Brain Health with Mary Watson
Brain Health with Mary Watson
Eat, Hydrate & Walk for Brain Health
This week in the news the Prime Minister pledges 300million for research into dementia! Around 850,000 people in the U.K. are suffering from this non-communicable illness. If you follow the guidelines below on how to eat and hydrate for excellent cognitive function your brain will stay healthy.
Happy, Healthy, Dead is my mantra for aging.
I wanted to share with you all my lovely Mum. She will be 90 next year and has the energy of someone half her age. She is 88 years young in this photograph. Mum brought us up on her long held beliefs of drinking water and we walked everywhere. She takes no medication of any kind. She is out in all weathers walking daily, is as sharp as a tack and has kept up with her water regime all of her life. Perhaps Mr. Cameron should be having a meeting with mum to educate himself in the word ‘prevention’ and not skip down the usual ‘medical intervention’ route that governments constantly pursue.
The Human Body has an innate capacity for self-healing. We are by design a self-healing organism. Health & Healing Starts in the Kitchen.
Boost Your Brainpower: 5 Fascinating Findings from the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain
There is a link between fat intake and dementia to the effects of exercise on memory.
Vegetables help keep your mind sharp
Specifically, eating more vegetables (about 3-4 servings per day) is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline as people age, according to data from the Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP) Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach and collards seemed to have the strongest associations with reductions in cognitive decline, possibly due to high levels of brain-protective compounds like lutein and vitamin E.
Consuming high levels of saturated fat and Tran’s fat is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A diet high in saturated fat impairs memory and learning compared with a low-fat diet. Interestingly, in the CHAP study, Morris and her colleagues also found that people with high intakes of copper were more likely to experience cognitive decline—but only if they also ate high amounts of saturated and trans fats.
What’s more, John McDougall, MD, pointed out that for people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), data indicates that a difference of only 8 grams of saturated fat intake per day can increase the risk of dying from MS by three times. Where are these problematic fats found? Saturated fat shows up naturally in animal products (meat, poultry, butter, cheese) as well as in some plant foods like coconut, avocados, and nuts. Tran’s fats, on the other hand, are often added to baked goods to increase shelf life, although they also appear in some fried foods, margarines, pancake mixes, and frozen foods. (To steer clear of Tran’s fats, check ingredient lists for hydrogenated oils.)
Meat may be hazardous to your [brain and nerve] health
According to data from the first Adventist Health Study presented by Gary Fraser, PhD, meat eaters aged 65 and older had twice the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease when compared to vegetarians. What’s more, Michael Greger, M.D., pointed out that men who ate the most meat were 21 times (not a typo!) as likely to have essential tremor as those who ate the least meat. (Essential tremor is disorder of the nervous system that usually causes shaking of the hands, but can also cause tremors of the head, voice, legs, etc., and generally worsens with age.) While no one has yet proven that meat can cause essential tremor, researchers hypothesize that a neurotoxic chemical found in cooked meats may be to blame.
Exercise builds your brain
According to Kirk Erickson, Ph.D., being sedentary is a risk factor for dementia, and some 21% of Alzheimer’s disease cases in the U.S. may be attributable to physical inactivity. Yet Erickson noted that being active can reduce your risk of dementia and even help mitigate the effects of a gene, ApoE4, that puts those who carry it at increased risk. However, do remember that ‘genes load the gun’ but lifestyle pulls the trigger.
Better still, exercise improves brain function across the board, from speeding up reaction time to improving spatial abilities and the ability to plan. What’s more a recent study conducted by Erickson and his colleagues showed that brisk walking actually grows the part of your brain that’s responsible for forming new memories. And it doesn’t take much—we’re talking 30-45 minutes of walking 3 times per week. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty good motivation. I was working with a client last week who has multiple illness’s and as part of our programmes is to take our clients ‘power walking’ daily she will now embark on this new ‘healthy habit’ . One of the things she noticed was she felt ‘sharper’ and had no brain ‘fog’ all week. Now we know why elephants never forget—all that walking!
Eating a plant-based diet can help relieve anxiety and depression
Data from a recent study conducted by PCRM found that following a low-fat vegan diet—avoiding all animal products, minimizing added oil, and taking a multivitamin to ensure adequate vitamin B12—led to significant improvements in reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. Researchers also found that those on the plant-based diet experienced improved work productivity. Now those are feel-good results!
Embracing brain health—and delicious food!
I would encourage you all to transition to a wholefoods diet. The little things we do from choosing plant based over animal based foods to taking a walk daily may make the difference between keeping our brains sharp or literally losing our minds. Better still, making brain-boosting choices can be downright delicious.
Hydration and Brain Health
For nearly two decades we have used the best water system I know of. We nourish our brain cells with mineral rich and energized water. The brain is approximately 80% to 85% water. Dehydration is known to cause cognitive dysfunction. Dehydration has symptoms in common with senile dementia symptoms, age dementia symptoms and Alzheimer’s symptoms. Rehydrating an older person can often allow them to return to a full and normal life.
The body is the most amazing miracle and has incredible healing abilities, if you follow the rules of nature you will Live Better Longer. There is adequate educational information in my book ‘Macrobiotics for all Seasons’ and a host of brain boosting recipes on my website.
In good health