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Food For Thought

Peggy Knickerbocker’s article, Brain Food, Cooking Light, November 2016, focuses on the effect of food on brain health and highlights Hunter Lewis’ statement that “there’s hope in taking charge”.

The article focuses on award-winning food writer Paula Wolfert, who noticed that her memory was slipping, went for neurological testing, and was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease a “progressive, irreversible disorder in which the brain’s nerve cells degenerate, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior.” Brains that are affected by the disease have “abnormal deposits of proteins, called amyloid plaques and tangles”, so the best way to treat the brain is to treat the plaques and tangles. And so started Wolfert’s journey of food as medicine. She is a big believer in social comfort – organizing a local memory café, participating in a weekly “lunch bunch”, and travelling as an advocate for Alzheimer’s Disease testing, treatment, and conversation.

Although she is at a moderate stage of the disease, she still focuses on her diet as a way to slow the progression and symptoms. She keeps a special freezer and refrigerator of all her go-to foods: organic blueberries, wild-caught salmon, sardines, chia seeds, flax seeds, cashews, walnuts, chard, kale, supplements, tinctures, coconut milk, and avocados. Her husband and son make their own meals, but she continues to stick with her “brain food”.

What else can help give your brain a boost? Rush University Medical Center suggests The MIND Diet, which helped “lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 53% in study participants who followed it rigorously, and by as much as 35% in moderate followers”:
Mediterranean/Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension
Intervention for
Neurodegenerative
Delay

The MIND Diet foods: fish, blueberries & other berries, nuts – especially walnuts, beans, dark leafy greens, extra-virgin olive oil, and red wine – moderately.

So although you may be caring for someone who already suffers from the disease, changing a few of your daily food habits can significantly reduce your risk of the same.

For more on The MIND Diet, see http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mind-diet.
For more on caring for someone with Alzheimer’s Disease, see http://www.alz.org/care/.