Brain Health

I have a great resource written by Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Gary Small which highlights the topic of brain health and how to improve memory.  Nutrition is a huge part of brain health.  You may be wondering why I am on this topic.  My aunt has Parkinson’s disease.  She has had it for many years as my 9 year old niece only knows my aunt as being in a wheelchair.  I thought I would look into brain health and how to enhance and keep the brain healthy.  Although there is no known cause of fatal diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, there are proven nutrients that an enhance brain function.  See below for some excerpts from Dr. Andrew Weil and Dr. Gary Small.

  • Feed your brain an anti-inflammatory diet which includes fish, fruits, vegetables, olive oil, turmeric, and green tea
  • Eliminate trans fats, polyunsaturated vegetable oils, saturated fat, wheat flour, and sugar
  • Best supplements for brain health, 200 mg vitamin C, 400 IU natural vitamin E, 200 mg selenium, 10,000 to 15,000 IU of mixed carotenoids, B-50 complex supplement or a multivitamin
  • Smart supplements, memory supplements are Ginkgo, Acytyl-L-carnitine (ALC), and Phosphatidylserine

 

Some facts related to the above suggestions:

  • People who eat fish regularly are less likely to experience cognitive decline or develop Alzheimer’s.  Vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, freshly ground flax seeds and hemp seeds
  • A low rate of Alzheimer’s disease in India may be partly due to daily consumption of the spice turmeric, which is a major ingredient in Indian curries and American mustard, consider flavoring your food with it
  • A recent study of some one thousand Japanese people aged seventy or older found that those who drank at least two cups of green tea a day were 54% less likely to have cognitive difficulties than those who had three cups or fewer a week.

 

Top Antioxidant Foods

  1. small red beans
  2. wild blueberries
  3. red kidney beans
  4. pinto beans
  5. blueberries (cultivated)
  6. cranberries
  7. artichoke hearts
  8. blackberries
  9. prunes
  10. raspberries
  11. strawberries
  12. red delicious apples
  13. granny smith apples
  14. pecans
  15. sweet cherries
  16. black plums
  17. russet potatoes
  18. black beans
  19. plums
  20. gala apples

 

Other lifestyle factors that influence brain health include stress, smoking, alcohol, rest/sleep, and environmental toxins.  In fact, chronic, low-level exposure to environmental toxins like pesticides, herbicides, and heavy metals may increase risk of Parkinson’s disease.

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