Go into a regular convalescent home – not even one designated for ‘memory impaired’ people – and you will be astounded at how our brains can degenerate. If you’ve witnessed Alzheimer’s within your own family, you know firsthand how sad and scary it is.
Senile dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s – some scary things that are becoming common in modern life.
People often think there’s nothing you can do to avoid or prevent dementia – that it’s hereditary, or simply ‘bad luck’. That’s not true.
Research over the past 5-10 years has revealed how the brain can be kept in a healthy condition late in life. The catch? You better start now (‘It’s never too late to do the right thing’).
Remember, your health in 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now is being determined by what you’re doing today.
Top 4 To Do:
1. Eat healthy fats
2. Exercise daily
‘A favorable lifestyle was associated with a lower risk of dementia and there was no significant interaction between genetic risk and healthy lifestyle. Regular physical activity was defined as … at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week …or engaging in moderate physical activity at least 5 days a week or vigorous activity once a week.’ [article link]
3. Get optimal sleep
4. Be grateful
[read ‘What are you thinking?’]
Top 4 To Avoid
1. Artificial sweeteners
[read Your worst enemy – Artificial Sweeteners]
‘Sugar impairs your brain function, memory and cognitive ability; omega-3 deficiency makes it worse.’ [article link]
3. Processed vegetable oils – they disrupt the important omega-6 to omega-3 ratios (and cause cancer)
4. Wheat foods
Alzheimer’s is now being referred to as ‘Type 3 Diabetes’ [read here]
Important concept: the brain loves fat – healthy/good fats that is.
From fetal development through to old age, your brain needs good fats to stay functioning at a healthy level. Actually, not only the brain, but many functions throughout the body – immune, endocrine, hormonal – are dependent upon a constant supply of good fats to be and stay healthy.
What are good fats?
Here’s a list of healthy fats (list of bad fats below):
Omega-3 fats from cold water fish and fish oil [read Why Omega-3]
Raw nuts (especially walnuts, almonds, filberts, Brazil nuts
Butter from pastured cows
Fat from pastured meat (versus from feed-lot fed animals)
As described in other articles [here and here], cell membranes are composed of fatty acids and cholesterol; therefore, good fats = good cell function = health.
The Bad Fats
Man-made fats are deadly – steer clear of them at all costs:
Partially hydrogenated oils
Processed vegetable oils – canola, soy, cottonseed, corn
Related article on the brain and Alzheimer’s: Size Does Matter
A good article 13 Habits That Make Your Brain Age Faster
Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain by Dr. John Ratey, M.D.
[John Ratey, M.D. psychiatry prof at Harvard Med Schoolhe, explains the tremendous benefits of exercise, specifically cardio-intensive activities like running and biking. Through a combination of interviews, frontline work as a clinic researcher, and extensive analysis of the latest scientific literature, it concludes that frequent, moderate-to-high intensity cardio permanently improves not only physical health, but mental and psychological health too.]
Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers by Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D.
[Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, M.D. blows the lid off a finding that’s been buried in medical literature for far too long: carbs are destroying your brain. Even so-called healthy carbs like whole grains can cause dementia, ADHD, anxiety, chronic headaches, depression, decreased libido, and much more.]
The Omega-3 Connection: The Groundbreaking Antidepression Diet and Brain Program by Dr. Andrew Stoll, MD
[Andrew Stoll, M.D. director of psychopharmacology at Harvard Medical School, on why our ancestors relied so much on omega 3 oils, found in oily fish, flaxseed, game, human breast milk and walnuts, for their brain development and general health.]
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