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Food and Alzheimer’s prevention

What we eat every day is a main source of health, and our natural disease killer.

The best way known to prevent Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases is to have a healthy lifestyle. It includes great nutrition (with nutrient-dense foods- high in minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants, low in sugar and toxins); regular aerobic exercise (especially when you enjoy it); good sleep (in a routine and truly restful); and being happy (doing what you love, building healthy relationships, and managing stress).
It is essential to be aware that lifestyle is constant, habitual, and built throughout our lives. Thus, start with one of its areas and improve – you will definitely see results with consistency.
On this post the main goal is to share information about how to use food in our favor. As the father of medicine Hippocrates said once: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Today, learn about some foods that are great for the body and for the mind. These are exceptional foods, great for Alzheimer’s disease prevention but also for overall health.

 

 

The Brain Foods

1.Blueberries

The anthocyanins and flavonoids found in blueberries are polyphenols that act as powerful, natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, so they help protect the entire body from free radicals and inflammation. Studies have shown that diets rich in blueberries significantly improved both the learning capacity and motor skills of aging rats, making them mentally equivalent to much younger rats. It is not fully understood how these plant nutrients affect the brain, but it is likely that the polyphenols improve nerve connections and stimulate cell repair. Make sure you implement your diet with some blueberries.

 

2. Wild Salmon

This and other deep water fish (mackerel, sardines) are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are an essential part of brain structure and function. This fatty acid can lower blood levels of beta-amyloid, a protein related to Alzheimer’s. A Columbia University study found that the more Omega-3 fatty acids a person eats, the lower their blood beta-amyloid levels. The recommended is about 8oz per week.

 

3. Nuts and Seeds

There are so many different options of flavors,presentation and ways to use these amazing foods that no one can get bored! Walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, Brazil nuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed, as well as nut butters (without sugar) and tahini. Almonds and Hazelnuts are two of the most concentrated sources of vitamin E available, and vitamin E intake is generally associated with less age-related cognitive decline. Walnuts are the top nut for brain health. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3, which has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or ameliorate age-related cognitive decline. DHA is also related to neurogenesis, the regeneration of neurons.

 

4. Avocado

Healthy unsaturated fats in avocados help keep your brain cell membranes flexible, according to Kansas State University. A study published in the October 2012 issue of the “Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology” found that monounsaturated fatty acids helped protect nerve cells in the brain known as astrocytes, which provide support to information-carrying nerves. Its monounsaturated fats also help in lowering the blood pressure, associated with brain health. Enjoy it in your guacamole, a green avocado smoothie or as a side.

 

5. Spinach, Kale, and other Leafy Greens

Full of antioxidants and fibers. The antioxidants protect your cells against free radical damage, either the naturally produced in our bodies or the one obtained from external stresses. Fibers are essential for the gut microbiome health (known to influence in all processes of the body), and they help in maintaining blood sugar levels, strongly related to brain diseases. There are many creative ways of including these great vegetables in your diet, and they do taste delicious!

 

 

6. Cocoa or Dark Chocolate

Research already shows that the cocoa in dark chocolate, which contains flavonoids (a plant compound that helps with the body’s circulation), can help combat heart disease. Also, flavonoids may help slow down the effects of dementia. Its is known to have powerful antioxidant properties, and it stimulates the production of endorphins, which helps improve mood. Always prefer chocolate 70% or more in cocoa. Enjoy with moderation for anything that has sugar or just freely enjoy it in unsweetened recipes!

 

Implementing good foods not just as part of a diet, but as part of a routine and leisure is the key to the healthy lifestyle we all look for. Start with small steps and build the best version of yourself!

 

Resources

Web MD 

Huffpost

BrainHQ

SFGate

Posted in: Alzheimer’s, Health, Nutrition, Uncategorized

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May: Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection Month

In May, the weather is warmer and people start going out to enjoy the sun. We all know that absorbing some vitamin D is essential for our health, but being aware and cautious about its risks is part of the strategy for a balanced and healthy life. Let’s be aware of melanoma and skin cancer detection and prevention. Melanoma and skin cancer are types of cancer – the most common ones in the United States – that develop in skin cells when they start to grow out of control, and may spread to other parts of the body. They are normally caused by excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays, either from the sun, tanning beds or sun lamps.

 

Prevention of Skin Cancer

 

Prevent Always

  • Avoid burning and intentional tanning (in the sun or tanning beds).
  • Stay in the shade when sun’s rays are the strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Use long-sleeved shirts and pants, hat and sunglasses whenever possible.
  • Apply sunscreen on exposed body surfaces; it should be applied on the face every day.
  • Use a broad spectrum sunscreen with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) 30 or higher for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  • Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours.
  • Be extra cautious around snow, water and sand as these are surfaces that reflect more sunrays.

