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5 Easy Ways to Make A Healthy Thanksgiving Meal For Alzheimer’s Prevention and Treatment

Posted by on Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

Thanksgiving meal for Alzheimer's prevention

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We all know that our beloved Thanksgiving meal is not known for its health benefits. The traditional Thanksgiving meal is loaded with all of the usual suspects of an unhealthy diet: fat, simple carbohydrates, and sugar. If you or a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s, you may be looking for ways to boost the nutrient value in the foods you eat, and the Thanksgiving meal is no exception. Fortunately there are some simple ways to increase your dinner’s nutritional value without sacrificing flavor.

Healthy Thanksgiving Meal for Alzheimer's prevention

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Here are five easy ways to update the traditional Thanksgiving meal to infuse the food with nutrients without losing the flavors you crave.

1.     Choose Cauliflower and Squash Instead of Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are notoriously high in fat and will send your blood sugar into a tailspin. Make mashed cauliflower and butternut squash instead, and you will be amazed at the results.

Mashed Cauliflower and Butternut Squash - healthy alternative to mashed potatoes for Alzheimer's nutrition and prevention

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Butternut squash is rich in both vitamin A and B complex vitamins, such as folate, which has been shown to help improve cognitive function in Alzheimer’s patients. Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that also helps patients ward off the symptoms of the disease.


2.     Skip The Soda and Serve Concord Grape Juice Instead

Fresh Concord grape juice for Alzheimer's prevention

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Concord grape juice is proving to be quite the health drink. Many people are aware of the studies linking grape juice to improved cardiovascular health, but studies have shown that Alzheimer’s patients have received a bump in cognition after introducing Concord grape juice to their diets.

3.     Take The Sugar Out of Your Cranberry Sauce

Fresh Cranberries for Sauce - Alzheimer's prevention and nutrition for cognitive health

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Cutting sugar in any way is helpful to both Alzheimer’s patients and those looking to prevent it. High blood sugar has been linked to Alzheimer’s, so you should always be looking for ways to substitute refined sugar with lower glycemic sweeteners such as stevia, agave nectar, and maple syrup.

You will be delighted with the results of The Gracious Pantry’s Clean Eating Cranberry Sauce, sweetened with either maple syrup or honey. Your pancreas will thank you.

4.     Brine Your Turkey

Roasted Turkey - brining healthier turkey

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Turkey itself is considered one of the more nutritious meats you can eat. However, those who slave away on their bird every Thanksgiving usually make a batch of gravy to combat the all-too-frequent travesty of the dry, overcooked turkey.

Brining is a process which acts similar to a marinade. With a little planning, you can brine your turkey in advance, ensuring a perfectly tender bird for your guests, and skip the gravy all together. This process adds so much moisture and flavor to your turkey that you won’t even miss the gravy. In fact, while you’re at it, skip the stuffing and rolls too.

The recipe for Good Eats Roast Turkey from Alton Brown is simple and has 5 stars based on over 4,000 reviews.

5.     Skip The Condensed Mushroom Soup and Fried Onions In Your Green Beans

There are some excellent, healthy ways to prepare green beans without using condensed soup. One of the reasons people love preparing green bean casserole is because it’s so simple to make. However, there is absolutely no need to make a healthier recipe any more complicated. Preparing Thanksgiving dinner is hard enough as it is!


Green Beans with Almonds for healthy Thanksgiving meal for Alzheimer's prevention

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Here is a simple, nutritious, and delicious recipe you can prepare instead:

Green Beans with Almonds

1 lb. fresh or frozen green beans, cleaned and prepped
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Heat a pan on the stove over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add the almonds, making sure so stir them regularly until you begin to smell a toasty aroma. Once the almonds have roasted, add the olive oil to the pan followed by the green beans and salt. Sauté the beans for approximately 10 minutes until the beans are bright green and tender. If using red pepper flakes, add a pinch and stir before serving.

With just five simple changes to Thanksgiving dinner, you can create a meal that doesn’t taste so very different from the traditional meal you may be used to but is packed with both nutrients and flavor. You can also use this meal as a model for how you can revise some of your tried and true recipes to add nutritional value moving forward to help ward off Alzheimer’s disease and the symptoms of dementia.

For more easy to follow nutrition advice check out The Alzheimer’s Diet: A Step-by-Step Nutritional Approach to Memory Loss Prevention and Treatment, or visit to learn more about Neurologist, Dr. Richard Isaacson's 9 week diet plan and his cutting edge approach in the fight against AD in Alzheimer's Treatment | Alzheimer's Prevention: A Patient and Family Guide 2012 Edition. Also, sign up for the newsletter to get the latest updates in AD treatment and prevention news.

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