[WARNING: See warning at end of this Nugget. You may also want to read the two books you’ll find mentioned there, too!]

Another study examined the impact of food on human health. This time the focus was specifically on the BRAIN. [If this is a study result that interests you, then you may want to read the book in the END NOTE below this Nugget.]

No surprise that a lifetime of food choices affects the ability of the brain to function as we age. After all, what goes into your mouth is used by this miraculous machine we call the human body by breaking down food and drink into RNA and DNA for replacing the cells in the body to keep it functioning optimally.

It’s common sense that you can’t stuff wrong food and wrong drink choices into your mouth and expect to have your body’s cells rejoice, thrive, and work together to keep you healthy. Even if you are not in the computer field you likely have heard the adage, “Garbage in, garbage out”?  This is especially true of the human body. Garbage in and you make it difficult for the miracle of the human body to work optimally.  Stuff garbage into your mouth long enough and the body’s cells will eventually be so overpowered they will give up.

When your body’s ability to repair itself is overpowered by a lifetime of wrong food and beverage choices the result is chronic diseases. But because it may take many years to manifest these chronic diseases, the medical profession often equates such chronic diseases to the inevitability of getting older, of aging.

Among the chronic diseases often associated to aging, is Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia and even some memory loss. Mind you, (no pun intended), there may be other causes but food and beverage choices have a big role to play in many, but not all, instances.

Along comes a significant study that demonstrates the importance of food choices in many instances. Or stated another way, MAYBE our food and beverage choices can slow the impact of some diseases, in those instances where chronic diseases are believed to be inevitable.

This study promises very positive and useful…and practical…outcomes for those fearing Alzheimer’s and other mind problems as we age: The MIND DIET.See End Note 1

What’s the important finding?

“… the MIND diet was strongly associated with slower cognitive decline and had greater estimated effects than either the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet…”

This is not the first of its kind to associate dietary factors to chronic diseases. Many studies prove  the effects of food and beverage choices have long-term consequences on our health. This study is very promising though as another one that supports the importance of food choices.

For this MIND research, 960 people were studied.

This MIND study shows POSITIVE BRAIN RESULTS associated to: “10 brain healthy food groups (green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil and wine)” Those adhering to these 10 brain healthy food groups apparently had brains measured to be, on average, almost 8 years younger.

That’s a wonderful outcome.

Unfortunately for those who love the American diet, that study shows NEGATIVE BRAIN RESULTS associated to “5 unhealthy food groups (red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried/fast food).”

Why stop there?!  Why not take those study results and go one better?

There are very strong studies that suggest that you’d be even more better off by avoiding all animal products, including fish and poultry, all oils, including Olive Oil, and all alcohol, including wine.

Why?

Let’s start with wine.

Wine has alcohol. D’uh!  But the claim is that it is the RESVERATROL in wine, an anti-oxidant, that gives it a healthy slant. Yet studies show that alcohol, itself, is a disruptor and even very small amounts, even occasionally.  The argument, though, is that wine contains “anti-oxidants” so people can benefit by drinking wine…for its anti-oxidant component. How can we reconcile this? If alcohol is bad, we can’t. So, why not skip the alcohol and go right to the resveretrol, the healthy stuff,  by drinking grape juice, even better, by drinking blueberry juice. [Blueberry juice is considered even higher in anti-oxidants.] Or, just eat plenty of grapes and/or blueberries.

What of OLIVE OIL?

By eliminating olive oil from the above study, results LIKELY could have been even more impressive.

Olive oil is merely LIQUID FAT. So, it’s not healthy. If this is true, then, what’s behind the popular global notion that olive oil is heart-healthy? Time to burst your bubble…

Decades ago the media reported on positive cholesterol statistics that appeared in the first year the Lyon Heart Study. By the 4th year approximately ONE OF EVERY FOUR participants DIED of CARDIOVASCULAR complications. That part was not widely reported. [To learn more of the Lyon study, type in our search box:  “Mediterranean Diet”]

Finally, what of the notion about fish and poultry being good for the brain? Because these are slightly lower in fats and iron, than red meats, it is assumed we get a pass by eating these animal products instead of red meat.

Whether you call up the 7th-Day Adventists study, or any of the many studies cited by doctors who are stopping, even reversing heart and stroke diseases, type-2 diabetes, arthritis, and many other chronic diseases, FAT IS BAD and meats, including fish and poultry, have plenty of fat.

It’s no secret by now that there are many studies correlating longevity and optimal health to minimizing or avoiding foods from animal products, oils, and processed foods. This MIND study is another that shows healthier outcomes by eating foods that grow from the ground.

YOUR TAKEAWAY: eat a diet high in whole, plant-based foods, no oils.  If you have cardiovascular disease, also avoid fresh plant foods high in fats such as avocados, nuts, seeds, and coconut.

As I mentioned, it is not just the “MIND” study above that is persuasive about the impact of wrong food choices on the brain’s cognitive functions, but many other researchers and doctors, too.

Here’s a taste, (no pun intended), of two other researchers involved in this field of brain research, Drs. Dean and Ayesha Sherzai, MD., who cite that, 90% of the population can avoid Alzheimer’s, and the remaining 10 percent can be delay it by 10 to 15 years…based on rigorous science and the remarkable results in their clinic. See End Note 3 

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[WARNING: do NOT make any changes to your diet, lifestyle, exercise or therapy programs as prescribed by your doctor who is trained to diagnose and treat disease. If you are not on a medically supervised therapy program, before making any changes that may affect your health, such as diet and exercise, be sure to check with your doctor. This Nugget and the book in the END NOTE, below, may help you to improve your discussions with your family doctor.]


END NOTE

  1. “MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging”,  By Morris, Tangney, Wang, Sacks, Barnes, Bennett, Aggarwal. Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. September 2015Volume 11, Issue 9, Pages 1015–1022.
  2. Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory By Neal D Barnard. Published in 2014.  
  3. The Alzheimer’s Solution: A Breakthrough Program to Prevent and Reverse the Symptoms of Cognitive Decline at Every Age  By Dean Sherzai, Ayesha Sherzai