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Why Strawberries Should be Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Friday, August 4th, 2017

strawberries for the Alzheimer's diet

Some foods, such as strawberries should be part of a healthy Alzheimer’s diet every day, why?  Because new studies reveal that a compound found in strawberries could help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease (AD).  This natural compound that is present in strawberries and some vegetables may prevent AD, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases-says a new research study.

In fact, a recent mouse model study conducted by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA, examined aging results after administration of a compound called “fisetin” (a flavanol antioxidant present in many fruits and vegetables including strawberries).  The study concluded that a reduction of cognitive decline and inflammation of the brain resulted from fisetin supplementation.  

Fisetin is present in various fruits and vegetables including onions, grapes, cucumbers, apples, persimmons and strawberries. Studies show that this natural compound not only acts as a coloring agent for fruits and vegetables, it also has a high level of antioxidant (flavanol) properties.  Flavanols help to prevent the damage to cells caused by free radicals.  Inflammation may also be reduced from fisetin.

Pamela Maher, senior study author at the Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory at Salk, recently reported results of the study in The Journals of Gerontology. Included in the report was the results of fisetin, in clinical studies, on brain cells, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which could protect the brain against the negative effects aging. 

The Study

The mice study involved a group of prematurely aging mice given fisetin does with their food for 7 months.  The control group had the same food, without the fisetin supplement.  Each group of mice was then given a variety of memory tests.  Other responses were monitored in the mice, including protein levels (associated with inflammation, brain function and the stress response).

“At 10 months, the differences between these two groups were striking. Mice not treated with fisetin had difficulties with all the cognitive tests as well as elevated markers of stress and inflammation. Brain cells called astrocytes and microglia, which are normally anti-inflammatory, were now driving rampant inflammation. Mice treated with fisetin, on the other hand, were not noticeably different in behavior, cognitive ability or inflammatory markers at 10 months than a group of untreated 3-month-old mice with the same condition,” lead researcher Dr. Pamela Maher told Sci-News.com.

“Mice are not people, of course. But there are enough similarities that we think fisetin warrants a closer look, not only for potentially treating sporadic AD but also for reducing some of the cognitive effects associated with aging, generally…Based on our ongoing work, we think fisetin might be helpful as a preventative for many age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, not just AD, and we’d like to encourage more rigorous study of it,” Dr. Maher added.

Tips on Preserving Strawberries

Now that the strawberry season is upon us, learning how to successfully preserve the delicious red berries for as long as possible.  Here are three quick tips for preserving strawberries year round:

  • Keep the stems on until you are ready to eat them
  • Don’t wash the strawberries until you are ready to eat them (water makes them mushy)
  • Examine the berries for any moldy berries and toss them out right away, one bad berry can quickly spoil the rest.
  • Store berries in the refrigerator if you are going to wait a few days to eat them.

How to Freeze Strawberries

If you have more berries than you can eat, consider freezing them.  Although frozen produce do not retain 100% of their nutrients, some nutrients can be retained.  The berries will become soft and juice from freezing and thawing, so consider using the berries in smoothies or even shortcake. Steps for freezing the berries:

  • Rinse berries in cold water
  • Place the berries on a towel to dry
  • Hull berries and remove any damaged parts
  • Tops are edible, if you are using them in smoothies it’s okay to leave the tops on (they have vitamins and minerals as well as ellegic acid)
  • Place strawberries on a sheet pan and cover in parchment paper, freeze them and then vacuum seal the next day. 

Learn more about the Alzheimer’s diet by CLICKING HERE to view the groundbreaking book, The Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Diet book, written by Harvard trained neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson.

 

 

 

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Studies Say Eat These Foods for a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet Breakfast

Posted by on Monday, July 10th, 2017

 healthy breakfast foods for Alzheimer's diet

One of the biggest challenges in implementing the Alzheimer’s Diet may perhaps be eating a healthy breakfast every day, particularly if you are on the road.

The most common foods in the Western diet include quick carbohydrates such as muffins, toast, prepackaged cereals, and high sugar quick instant breakfast drinks (loaded with unwanted sugar and unhealthy fats).  Check in to just about any motel in America that offers free breakfast, and you’ll find an array of unhealthy food items such as waffles and cereal, bagels, muffins, toast with jelly and more.  Trying to find healthy breakfast items when you are traveling can be a real challenge, but at home it gets easier. See why these breakfast foods are recommended for the Alzheimer’s diet.  

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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 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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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. 

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Home Cooked Meals: A Primary Ingredient for The Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Friday, February 17th, 2017

home cooking for the Alzheimer's diet

 

If you or a loved are attempting to adhere to the Alzheimer’s diet, you may be interested to learn about a recent study on home cooked meals.  The study, published by John Hopkins School of Public Health, (online in the journal Public Health Nutrition) says people who cook at home, may be getting many health benefits compared to those who eat out.  In fact, the study found those who make more home cooked meals are consuming less calories than others who don’t cook as often.  Find out about the conclusions of this study  and  how home cooking can enhance and support the Alzheimer’s diet.

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The Facts About Fiber for the Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Thursday, February 9th, 2017

fiber for the Alzheimer's diet

Fiber is a vital nutrient for disease prevention and overall health, it also carries a lot of weight when considering some of the best  foods for the Alzheimer’s diet.

In today’s hectic world of rushing from place to place, it can be a real challenge to get enough fiber intake  each day.  You may be surprised to learn that the recommended daily intake of fiber is around 25 to 30 grams.  The fiber should be from a variety of food sources (not from supplements).  This recommendation comes from the American Heart Association.  Most Americans get only about half that amount each day.  So, what’s so great about fiber, and how can you ensure you are getting the right amount for a healthy Alzheimer’s diet?  

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Infammation Promoting Foods to Avoid as Part of a Healthy Alzheimer’s Diet

Posted by on Thursday, January 26th, 2017

 foods for the Alzheimer's diet

Many recent studies are exploring the possibility that inflammation could be a prime factor in the Alzheimer’s disease process. The two most common physiologic signs of Alzheimer’s in the brain are, plaques of amyloid beta protein, and tangles of tau protein. Chronic inflammation is also thought to play a major role in Alzheimer’s disease.   For those who want to maintain a healthy Alzheimer’s diet, it is beneficial to know which foods lend themselves to increasing inflammation in the body.

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