Alzheimer’s

Eat Healthy To Prevent Dementia

Eat Healthy To Prevent Dementia

Eating healthy for your brain

Is it true that Alzheimer’s and dementia could be linked to what we eat? If it is true then I am in serious trouble as I put a piece of pizza in my mouth. As I am approaching the age of being in my mid 50’s I am becoming more aware of what I eat and how much stress I am under. You see my father and uncle both had early onset Alzheimer’s when I was only 15 years old and they were in their mid-fifties when they were diagnosed. Back then there was not much known about the disease so we had nothing really to contribute to why my father and his brother came down with this terrible disease.

While doing some research on another article I came across several articles about this new fad diet called “The MIND diet”. Seeing these articles peaked my interest since I am constantly thinking about what are my chances of getting Alzheimer’s since it can be passed down through the jeans. Research has shown that dieting, exercise, keeping the mind active, getting plenty of rest, and stop smoking or using anything with nicotine in it will help significantly reduce the odds of developing Alzheimer’s or other dementia diseases.  As I was reading these articles I found that the one diet they all talked about was “The Mediterranean Diet” or a combination of this diet along with “The Dash Diet”. The combination diet called “The Mediterranean Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay” diet or (MIND) diet relies on banning five unhealthy food groups; red meat, butter or margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and of course everyone’s favorite food which is fried and fast food.

This past week some new research was released during the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference which took place in London that older adults that followed a eating plan of plant based diet like the Mediterranean or MIND diet lowered the risk of dementia by a third.

What is the MIND or Mediterranean diet?

First off the Mediterranean diet is not a typical traditional form of Western eating. Say goodbye to red meat, pork, butter, refined sugar, flour and fats. The true diet is very simple, the majority of the meal is fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts, and extra virgin olive oil.

People that follow the MIND do not reject everything that the people reject in the Mediterranean diet but they stay pretty close to Mediterranean diet but add in a few other key ingredients. The MIND diet consist of six servings a week of green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards broccoli and other green vegetables that are packed with vitamins A and C. This along with other forms of vegetables made a difference in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. The MIND diet also recommends at least five servings a week of whole grains and nuts is a must. Nuts contain healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants which help to lower bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Along with this they add in at least three servings of beans, two servings of berries, two servings of chicken or turkey and at least one serving of fish per week. Too top things off the MIND diet also includes one glass of wine per day. Wine is considered part of the top 10 brain healthy food groups that works in conjunction with the foods above to help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.

With the MIND diet you do not cut out all red meat but they limit the consumption to no more than four servings per week. Butter and stick margarine is limited to only a tablespoon per day and use extra virgin olive oil in place of butter. When it comes to cheese, if you want to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s than only eat cheese once a week. Sweets and pastries not only are  bad for the waistline but they are terrible for the brain. The MIND diet says to limit your consumption to no more than five treats per week.

Conclusion

It has been noted and published that people that consistently eat by the MIND diet will be healthier and reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Even if you slip up on the diet once in a while researchers still say it can still be beneficial to you and will continue to reduce your risk of developing this terrible disease.

Three great articles about dieting and dementia:

The MIND diet

CNN – Mediterranean style diet to prevent dementia

Dementia News


Posted by Tom in Lifestyle
The Benefits of Vitamin B-12

The Benefits of Vitamin B-12

The benefits of Vitamin B-12

Now that my wife and I are starting to get a few years under our belt we are finding ourselves taking more vitamins to help our body make it through the day. I remember my mother when she was in her 70’s she had to start getting a vitamin B-12 shot every month, now I am finding my wife and I taking a vitamin B-12 supplement. For a while I had stopped taking it and I started to notice that I was more sluggish and tired throughout the day. I mentioned this to my wife and she asked if I had stopped taking my B-12 supplement and I had to fess up that I had stopped. She suggested to start back taking it and we would see if it made a difference and it did.

What is Vitamin B-12

So, what makes this vitamin so good for us. Vitamin B-12 is also known as being called Cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, this means that is dissolves in water and flows through your bloodstream. Animal foods are the best source for taking in vitamin B-12, this would include grass fed meat, grass fed dairy products, eggs, wild caught fish, and organic range chicken. Like all the B vitamins, B-12 is water soluble and the body does not store cobalamin and if the body does not need it then the unwanted amounts are excreted through your urine.

The benefits of B-12

According to WebMD, Vitamin B-12 is an essential vitamin. This means that the body requires vitamin B-12 to work properly. Vitamin B-12 can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made in a laboratory. It is often taken in combination with other B vitamins. Here is some other reasons that we should be taking B-12;

  • It helps the body regulated the nervous system which it aids in reducing stress, depression, stress, and
  • It supports heart health.
  • It converts food and carbohydrates into glucose in the body thus leading to increase in energy and decrease fatigue.
  • It assists to maintain a healthy digestive system and it improves unhealthy cholesterol and it helps with high blood pressure.
  • It can also aid in helping to protect us against breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer.
  • May help curb memory loss or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Increase concentration.
  • Increase the Immune system.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency

Many of us are low or deficient in vitamin B-12 and don’t even know it. My mother had been B-12 deficient for many years and this resulted in severe damage to her body where she had to have B-12 injections monthly. There are many signs of being deficient in B-12 and here is a list of some of those signs.

  • Constantly feeling tired and fatigued, very common sign.
  • Joint pain.
  • Muscle weakness or muscle aches.
  • Dizziness
  • Poor memory or forgetfulness.
  • Inability to concentrate.
  • Depression
  • Mood swings.
  • Poor appetite.
  • Heart issues.
  • Anxiety.
  • Anemia, or pernicious anemia which my mother had. This is a serious condition that causes memory loss and long-term dementia. Pernicious anemia is potentially a life-threatening disease.

Many people especially the little big older generation and people that are vegetarians or vegans are potential victims of vitamin B-12 deficiency. In doing my research on this vitamin I know for a fact that I will be taking this vitamin for the rest of my life. If you are showing any signs that I have listed above I would recommend that you talk to your doctor and get some advice, you could be one of us that are starting down the road of being vitamin B-12 deficient.

Posted by Tom in Lifestyle