As an Alzheimer's Association Community Educator, my favorite presentation to give is the one called "Healthy Living For Your Brain and Body", because I am more passionate every year about two things: 1. We have the power to improve our body and our brain's performance with our diet and lifestyle; and 2. There are more voices telling us to rely on drugs for our answer than ever. Don't get me wrong: I am grateful for the innovations of modern medicine, and drugs may be helpful in some circumstances to help mitigate symptoms, but they will NEVER be the same as prevention with food, nor will they have the same power or efficacy of food. Not to mention the
disastrous potential side effects of medications and drugs that often cause more harm than the original problem.
Being aware of how and what to eat and drink for long-term brain health is so powerful, and even has implications to our lives today, for our mental health too. So much science now tells us that our gut health, which is either improved or destroyed by what we eat and drink, impacts our "happy hormones": serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin, are all impacted by our food, our exercise, our sun exposure, even our laughter can increase these hormones. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables actually helps our gut health, and increases our happy hormones. Did you know that over 80% of our serotonin is actually created in out gut?! So, when we feed our gut, we feed our brain and every other organ in our body. We are a WHOLE being, and every part of the body affects another part. We know that diets that have been traditionally recommended for heart health (the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet) show great results with slowing the progression of dementia and Alzheimer's. DASH actually stands for "Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension".
What both of these, and many other "heart healthy diets" promote is whole food- fresh, raw, fruits and veggies, plant foods like whole grains, fiber-rich legumes, nuts, beans and seeds, and wild-caught fish, with very little dairy, very little oils and very little meat, except low fat, wild game or animals fed healthy feed designed to mimic what they eat in nature. (The healthier the animal, the healthier it will be for you).
For more details or help in designing an eating and lifestyle plan for you, contact Michelle at LEAN and Vital Health for a free health consult.