In case you were wondering the Master Control Center is you brain. The brain controls all functions of the body. It is obviously the most vital organ of the body and keeping it healthy is vitally important. Food plays a big role in Brain Health. I think it is often overlooked as food is overlooked in the treatment of most disease. You may see affiliate links in this post, or any of my posts.
Diet, exercise, and sleep are vitally important to Brain Health. But, today I will focus on Diet. There are 3 diets that have been shown to help improve Brain Health, and the Mind Diet has been shown to decrease the chance of getting Alzheimer’s by up to 35%
I did a post on the MIND Diet, so you can click to read. I also did a post on the DASH Diet. You can also click to read. Along with those check out my post on Trans Fats. While Trans Fats have been banned in the USA apparently they can still sneak it in, so be sure and read labels. Watch for hydrogenated oils, refined oils, or partially hydrogenated. Those may indicate there are Trans Fats in a food source. Canola Oil is a highly refined oil that raises some red flags for Brain Health, but a lot of Kidney recipes include them. I tend to stick to Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
I work with Dementia/Alzheimer’s residents, and I also have a family history. It is a devastating disease and avoiding it is prudent, if possible.
Cholesterol is another hot topic about Brain Health. You can read more about that here.
But, with all of that said, the Mediterranean Diet takes the #1 spot for Brain Health, and apparently has for some years. The 3 different diets I mentioned are all just a tiny bit different, but one thing they focus on is reducing the consumption of animal products, and eating whole foods rather than convenient, or pre-packaged foods that sit on a shelf for very long periods of time. Red meat, especially, should be limited to maybe once a week, or even just a couple of times a month. You may ask why? It is the saturated fats found in these meats that make them unsavory for Brain Health. Pork products can also be considered a red meat depending on the type and fat content. Now, I actually quite like pork, I could care less about beef except once in a while I want it, but pork I like. I try to stick to the leaner cuts with less than 3 grams of total fat per serving. These are not always easy to find, especially when you live in rural areas like me. They also tend to be more expensive, which always baffles me. Why are healthier food choices more expensive than garbage food? It’s a conundrum, I know.
I do not eat fish, except Tuna, and that is only on occasion. I am trying to add more, but I just don’t care for it. So, I have started taking Fish Oil capsules. I only take 2 a day, much less than most people take, but they can cause me bloating and gas, and well yeah who wants that. I am getting used to beans and my low fat food challenge showed me that I can quite easily eat more Vegetarian type dishes for one meal, and then have chicken at dinner. I limit my protein intake due to Kidney Disease, so I don’t get too much anyhow.
On the Fish Oil note I have noticed a nice decline in my blood pressure since I started taking them. Since I have not changed anything else I am thinking the Fish Oil is decreasing inflammation in body helping to decrease my blood pressure. It had been creeping up for a bit now and had me quite concerned. I will let you know if the trend continues.
Anyhow, with all of that said there are several videos below on the Mediterranean Diet. Note that it is not just a diet, but a lifestyle, where regular exercise is part of the diet. I encourage you to watch them and start making small changes today. You will notice as you go it will become easier to start removing some of the non-healthy food items from your diet. A note about nuts, seeds, and beans, they are higher in phosphorus than other foods so be sure and eat proper portion sizes and take your phosphorus binders if they are ordered for you.
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