10 Foods That Can Help Fight Dementia

10 Foods That Can Help Fight Dementia

Dementia is a concern for many people. As our population ages, we keep hearing that age-related memory disorders are destroying families.

The puzzle of the brain concept

Not only do children get stuck with caring for parents and making tough decisions they find themselves drained of energy. Because I care about this topic, I wanted to share my favorite 10 Foods that can help fight dementia.

Winning The War Against Dementia May Lay In What We Eat

These foods are highly researched by a group of Canadian researchers at Concordia University in Montreal along with Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute.

These researchers are working together to form the Brain Health Food Guide. Their studies also focus on how the Mediterranean diet works to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 35%.

10 Foods That Can Help Fight Dementia

So what are these 10 Foods that can help fight dementia?  Here’s my list and how I include many of them daily.

healthy food concepts for dementia
healthy smoothie for dementia
  1. Raw Leafy Green Vegetables
    The darker, the better they say so use things like spinach, chard, and Kale. I mix in a blender or Vitamix 2-3 cups with water and frozen berries. These greens boost your vitamin k and increase the antioxidants for the brain. Personally, I think these are the best of the 10 foods that can help fight dementia.
  2. Cruciferous vegetables
    These are vegetables that are high in vitamin K and glucosinolates which have an antioxidant effect. They include broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Try to get three ½ cup servings weekly. We do our green shake at lunch and then for dinner enjoy these vegetables.

3. Blueberries and Blackberries
I keep reading studies on berries, and some are more pro-blueberry while a surprising number are now coming out that blackberries are even better for both the brain and the heart. Be careful not to overeat fruit. If you’re using them in smoothies, keep it at 1/3 cup daily or about ½ to 2/3 cup three times weekly. Of the 10 foods that can help fight dementia, it’s important to note that it’s not all fruit. It’s only these berries.

4. Beans
These make the international list but not my list. Why? Most people do not prepare them correctly. Be sure to soak your beans and lentils for 24-36 hours in water. Then you must cook them for about 2 hours. See my Bean Cookin 101

5. Nuts
I love nuts, and I bet you do too. They’re easy for a snack, and hey you can find them in just about every granola bar around. That’s the problem — too much of a good thing. Nuts can cause bloating and gas. They are high in fat and can increase weight gain. But they’re terrific for brain health. I use Almond milk in my Chai so I must count that as a nut serving.

If you’re going for a handful of nuts, walnuts are best for the brain and high in omega-3 fatty acid a brain-protective nutrient. I recommend supplementing too. Enjoy about ¼-1/2 cup of nuts daily. If you’re using nut milk or spreads, you should choose between what you want to enjoy that day. 

6. Fish
I’m not a fish fan. Allergic to shell-fish it’s hard to ensure you’re getting sea-meat you can eat! Fish is good for you though. It’s full of iodine and iron. Some say the fatter, the better. Salmon and trout top the list though I go for Halibut, cod, and other fresh white fish to lower the mercury levels.

7. Whole Grains
This is one of the most confusing areas for many people. If you go to the local grocers and buy a loaf of fluffy whole wheat bread, it’s not whole wheat! You have to be picky with grains and often making your own is best. Grains include oats, brown rice, and yes wheat along with other grains. All of these should be fermented or sprouted before eating or cooking. All should be consumed This means that tasty morning oat and nut cereal will need to be fermented and then cooked. So much for a fast meal, you’re thinking. I have a quick article, Fermenting and Sprouting to help you love the morning meal once again.

8. Poultry
Did anyone say chicken? Americans have gone on a red-meat replacement craze. Chicken has become the meat of choice, and that’s good and not so good. Eat one serving a day because you need variety. So while we’re talking meat protein, vary it up each day. Make the total animal protein no more than six total grams. You need protein to keep your brain and mind functioning properly.

9. Dairy
Some Dairy is okay. Don’t buy into the lower fat varieties instead look for organic and grass-fed whole milk, yogurt, or cheese. No more than ½ of milk or yogurt and 1 oz of cheese daily. Also, you can try goat or sheep cheese. We’ve found some excellent ones at Whole Foods. Of the 10 foods that can help fight dementia, milk is not technically one as far as Paleo eating is concerned.

10. Olive Oil
I almost want to say use generously, but I know some might think I am saying to eat a Keto diet – do not go there! This is a healthy oil. Use it healthily. Replace other oils with it. Like all these foods it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins that protect and keep your brain healthy.

What You Eat Matters

Many people today are focused on how to eat better and are eating similar to this list. This is good news. It’s healthy for the heart and overall health too. Calories matter so be active and don’t overeat anything that includes everything here. I hope you are eating and enjoying my list of 10 foods that can help fight dementia. If not, maybe now is a good time to start even if you’re in your 20’s or 30’s.

