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Why Eat Nuts and Seeds as Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet?

Posted by on Friday, June 16th, 2017

 nuts for the Alzheimer's diet

There’s been a lot of hype these days about antioxidants for the Alzheimer’s diet.  Nuts and Seeds (such as almonds and sunflower seeds) are foods that contain some of the highest levels of a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E.

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Is There a Link Between Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s Disease

Posted by on Wednesday, June 7th, 2017

 clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease

A recent study has shown a link between the abnormal protein that causes damage to neurons in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s (PD) and Huntington’s disease  (HD).  The protein is called amyloid.

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The Paleo Diet: Should it Really be Left to Cavemen or is it an Option for Alzheimer’s Prevention?

Posted by on Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

 Paleo diet for Alzheimer's prevention

 

There are many claims to fame when it comes to new diets popping up in today’s world of health and nutrition seekers.  Today’s diet fads include everything from the vegan diet to the MIND and Zone diets.  One such popular, so called healthy eating plan is the Paleo Diet, commonly known as the “Caveman Diet.” There are many questions about the Paleo diet, including, just what, exactly is on the menu, is it really what the cavemen ate, and is Paleo considered a healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet?

The Diet’s Origins

The Paleo diet is said to mimic the eating patterns of our ancient ancestors during the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age period.  This historical time frame occurred approximately two and a half million years ago, when the first humans, who made stone tools, walked the earth.  The Paleo diet gets its name from foods that presumably were eaten by cavemen back in the Paleolithic era.  The food on the Paleo diet, intended to help dieters get in touch with their ancestral roots, includes meat, eggs, fish, fruit, nuts vegetables and other natural unprocessed foods.  Milk and dairy products are prohibited on the Paleo diet because cave men are said to have been intolerant of lactose.  Other foods that are prohibited on the Paleo diet include: legumes, cereal, grains, refined sugar and all processed foods (so essentially, no potato chips, pop, crackers, cereal, macaroni, pasta or any other prepacked prepared foods).   But, did our stone aged ancestors really eat the same foods recommended on today’s Paleo diet?

Available Foods on the Ancient Paleo Diet

The answer is an emphatic “not really.”  First off, let’s get clear on who these early humans were and how they lived.  Were cavemen considered fit? If you consider the average lifespan of 20 years old to be healthy, then perhaps.  The people in the Paleolithic times ate just about anything they could scrounge up, including grubs, nettles and even armadillos-according to National Geographic.  Vegetables that were accessible back in prehistoric times included plants such as cattails and ferns.  Nuts, fruits and vegetables, most likely included some varieties of modern day food, but historians are in dispute about what, exactly was available for food sources.    Many experts hypothesize that ancient day vegetables included, small tomatoes and potatoes (the size of berries), spiny sea urchins, prickly bitter lettuce, tough, curly sea kale (that grew along the coastal areas), starchy, hard peas, and tiny carrots.  Beans were thought to be lined with toxins (thus, no legumes are allowed on the Paleo diet).  Most of the meat eaten in the days of our Paleolithic ancestors included much smaller, less plump versions of today’s protein sources of meat.  Paleolithic fruit included apples, dates, figs, plums, pears, and grapes. Although smaller and a bit tarter than today’s variety of fruit, (unlike the vegetables in historic times) it was identifiable as fruit. As time passed, human selection made fruit species larger and sweeter than that of our ancestors.

Evolution of the Human Digestive System

Quote from National Geographic: “The notion that we stopped evolving in the Paleolithic period simply isn’t true. Our teeth, jaws, and faces have gotten smaller, and our DNA has changed since the invention of agriculture. “Are humans still evolving? Yes!” says geneticist Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania.

“One striking piece of evidence is lactose tolerance. All humans digest mother’s milk as infants, but until cattle began being domesticated 10,000 years ago, weaned children no longer needed to digest milk. As a result, they stopped making the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose into simple sugars. After humans began herding cattle, it became tremendously advantageous to digest milk, and lactose tolerance evolved independently among cattle herders in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Groups not dependent on cattle, such as the Chinese and Thai, the Pima Indians of the American Southwest, and the Bantu of West Africa, remain lactose intolerant,” according to the National Geographic. 

Conclusion

 So, although it may seem to make perfect sense to eat like we did ten thousand years ago, before you get started eliminating healthy whole grains and healthy legumes from your brain healthy Alzheimer’s prevention diet, keep in mind that today’s Paleo diet is a far cry from the food on the menu of our ancient ancestors.

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to get your copy of Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention, written by a Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

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New Study Reveals Diet Beverages may Increase Risk of Stroke & Alzheimer’s Dementia

Posted by on Monday, May 15th, 2017

drinking soda increases risk of Alzheimer's dementia

The long term  risk of ingesting  loads of  sugary foods and beverages is a pretty commonly known these days, but a new study says diet drinks may be even more dangerous when it comes to Alzheimer’s dementia.   Sugar laden and diet soda drinks have been an integral part of American culture for decades.  These types of drinks have become commonplace at parties, picnics, family get togethers, holidays and more. But today, medical science is proving just why sugar laden as well as diet soft drinks should be eliminated from the diet all together. 

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Is Popcorn Recommended as Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s diet?

