Have you ever been in the middle of doing something – talking to someone, cooking, working on the computer – and suddenly you forgot what you were going to say or do? While there are many reasons this could happen, there is now another factor to consider: Your brain may be shrinking because of those fries you’ve been eating.
The main ingredient I’m talking about that makes those fries the culprit is hydrogenated trans fatty acids. We know these foods have been shown to increase our risk of heart disease by raising our LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowering our HDL (good) cholesterol. But still we keep eating those chips, pastries, and fast food items. Well, maybe I can give you another reason to stay away from these foods, as well as give you some foods that taste good but can help your head and your heart.
According to a report released by the Oregon Brain Aging Study, trans fats are connected with the brain shrinkage that leads to Alzheimer’s Disease. The people in this study also scored lower on thinking and memory tests, along with language and processing skills, compared to the people who ate a healthy diet full of whole foods, vegetables, and fruits.
Researchers studied 104 subjects that averaged 87 years of age, and drew blood samples to determine the number of nutrients that were in their bodies. This is the first study where this was done, according to the researchers. Previous studies were only looking for an isolated nutrient, or relied on questionnaires the participants filled out, as well as the self-reporting they did through tools like food journals.
The scientists also scanned the brains of 42 of the participants to measure brain volume, and found that those people who had higher vitamin levels also had larger brains, while those with higher trans fat levels in their bodies showed the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.
But hopefully you can see through this study that the people who had lots of fresh foods in their diets had larger brains, so there is no need to worry. There are lots of things you can do to improve your diet and lifestyle, and improve your brain function. Here are a few:
- Lavender pure essential oil assists in the breakdown of toxic material in the liver, lymph and other viscera – that result from poisons in the environment and food and from old residues of hydrogenated-trans-fatty acids and synthetic polymers (from margarine, shortening, and poor quality deep-fried oils). Dosage: 1 drop daily in 1 glass water or in 1/2 teaspoon olive or flax oil, not with food. Obtain certified organic lavender oil. Note that essential oils are potent – if you experience mild repeated headaches or other minor symptoms, try taking it 3 days per week; if symptoms persist, or are extreme stop altogether.
- Having a diet well-supplied with nutrients, especially vitamins B3, B6, C, and E, zinc and magnesium. These nutrients are found in a diet based on unprocessed grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits, and seaweeds. In extreme cases, extra care must be taken to obtain adequate vitamin C. This was pointed out in this article from The Canadian.
- Specific nutrients that reduce cholesterol and saturated fat in the blood and arteries are lecithin, vitamins E and C, and niacin. These nutrients function efficiently in cleaning the arteries when taken in whole food. Lecithin is found in most legumes, especially soybeans. Both soybeans and mung beans are recommended by Chinese medicine for cleansing arteries, although nearly all beans, peas, and lentils are beneficial. This is partly because legumes are a good source of choline, a lipotrophic agent that controls fat metabolism; choline is also a primary component of lecithin.
- The sprouts of soy and mung beans are commonly found in grocery stores and markets with well-stocked produce. Sprouts are also an excellent source of vitamin C, as are cabbage, parsley, bell peppers, and citrus. Eating the white insides of peppers, the core of cabbage, and a little of the pulp and inner peel of citrus provides bioflavonoids, which work synergistically with C to strengthen blood vessel walls.
- Plant fiber, particularly that in whole grains, helps to reduce fat in the blood and prevent hardening of the arteries. Because of this now-widespread knowledge, many people have started to include extra fiber in the diet in the form of bran. Too much isolated bran, however, can be unhealthy in other respects. Eating the whole grain with all of its fiber and other nutrients intact produces better results than eating the bran alone. Most helpful for cleansing the arteries are the grains with a slightly bitter flavor: rye (an old European remedy for reducing arterial plaque), quinoa, amaranth, and oats, but all other whole grains are helpful for this purpose. Unprocessed grains are also an excellent source of niacin, and they all contain the freshest type of vitamin E in their oils.
So, as you can see, you don’t have to worry about having your brain shrink. You can have oats for breakfast with an orange, lunch can be a salad that includes cabbage, parsley, peppers, and sprouts, and dinner can be a stir fry on quinoa or amaranth. If you need more help showing you how to incorporate these things into your life, contact me and we can put a plan together. Meanwhile, maybe stay away from the Big Macs.