Detect Early

  • Do monthly complete body self-examinations to spot any signs of developing skin cancer. Learn how to do the self-examination step by step in the website below:

http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/early-detection/step-by-step-self-examination

  • Invest in a first doctor’s examination and have it done at least once a year, along with your self-examination.
  • Remember: skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable!

 

Resources

www.cancer.org  Accessed in April 23, 2017.

www.skincancerprevention.org/skin-cancer/prevention-tips

www.skincancer.org/

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April is National Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Awareness Month. 

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is the most common functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder individuals struggle with worldwide.   The disease can be difficult to diagnose, because there are no physical signs, or specific testing that can be done to confirm IBS.  Therefore, the diagnosis is a process of ruling out other conditions.  Women are more frequently diagnosed with the disease than men, but the reasons are unknown.

This disease is characterized by symptoms that last for at least 6 months and involve belly pain for at least 3 days in a month, for at least 3 months.  If you have two of the following symptoms you may have IBS:

  • Changes in bowel movement patterns (diarrhea or constipation, and change in structure)
  • Bloating and excess gas
  • Pain in lower belly
  • Mucus in stools

What causes IBS? 

The cause is not fully understood; however, there may be possible factors like genetics, prior infections, trauma, as well as, alterations in bowel bacteria, and increased intestinal inflammation.

How to manage IBS?

Lifestyle changes are important in managing IBS. These include the following:

  • Reducing stress
  • Hypnosis
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise

Can Nutrition and Supplements help with IBS?

Nutrition plays a role in managing all disease including IBS.  First, avoid trigger foods, and stimulants (caffeine, tobacco), and non-nutritive sweeteners (sorbitol and Xylitol).   Supplements can help with managing the disease, turmeric, peppermint oil and probiotics, have been show to improve symptoms of IBS.  Probiotics help with building health bacteria in the gut, so they are something you want to take on a daily bases.  Not all supplements are created equally, verify the quality and select those with the most scientific research backing their benefits.

Inflammation Management ABCs

Inflammation is the root of all disease, and controlling it will help reduce symptoms.  Start with increasing fiber to feed healthy bacteria, add fish oil to help reduce inflammation, and add a food supplement supported by clinical trials that reduces inflammation.  Our experience has shown that Juice Plus+ is backed by clinical trials that support its inflammation busting properties, as well as studies that verify its support for healthy DNA, among numerous other health benefits.  Learn more about the product on our website under the nutrition tab.

 

ibs-statistics

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March is National Nutrition Month! Time to Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!

March is National Nutrition Month!  The theme for 2016 is “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right,” which focuses on enjoying food traditions, the pleasures that come from great flavors and the social experiences centered on food.

Food is a large part of all cultures and socially it connects people of all ages.  Traditionally, families gathered at meal time to spend time sharing the stories of the day.  Today, these gatherings are less often, but their importance has not changed.  Every important social gathering includes food and every culture uses a blend of local foods, herbs and spices at special gatherings.   Having a large garden to grow and process fresh produce is difficult for most individuals, but the benefits that come from growing some of your own food is priceless.

We see in countries, like Japan, children learning early how to grown, cook and prepare food. Their early experience with food encourages their connection with the food process and healthy food choices throughout their lives.  In America, some children have access to freshly grown foods, but many still lag behind in understanding the garden to table food process.   Seeing something grow, and then preparing it for dinner is a fun learning experience.  Plus, adding the benefit of understanding how food impacts our health helps children understand — why food choices matter.  Unmistakably, having a garden with veggies, herbs and spices, (traditional or a tower style), talking about healthy foods, and developing dishes that involve children early on, will encourage them to make better food choices for life.

Today, children and adults are dealing with illnesses caused and made worse by poor food choices.  We see the statistics on childhood obesity which has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.  The health effects for the young included those linked to cardiovascular disease; such as, high cholesterol or high blood pressure.  Also, they are more likely to have prediabetes, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea, among other health issues.    Making smarter food choices, and selecting and preparing whole foods that are rich in nutrients today, provides the framework for wise food choices in the future.

Steps to help you and your family have a healthy heart, brain, and body, plus feel better all over; begin with the following choices:

  • limit saturated and trans fats (i.e. beef, pork, hotdogs);
  • limit carbs (white rice, potatoes, corn, sugar and sweets of all types);
  • eat omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. fish, walnuts, lake trout, tuna, flaxseed and soybean oil);
  • consume vitamin E rich foods, (i.e. seeds, nuts, whole grains, avocado, peanut butter);
  • eat dark green leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli);
  • eat berries (i.e. blueberries, strawberries, acai berries);
  • add herbs and spices (i.e. cinnamon, chili peppers, turmeric, garlic, oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary);
  • eat organic, non GMO foods when possible.