Posted by on Sunday, April 30th, 2017

healthy snacks for the Alzheimer's diet

 

The number of healthy, quick to prepare snacks available for a healthy Alzheimer’s diet is somewhat limited, particularly if you purchase processed packaged food to save time.  But one tried and true low calorie, high fiber, all natural food for the Alzheimer’s diet is popcorn.  But, it’s important to note that all popcorn is not created equal. 

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10 Reasons to Eat Legumes as Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Beans for the Alzheimer's diet

There is a pretty long list of foods that are recommended as part of a healthy Alzheimer’s diet.  From wild caught fish to berries and green leafy vegetables, brain healthy food choices are numerous.  But one food that doesn’t really get a lot of PR worthy of mentioning, is legumes (beans).  Legumes include any type of beans, lentils, soy nuts, peanuts (commonly categorized as nuts by mistake) and peas.  So, just why are legumes so healthy and why are they highly recommended as part of a heart and brain healthy diet? 

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Can Healthy Fat be Detrimental to the Alzheimer’s Diet?

Posted by on Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

 weight control for the Alzheimer's diet

These days, many food experts and nutritionists are raving about healthy fats such as avocados and olive oil as part of a brain healthy Alzheimer’s diet.  The era of the low- fat weight loss diet fad is considered obsolete today.  Recent research indicates that healthy unsaturated fat is necessary for overall heart and brain health, and serves as an important component in a successful weight loss program.  But where do we draw the line when it comes to fat?   Can too much healthy unsaturated fat be detrimental to an Alzheimer’s prevention diet?

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Drink to Your Health: 10 Reasons to Drink Tea for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Posted by on Monday, April 3rd, 2017

drinking tea for Alzheimer's prevention

Tea drinking rituals have been popular for thousands of years in eastern countries such as China and Japan.  Today tea drinking is gaining in popularity in the U.S. as well, but can drinking tea promote Alzheimer’s prevention?

Many people have started drinking tea due its health benefits.  Studies have shown that various types of tea promote heart and brain health, boost metabolism, provide antioxidants to stave off cancer and more.   In addition, recent scientific studies are beginning to reveal the possible benefits tea offers for improved cognition.

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10 Healthy and 5 Unhealthy Foods for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on Monday, March 20th, 2017

 Prevention of Alzheimer's disease

 

There are some interesting new diets surfacing lately that are making the claim to fame when it comes to prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.  It’s been said many times by nutritional experts, “what’s good for the heart is good for the brain.”  This may be the case with a new diet called the MIND diet.

What is the Mind Diet?  

The MIND diet is a hybrid diet combining foods from the Mediterranean and DASH diets for an eating guide that will promote heart health. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, and DASH stands for “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.

The Mind Diet and Alzhiemer’s Disease Prevention  

Recently the MIND diet was found in clinical studies to promote brain health.  The study, performed at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, revealed that the MIND diet may reduce risks of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53%.

The MIND diet is thought to be a simpler version of the Mediterranean diet because it is comprised of a list of “10 brain healthy food groups” and 5 “unhealthy food groups” to limit or avoid.  Read on to view the list of these healthy and unhealthy foods that comprise the MIND diet.

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A New Alzheimer’s Diet to Keep in MIND

Posted by on Sunday, March 12th, 2017

 brain healthy foods for the Alzheimer's diet

A new Alzheimer’s diet called the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet may help to lower risks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by as much as 53%.

A recent Rush University Medical Center study funded by the National Institute on Aging aimed to discover if the MIND diet effected the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).  Martha Clare Morris, PhD, and colleagues developed the MIND diet which integrates foods from the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. 

The MIND diet is considered a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, both of which have been shown in studies to lower the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke.  Some studies have found that the two diets may also help protect against Alzheimer’s dementia. 

The MIND diet was developed after compiling years of past research results about the therapeutic and adverse effects of various foods on brain health.   

For years, scientists have known that diet can have a big impact on heart health and now the evidence is stacking up that an increase of some foods and restriction of others can contribute to brain health.

The MIND Diet Study

The study of 900 people ages 58 to 98 participated in neurological testing and answered questionnaires about daily food consumption.  Those study group members who followed the MIND diet recommendations closely were found to test higher in cognitive functioning tests.  In fact, they exhibited the range of cognitive functioning of a person 7 and a half years younger.

The study results, published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, revealed that AD risks were lowered by 53% in those who “adhered rigorously” to the diet and by 35% in the participants who followed the diet “moderately.”

One of the most exciting outcomes of the study was the fact that even those who only moderately followed the diet reduced their risk of AD by a third.   

Nutritional epidemiologist, Martha Clare Morris, PHD, the lead author of the MIND diet study, said “Diet appears to be just one of many factors that play into who gets the disease.” “Genetics and other factors like smoking, exercise and education also play a role, but the MIND diet helped slow the rate of cognitive decline and protect against Alzheimer’s regardless of other risk factors” said Morris.

Morris went on to explain the MIND diet is an easier diet to follow than the Mediterranean diet, which is comprised of a daily diet of several servings for fruits and vegetables as well as fish.  In comparison, the MIND diet simply lists 10 brain healthy foods and 5 foods to avoid, see Part 2 of the MIND diet for details on the specific foods on each list.