Sunday, August 19, 2018

Cognitive Function ... It's Up To You

Medicine is helping people live longer. We need to find ways to ensure we have QUALITY of life as the LONGEVITY increases. Memory and cognition are important to me as cognitive troubles run in my family.  According to the Alzheimer's Association, "someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds". They estimate 75 million people will develop dementia by 2030. 

According to Delicious Living Magazine, food affects our bodies on a MOLECULAR LEVEL. This means that there is a possibility that we can harness the power of food to help us cognitively. 

Nutrition Affects Cognitive Function

Fruits and Vegetables
400 grams (2-3 cups) of fruits and vegetables a day is a target 

Omega 3s
Support healthy brain function
Some sources include: 
Salmon, herring, halibut, oysters, and fresh tuna
Milk, soy milk, and yogurt 
Flaxseed pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts
Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower

My recipe for Simple Scrumptious Smoothis Bowl provides Fruits and Omega3s:

Lifestyle Affects Cognitive Function

Physical Activity
Physically we can help our cognitive function through 30 minutes of exercise and by reducing stress in our lives. Exercise helps all of our organs to work efficiently.

Mental Stimulation
We can challenge our mind through learning new information. There are many platforms for this:
  • Take a class in-person or online just for fun. Canvas has many enrichment classes from which people can choose. 
  • Learn a new language
  • Read a book
  • Complete crossword puzzles/sudoku

What to Avoid

  • Trans Fats
  • Excess white sugar
  • Refined foods
  • Household chemicals (BPA and dioxin)
  • Heavy metals
  • Phthalates (binding agents to make plastics flexible) Phthlates can be found in household items, personal care products, fragrance, and food. More information on Phthalates can be found in this article by The Guardian.  
  • Organophosphate metabolites (pesticides) One way to avoid these is to purchase produce following the Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 List

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