How Vitamin D Protects Your Brain Function

How Vitamin D Protects Your Brain Function

It’s not new science it’s just not mentioned much yet. Vitamin D protects your brain function. This includes supporting new brain cell growth and removing amyloid.

Amyloid is a starch like protein that is deposited in the liver, kidneys, spleen or other tissues in certain diseases. It is known to lead to Alzheimer’s[1].

Alzheimer’s And Vitamin D

This is one of the biggest risk factors for so many because large numbers of people don’t get enough D through their diet and spend the needed time to activate D through sunlight exposure.

Wait. Are you saying I need to supplement Dr. Deb?  Yes and no. First, find out your numbers. I don’t care for the standard ‘blood test,’ but it’s fine if you can’t do the higher quality test we provide at our office.

Most labs suggest that if your result is over 52 for Vitamin, you’re fine. You’re not. Low levels of D are associated with memory loss and increased risk for dementia. Brain health studies suggest a level around 70-80 improve memory and decrease your risk for dementia[1].

Vitamin D protects your brain function by working to help you avoid age-related brain disease.

To improve your memory and decrease the risk of brain degeneration a supplement dose of 5,000 to 8,000 IU daily should be enough to keep brain tissues functioning at peak capacity.[1]

Why is Vitamin D Important for Brain Health?

Researchers have found that certain cells receptors in our brain are there to connect with D. The function of this connection in animals with Alzheimer’s is that it helps to clear the brain of Amyloid – the toxic protein that builds up and can lead to dementia and other age-related brain disorders. Vitamin D protects your brain function by working to remove Amyloid proteins.

I believe if my mother would have taken it she would not have developed Dementia.
 

In these animal studies, D helped support neurogenesis or the formation of new healthy brain cells!

In other words, D the vitamin can help you stave off age-related brain disorders before they happen.

We already know that Vitamin D or D3 helps to protect us against neuro-inflammation through decades of research.[1] Recent studies continue to validate this. Vitamin D protects your brain function by building new tissue, clearing harmful proteins and protecting you against chronic inflammation inside your head.

Outside of the Research On D3 and Brain Health

 

I’m a simple person. An earthy practitioner though I know many people want research to back up claims and I’ve provided that here. Now let’s talk about why you need to be sure you are taking Vitamin D3 and that you get tested at least yearly for your micronutrients.

  • Vitamin D deficiency is very common. It significantly affects brain health.
  • Mild cognitive impairment and dementia are common forms of age-related cognitive decline that D can help slow or prevent.
  • Both Alzheimer’s and Dementia along with aspects of healthy brain function are consistently associated with levels of vitamin D.
  • Higher levels of Vitamin D are shown to be protective of brain damage.
  • Lower levels also are associated with a significant increase in future cognitive dysfunction.
  • Supplements and regular testing helps you maintain the best levels for reducing inflammation and Amyloid proteins in your brain.

Of course, I see patients who take 8,000 IU of D, and they are still deficient. Their supplement is usually an over-the-counter, or a store purchased brand. Higher quality plays a role in healthy brain outcomes too. Vitamin D protects your brain function by working to help your brain stay young so you can enjoy more years of active living.

 

 

Resources:

[1] Motrello M, Landel V, Lacassagne E. et. al. Vitamin D Improves Neurogenesis and Cognition in a Mouse Model Of Alzheimer’s Disease. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Aug; 55
[1] Neuroepidemiology journal, 2011, Alzheimer’s, vitamin d and dementia.
[1] Endocrine Practice 2012 Nov-Dec.; 18. Mitchell DM.
[1] J. Neuroimmune Pharmacologically 2017 Jun; 12. Cavello R.  and Epma. J 2017 Dec 8; Koduah P.

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaneurology/article-abstract/1108038
Images: unsplash and Bigstock

 

What is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

What is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

What is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

Depending on your Google search you’ll come up with many answers to this question. Functional medicine is simply helping you function better and age slower.

What is Functional Medicine? It’s an alternative approach to western medicine using, supplements, fitness, natural therapies, and Mind-Body medicine to keep you as well as possible. Keep reading there’s a lot more.

Why Do You Need It?

Don’t you want to be healthy and live a happy, long life? Because Functional Medicine is a patient-centered science-based approach, it focuses on you. It also focuses on the cure or root of your illness instead of what drug to give you.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine [FM] has been around for decades. Until recently when medical doctors decided it was valid, it was simply called natural medicine. Western doctors seldom deliver when providing FM is the patient-centered longer visit times. When you are ‘partnered’ with your clinician, your health is better. Most health insurance doesn’t allow western doctors to spend longer times with patients.