Today is the first day to make the changes that will impact your life and the life of those you love.  In truth, it’s never too late to get involved in healthy food choices.  Make growing, selecting and preparing food a family event that involves children, parents, grandparents and others.  Create and cook healthy family recipes that are shared and passed down and continue sharing the message of what you eat and consume matters.  Make learning about the health benefits of foods, spices and herbs a fun family activity and the knowledge will last a lifetime for generations to come.

 

 

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Personal Response Safety Service’s (PERS) units allows seniors remain independent.

Personal Emergency Response Service’s (PERS) units help seniors remain independent.  Teaching senior’s home safety techniques and providing home fall safety checks is in the forefront of keeping seniors independently at home for as long as possible.  Studies show that seniors want to be home and they strive when they know they are safe in their own environment.   In addition to providing a quality aide to care for a senior, having an additional safety tool, such as a Personal Response Services (PERS) unit adds an extra level of safety.   One of the leading personal emergency response services is “Be Safer at Home” and we have partnered with them to offer our clients a variety of products that best suit their needs, at a discount.

Different types of (PERS) units are available depending in the needs and limitations of the senior.  The units can be worn around the neck or on the wrist.  Some of these units are activated through motion, so if a senior falls and is unconscious or has a stroke and unable to move to activate a button, the devise will activate automatically.   Certain units allow seniors to travel with extra security because the devise can be activated while traveling.

Medications are another safety concern for seniors and their care givers.  They can forget to take them or forget they took them, which causes either an under or over dose.  A devise that monitors their medication is also available.  This devise will dispense the required medication daily, enabling medication monitoring by the senior, family member and aide, to insure the proper dose is taken on a regular bases.    You can read more about these great products by “Be Safer at Home” at    http://www.besaferathome.com/products.html

 

 

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Should the senior in your life be driving?

Driving requires one’s full attention, despite numerous potential visual, manual and cognitive distractions that can impact anyone at any age.   Let’s take a closer look at the types of distractions that may impact one’s driving:

  1. Visual distractions: taking your eyes off the road.
  2. Manual distractions: taking your hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive distractions: taking your mind off what you’re doing.

As seniors age, their visual, manual and cognitive skills decline making them more susceptible to distractions.  When you notice these skills slowing down, it’s time to have “the about limiting or stopping driving.”

To help you decide on the timing of taking the keys away, let’s look at some signs that driving may be dangerous.

Risky individual behavior:

  • Does not stop at red lights or stop signs
  • Stops at green lights
  • Gets lost
  • Concerns from people who have seen the senior driving
  • Gets in accidents
  • Problems with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
  • Stroke victim
  • Parkinson’s or severe arthritis
  • Medication due to poor vision, anxiety, insomnia, or is on any form of narcotics.

If the senior can still drive but there are driving safety concerns:

Encourage them to:

  • Drive in areas that are familiar to them
  • Do not drive at night or in bad weather
  • Stay off highways
  • Limit any distractions while driving
  • Set a limit of how far away from home they should drive.
  • Have safety medical alert system with them at all times.

It is important that we keep our seniors and other drivers on the road safe.  These tips can help determine if a senior needs to look at the potential risks and see if they outweigh the benefits of driving.   And, perhaps with some help, they will conclude that it’s time to turn in their license.

 

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New Treatment for Alzheimer’s shows bright future.

Hurray!   New treatment for Alzheimer’s has the potential to change the course of this disease and others.  Previous treatment efforts have focused on a single target (beta-amyloid protein), but now research is targeting a process in the brain that leads to the toxins involved in Alzheimer’s and other diseases.  In Alzheimer’s there is a build-up of two toxic proteins (beta-amyloid and tau), which somehow get folded into the wrong shape, and then kink and link to other proteins floating around the cell. This process triggers a chain reaction of clumps and misfolded beta-amyloid and tau proteins that damage brain cells.  The new approach to treatment involves a compound that targets protein misfolding which prevents both the beta-amyloid and tau from making these clumps.   Currently tests done on mice showed impressive results.  There is a class of monoclonal antibodies that work on the tau and amyloid clumps and when given to mice they were able to reverse the disease.  Equally exciting is that these targeted antibodies work on clumps associated with Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.   The future is looking bright for combating all of these diseases!

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/19/423891071/alzheimers-drugs-in-the-works-might-help-other-diseases-too

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