Nutrition plays a very important role in the lives of both young and old. However for seniors, it’s important to be aware of new studies on how nutrition can affect our overall health. This is especially true with brain health. Recent studies show that superfoods and certain spices, can have a positive affect on our physical and mental health. In fact, many experts in the field of nutrition all agree that the benefits of a healthy regime of fruits and vegetables, in some cases can reverse specific physical diseases and even mental ailments. Raw vegan soups, unprocessed dark chocolate and superfoods can help a senior enjoy a better quality of life with a nutritional plan. For a free copy of your plan, simply contact us.
Eat brightly colored fruits, such as blueberries and raspberries. This should not be a surprise as nutritionists and dietitians all agree, a diet high in fiber including berries and other fruits are beneficial to maintain physical and mental health!
Blueberries and Raspberries counteract inflammation, which has been associated with cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure in middle age appears to be a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Controlling blood sugar can be done by reducing high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar. Use a natural sugar substitute such as honey, molasses or agave nectar. The hippo-campus of the brain, an important region for memory, is sensitive to changes in blood sugar levels.
Select spices have amazing protective properties — cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, and turmeric reduce inflammation and increase blood flow. Cinnamon is also known to regulate blood sugar and reduce cholesterol, which is important to brain health.
Whole grains are a good source of fiber, magnesium, and iron. Substitute white flour for whole wheat flower, brown rice for white, and gluten free pasta. This will help to maintain weight and reduce your risk for heart disease. Cardiovascular health directly contributes to brain health.
Leafy green vegetables such as Spinach and Kale should also be included in your daily regime for their high levels of vitamins E, D, and dietary fiber. Eaten on a regular basis, vegetables have a dramatic effect on health, including preventing age-related illness.
Also, a handful of nuts a day as a snack provide your daily dose of Vitamin E — which is a powerful protector of the brain.
Some fats are good fats. Avocados are almost as good as blueberries in promoting brain health; it’s a monounsaturated fat, which contributes to healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow means a healthy brain. Avocados also lower blood pressure, a risk factor for the decline in cognitive abilities, a lower blood pressure should promote brain health. Avocados are high in calories, so add just ¼ to ½ of an avocado to one daily meal as a side dish.
Increase Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Omega-3s are naturally found in your brain. As you age levels of these fats in your body drop, and eating fish and other sources of Omega-3s such as green vegetables, walnuts, almonds, and flax seed help to replace the losses and improve transmission of nerve impulses. Omega-3s are important for building cell membranes in the brain and also can have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Wild salmon. Deep-water fish, such as salmon, are rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are essential for brain function. Wild salmon is “clean” and it is in plentiful supply. Omega-3s also contain anti-inflammatory substances. Other oily fish that provide the benefits of omega-3s are sardines and herring. A 4-ounce serving, two to three times a week is optimum.
Reduce cholesterol levels by eating lean meats and low-fat dairy. When cooking or baking, substitute highly saturated fats, such as vegetable oil and cream, with a cooking spray, coconut oil, olive oil and non-fat yogurt. Substitute ground beef with ground turkey or a piece of fish. Too much LDL cholesterol in the body can build up in artery walls, leading to coronary disease and stroke.
Antioxidants are preserved in raw cacao, unlike processed dark chocolate. The benefits from raw organic chocolate unheated include; much higher levels of antioxidants as well as the preservation of vitamin C. Chocolate is an amazing raw superfood, tastes great and is actually healthy for you!
It turns out that all the bad things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars. This includes cavities, weight gain and diabetes. The ingredients are dairy, sugar and others fillers added to the dark chocolate. Health benefits of chocolate in the form of raw cacao beans, butter, nibs and/or the powder include; weight loss, prevention of cavities and regulation of blood sugar which is beneficial for diabetes (chromium naturally regulates blood sugar). Also raw cacao benefits the heart and the cardiovascular system as a whole.
Cacao is the highest whole food source of magnesium, which also happens to be the most deficient mineral in the diet of modern cultures. Magnesium relaxes muscles, improves digestion and relaxes the heart and cardiovascular system. The dark chocolate antioxidants have been clinically proven to literally dissolve plaque built up in the arteries which helps in reversing heart disease and causes naturally lower blood pressure. Also, various other vitamins and minerals in raw cacao benefits the cardiovascular system.
Stay tuned next week for nutritious recipes that include ‘Magic Juice’, and raw cacao coconut treats! Yummy