PROTECT YOUR BRAIN
again, mom was right carrots, broccoli, and fish really are good
for your brain, especially if you want to protect it from Alzheimer's
disease. The opposite is also true, so avoid foods that are bad for your
brain's health, says Robert P. Friedland, MD, a professor of medicine
at Cleveland's Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. High
fat and high salt are two components of a brain-unhealthy diet, but the
main problem is "eating too much meat," he says.
up on meat usually means there is no room left for "at least five
servings daily of fruits and vegetables, which are high in antioxidants"
a fundamental component of a brain-healthy diet. Friedland also
warns against extremely low-fat diets. Trying to eliminate all fat from
the diet is a mistake because both mind and body need a diet that gets
25-30% of its calories from fat.
rural ancestors living in the late 19th and early 20th century had the
right idea. "If they wanted butter, they skimmed the cream off the
milk and drank the milk. They didn't add fat when cooking meat. Our ancestors
also didn't add salt," says Friedland.
about half of the people with the ApoE, the so-called Alzheimer's
gene, actually develop the disease a fact that sent researchers
looking for other Alzheimer's risk factors. They've been conducting
dietary studies of both Alzheimer's patients and carriers of the
gene who haven't developed the disease.
found that people who have the Alzheimer's gene and eat a high-fat diet
during their 40s are seven times more likely to develop Alzheimer's than
people who don't have the gene. When these same genetically predisposed
people ate a low-fat diet in mid-life, their risk of developing Alzheimer's
dropped to four and a half times that of people without the ApoE gene.
other research, Alzheimer's experts discovered that antioxidants
are especially effective at fighting Alzheimer's disease, perhaps
by helping to prevent the development of the protein plaques that
block signals between brain cells. Some researchers suggest taking
vitamin E to boost antioxidant protection. Friedland also recommends
taking vitamin B supplements.
H. Thies, PhD, Alzheimer's Association vice president for medical and
scientific affairs, says that while the Association doesn't endorse a
specific diet. "What we are willing to say is that people need to
know their numbers blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar.
We know it's bad to get overweight, we know that exercise and a healthy
diet are good for you," says Thies.
while it has not been proven, it is fair to say that social isolation
is also bad for your brain." Just as exercise is good for the body,
mental activity is a kind of "flexing" that is good for the
brain. Read a book, do a crossword puzzle, play a board game, balance
a checkbook, and turn off the TV, is the way Friedland puts it.
Peck, WebMD Health.MSN.com
|Far Horizons |
Burundi is a small French-speaking African country
in the heart of the continent. Travel the shores of Lake Tanganyika and
up into the mountain foothills to see their world famous drummers. The
art of drumming is a privilege handed down from father to son, and glorifies
Burundi's rich musical tradition. Experiencing the Drummers of Burundi
is like standing at the base of a giant waterfall, senses overwhelmed
by the power and rush of sound hitting you ... only able to catch the
briefest glimpses of the smiles, energy and sounds each player is contributing,
before you're washed away by the next drummer. Their sound and vibrancy
are truly to be experienced firsthand.
"STAND UP FOR
Their purpose is to empower homeless and
at-risk youth toward lifelong personal growth
through an on-the-streets outreach program, and
to create in these youth a sincere caring and belief
in themselves through open, straightforward
counseling and educational programs.