No so with an alternative specialist.  Your visit with us will take longer because that is the nature of our training. Health insurance allows us to spend time with our clients.

A Functional medicine practitioner will spend time with their patients. We listen to your health history. We look for interactions between genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

How Is Functional Medicine Different?

  1. Patient-Centered Care. It focuses on your goals. This helps you create realistic, healthy, outcomes to your wellness. The objective is wellness or illness care. It’s listening to you and helping you be your healthiest.
  2. Science-Based Health Care. For centuries, natural medicine, now referred to as Functional Medicine has looked at the root cause of disease. It’s called looking up-stream. We look at the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle. This guides us to what lead to illness. Then how to integrate the natural approaches best to achieve wellness.
  3. Integrative Approach To Health Care. Whether the patient currently is experiencing a health problem or disease, integrative therapy is part of sound Functional Medicine. Prevention and healing through nutrition, diet, exercise are all part of FM.Functional medicine also uses the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques. Prescribed are botanical medicines, supplements, acupuncture, natural allergy elimination, therapeutic diets, lifestyle, and fitness — also detoxification programs and stress-management techniques

Why Is Functional Medicine Important?

  • Our society is getting sicker. There’s a sharp rise in a disease like diabetes, cancer, chronic disease, heart disease, and mental illness. Autoimmune disorders including Arthritis are at the highest rate ever. No, it’s not an aging population. Those under 45 make up a large part of people affected by these illnesses.
  • Current western medicine is oriented toward drugs or surgery to fix the problem. Drugs are used to cover up the symptoms not cure or slow the progress of the illness. In many cases, they harm. Primetime commercials are proof.Surgery is permanent. It should be a last resort, not the end all. Knee surgery, for example, lasts about ten years then you get to do it again!
  • There’s a huge gap between the latest research and the way doctor’ practice medicine. Many still believe in low-fat diets while the research of the last 30 years shows your brain need cholesterol to function.
  • Unfortunately, most physicians aren’t trained to do more than prescription drugs or surgery. Medical school doesn’t train professionals to look for the underlying cause of complex, chronic disease. There are only a few if any classes are training a medical doctor on nutrition, fitness, diet, or natural wellness.

What Is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

Functional medicine is your ticket to feeling better and improving your health. You need it because you deserve to live drug-free and without multiple surgeries whenever possible.

Images courtesy of: Photo by Marcelo Leal, rawpixel on Unsplash or Bigstock

The Migraine Cure

The Migraine Cure

Let’s talk about pain. The kind that stops you right where you are because it’s a migraine. I had it. I hated it. It ruled my life. When I was a teen, it ruined dates. Later it made it impossible to be a good employee. Migraine relief can seem impossible but I have a solution

Constant Head Pain

The good news is I had to find something that stopped my constant head pain and that I controlled career-wise. I became an acupuncturist and Functional Medicine provider. Lucky me!

Really! Because my migraines went away. Not just mine but many of my patients. No, I’m not a miracle worker. I believe when you have a definite goal like enjoying life and getting rid of your head pain you really focus and manifest your desire.

Let The Universe Help Your Migraines

I just know that for me the Universe sent me beautiful patients to help and learn from. Each had a unique migraine pattern. Each got better. Most no longer have migraines like myself. I call it, The Migraine Cure.

No, it wasn’t acupuncture or herbs. It was many things. Remember the Universe? I’m not about to suggest to you ‘God’ did it.

Migraine Relief

I’m telling you that when you use something called Focused Intention along with natural medicine you get terrific results – that last. In the book, The Tools, the authors swear that their tools only work if you connect to what they call, Higher Forces.

Yep, that’s what I am telling you. It’s why people will come to me who’ve tried acupuncture for migraines and never got results. Some have done herbs, supplements, and exercise, changed their diets and the headaches persist.

Mine did too.

Headache Relief

In fact the first few months in practice I ‘absorbed’ every a migraine my patients I had. That was awful!

It trained me though that I was connected to something greater than myself and that while I have the ‘tools’ [acupuncture, functional medicine, herbs, therapies, etc.], it takes two. The patient and I working to connect through their pain. Sounds a little weird I know.

Let me make it simple. If you have migraines, you’ll need to get in tune with your body and the pain. My job is to tune in too. The Migraine Cure is unique to you and involves you understanding your body. This is easy, and we do it together. That’s what is the special sauce we do with painless acupuncture in my office
Photos from Big Stock or by Antonika Chanel on Unsplash