a healthy, properly functioning brain. DHA deficiency is associated with ADHD, fetal alcohol syndrome, depression, aggression, and something called “adrenoleukodystrophy”–the degradation of the myelin sheath that protects nerve cells. Studies have shown DHA improves memory, increases reaction time, and prevents aggression!

You can get DHA in your diet via wild caught seafood like: shrimp, lobster, anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and tuna as well as in grass fed beef and pastured eggs. It is a bit harder to get adequate amounts of DHA on a vegetarian/vegan diet, but there is some degree of bioavailable DHA in spirulina and chlorella.


Glutathione, known as the ‘master antioxidant,’ plays a vital part of protecting your cells from oxidation and helping to get rid of toxins from your body. Glutathione helps regenerate other antioxidants and restore them back to their active state.

You must consume adequate protein to produce glutathione (between 0.5-0.8 grams per pound of body weight). You can enhance your body’s production of glutathione by consuming foods which contain the precursor to glutathione, like milk thistle, whey protein, arugula, broccoli, and cauliflower, and foods that support methylation including avocados, liver, grass-fed beef, and spinach. You can also supplement with glutathione–I recommend sublingual or liposomal forms which have proven to be the most bioavailable.


Remember: there is more than one piece of the health puzzle. You can’t take supplements and eat fast food and expect them to do all the work for you! Brain-boosting foods are the same foods that create whole body health. Pastured eggs, grass fed beef, healthy fats, and lots of green leafy vegetables are a huge part of eating yourself healthier and smarter. When you are implementing healthy diet and lifestyle choices, supplements are a great way to further support a healthy brain and body.

Click here to schedule a consult with a functional medicine doctor to improve your brain health!


Nutrition is Science-Backed Medicine

By Dr. Justin Marchegiani

Nutrient: “a substance that provides nourishment

essential for growth and the maintenance of life.”

You Are What You Eat

Why do people change their diet? While popular answers are to lose weight (fat), or to get in better shape (adding muscle), good nutrition is in fact about so much more than changing your physical appearance. Proper nutrition–diet and supplementation–is a science-backed way to improve your health. “You are what you eat,” and everyday you have the power to decide how the foods you consume will serve you. Let food be thy medicine: heal your gut, balance your hormones, improve your mood, boost your energy, and more.

Nutrition as Medicine

As kids, many of us were told to eat our vegetables–why? ”Because they’re good for you.”

As adults, we are told to eat our vegetables–why? “To shed some weight.”

Neither of these answers demonstrates the true healing nature of what we put in our bodies, so, without further ado, here are some of the most powerful science-backed healing properties of a healthy diet!

Click here for a personalized health plan from a functional medicine doctor!

Physical Appearance

We all know that changing our diet can help us lose weight, but did you know that a healthy diet can improve the appearance of your skin and hair too? B-vitamins, like biotin, have been shown to improve the appearance of skin and nails. Collagen also supports healthy hair, skin, and joints!

Increased Energy

A poor diet lacking in healthy macro and micronutrients–paired with a diet high in sugar, alcohol, and processed foods–can lead to headaches, brain fog, and fatigue. On the other hand, eating grass fed meat, healthy fats, and lots of fresh vegetables will give your body the fuel it needs to function optimally.

The Standard American Diet (“SAD” – a fitting acronym) is full of inflammatory processed foods and refined carbs & sugar which deplete the immune system, increase the rate of cancer, and increase the risk of developing autoimmune disease. 

Inflammation is the root cause of most diseases: but a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods is the best gift you can give yourself to feel and function at your best!

Better Sleep

Poor sleep–whether you’re lacking hours, or your sleep quality is not that good– can increase your risk of diabetes, decrease your immune system, and accelerate aging. 

Alcohol and caffeine both impair sleep quality. Caffeine has a half-life of around 6 hours, so ideally you want to have your last cup by 2pm. Alcohol robs you of restorative REM sleep, which in addition to its dehydrating effects, lead to the next day’s dreaded hangover.

Food that positively affect sleep include veggies, grass-fed beef, chia seeds, sweet potato, wild-caught salmon, and those rich in magnesium. On the other hand, simple carbs and sugar negatively affect blood sugar and sleep–especially if consumed in the evening.

Balanced Hormones

Your body *needs* fat! Fat is required for your body to produce various hormones and keep inflammation low. Carbs, especially simple carbs, can actually increase inflammation and disrupt the delicate balance of your hormones.

If you suffer from leaky gut or other gut issues, you may be deficient in gut bacteria. Probiotics, like those from fermented foods–like sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha– provide your gut with beneficial bacteria which can help keep your hormones in balance.

Improved Mood

Did you know that dairy, sugar, and gluten are linked to depression? While the Mediterranean diet, rich in saturated fat, fish, and vegetables is associated with both decreased rates of depression *and* a longer lifespan!

Ready to Take Charge?

By now, you should have all the motivation you need to make a change for the healthier. Here are some resources to help you get started:

  • The JustInHealth Eating Plan
    • How to Eat, What to Eat, and the Healthy Meal Matrix
  • Nutrient Support
    • If you or your diet is deficient in certain nutrients, supplementing with high quality supplements shouldn’t be overlooked!
      • Iron Supreme: Hypothyroidism, anemia, and iron deficiency are all linked. Many women are iron-deficient, which can be remedied by eating red meat and supplementing with a high-quality iron supplement, like Iron Supreme.
      • Magnesium Supreme: Magnesium is essential for proper function of over 300 enzymatic reactions and for the performance of many vital physiological functions. A magnesium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, blood sugar problems, poor sleep, muscle cramps, and more.
      • Multi-Nutrient Supreme: Your daily all-in-one for general nutrient support! Vitamins A, B, C, D, E and so much more!

Questions? Click here if you are ready for help learning how to take your health back into your own hands!


Jun S Lai, Sarah Hiles, Alessandra Bisquera, Alexis J Hure, Mark McEvoy, John Attia; A systematic review and meta-analysis of dietary patterns and depression in community-dwelling adults, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2014;99(1):181–197


The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Justin Marchegiani unless otherwise noted. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright as marked. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Justin and his community. Dr. Justin encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. Marchegiani’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using any products.