Good Nutrition Advice

For a healthy body and mind

Tag: alzheimer’s

Why Tasty Foods Like French Fries Leave You Wanting More

Junk Food Shrinks your Brain

Junk food shrinks your brain – yes, really…

Eating junk food can diminish the size of the part of your brain that is linked to learning, memory and mental health.

The study which was published in BMC Medicine look at 255 people and used MRI scans to measure the size of the hippocampus region of the brain, alongside their regular diets. The researchers found that those who ate a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, vegetables and fish had a larger hippocampus than those who ate more sugar, salt and processed meat in their diets.

The findings are relevant to  mental health, depression and Alzheimer’s, which are a growing concern for the ageing population.

If you are reliant on processed foods and junk food take heed. Try and clean up your diet to include more fresh produce and keep sugar, salt and saturated fat to a minimum.

Diet and Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

Rapidly growing evidence shows vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health.

Published in The Lancet Psychiatry, leading academics state that as with a range of medical conditions, psychiatry and public health should now recognise and embrace diet and nutrition as key determinants of mental health.

Lead author, Dr Jerome Sarris from the University of Melbourne and a member of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research (ISNPR), said psychiatry is at a critical stage, with the current medically-focused model having achieved only modest benefits in addressing the global burden of poor mental health.

Diet and Nutrition Essential for Mental Health

“While the determinants of mental health are complex, the emerging and compelling evidence for nutrition as a key factor in the high prevalence and incidence of mental disorders suggests that nutrition is as important to psychiatry as it is to cardiology, endocrinology and gastroenterology,” Dr Sarris said.

“In the last few years, significant links have been established between nutritional quality and mental health. Scientifically rigorous studies have made important contributions to our understanding of the role of nutrition in mental health,” he said.

Findings of the review revealed that in addition to dietary improvement, evidence now supports the contention that nutrient-based prescription has the potential to assist in the management of mental disorders at the individual and population level.

Studies show that many of these nutrients have a clear link to brain health, including omega-3s, B vitamins (particularly folate and B12), choline, iron, zinc, magnesium, S-adenosyl methionine (SAMe), vitamin D, and amino acids.

Memory Boosting Foods

Memory boosting foods

Memory boosting foods

MOST of us can be a little forgetful sometimes, but what if you really seem to be forgetting things more than usual?

Well, there are some foods that help boost memory and are also rich in antioxidants which, let’s face it, we could all do with these days. Now where was I? Oh yes, memory boosting foods

Well, according to several recent studies reported in Science Daily, eating blueberries and strawberries could help prevent memory loss in old age. Berries are rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from free-radical damage. But new research has found they can have a direct effect on how neurons in the brain send signals. But berries aren’t the only memory boosting foods.

Avocados

These delicious fruits (yes, they are classed as a fruit) are a great source of ‘healthy’ fat and a good blood circulation booster. This is important when it comes to brain function, as this enhances blood flow to the brain, helping with healthy brain function.

Oily fish

The essential omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish such as sardines, herring, trout and mackerel, as well as walnut oil and flaxseeds, or linseeds, are high in Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a fatty acid which is vital to maintaining a healthy nervous system.  Low DHA levels have been linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss. Fish also contains iodine, which is known to improve mental clarity.

Whole grains

Whole grains improve circulation and help regulate glucose levels in the blood. The more stable your glucose levels, the easier it is to concentrate, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to eat breakfast in the morning. Apart from revving up your metabolism it keeps your sugar levels balanced and protects against diabetes and heart disease.

Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are a great source of the antioxidant vitamin, E, a lack of which has been linked with cognitive decline as you age. A good intake of vitamin E will help prevent memory loss. Nuts are a great source along with leafy green vegetables, seeds, eggs, brown rice and whole grains.

Blueberries

Blueberries and strawberries contain antioxidants, which are thought to protect brain neurons from damage, build communication receptors between each brain cell, and flush out waste. They also help protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Blackberries are also a great brain booster, as they contain good levels of vitamin C that has long been known to help increase mental agility.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect against the kind of free radical damage to cells that occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s.

Do you have a health challenge that you’d like to discuss with me? I offer online Naturopathic and Nutrition Consultations. Fill out my forms here to book your personal consultation with me.

Or if you don’t have any particular health issues, perhaps you’d prefer one of my off-the-shelf  Health Programmes? Choose from Colon Cleanse, Detox Programme, Ultimate Cleanse or my comprehensive Supplement Programme. All packages include a full consultation.

Thank you for reading!

Fiona

Resveratrol Boosts Memory

resResveratrol is an antioxidant compound found in the skin of red grapes which has been said to lower the risk of death from heart disease.

Now new research published in The Journal of Neuroscience suggests that it could also boost short-term recall and improve concentration. The study was very small, just 23 overweight people who took resveratrol supplements for 6 months, having memory tests and brain scans before and after the trial.

The researchers found that these people had better memories after taking the supplement than a second group who were given a placebo.

So, keeping drinking your red wine — but don’t forget — too much and you probably won’t remember anything at all…!

Type III diabetes link with dementia

SONY DSCTYPE II diabetes is generally diagnosed during middle age and is often a result of bad diet combined with little or no exercise. The resulting insulin insensitivity puts sufferer’s health at risk.

Latest research confirms those same bad habits, if continued throughout middle age and beyond, may result in what is called Type III diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

The concept of Alzheimer’s as a type of diabetes was originally suggested by German neuroscientists in the 1990s. More recently, in 2005, two published US studies from Brown Medical School revealed that the brain produces insulin, and insulin levels tend to drop dramatically in Alzheimer’s patients. Brown researcher Dr. Suzanne de la Monte said: “Many of the unexplained features of Alzheimer’s, such as cell death and tangles in the brain, appear to be linked to abnormalities in insulin signaling.”

More Evidence

Current research would appear to back this up. The North-western University investigated the Alzheimer’s-as-type-III-diabetes theory. In most Alzheimer’s patients, memory is corrupted by a build-up of amyloid plaques in the brain. So when the researchers treated rat nerve cells with insulin, they were encouraged to find that the effects of amyloid protein plaques were blocked.

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