Tags: Health Topics | Alzheimer's/Dementia | Anxiety | Depression | brain | americans | disease

The Best Food for Brain Health

The Best Food for Brain Health
(Emiliano Rodriguez Mega/AP)

By    |   Friday, 17 August 2018 10:39 AM

By the year 2020, America will have 14 million people in need of full-time care for Alzheimer's disease.

Anxiety disorders currently are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults. Millions suffer from "brain fog," a term that is only recently getting attention.

What do these alarming statistics have in common? According to leading functional physician, Dr. Mark Hyman, they can be triggered by poor brain health.

Hyman admits he once suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome and felt like he had dementia, depression, and ADD — all at the same time.

"My brain felt broken," he says. "Although I wouldn't wish this on anyone, I truly believe the experience taught me how to be a better physician and it led me to the world of functional medicine. I finally understand that what we do to our bodies, we do to our brains."

"The key insight is that your brain is an organ that's connected to everything else happening in your body," he says. "Fixing your brain starts with fixing your body."

Hyman says supporting brain health is crucial right now because Alzheimer's disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. He says it is projected to triple by in occurrence by 2050.

"It's interesting to note the seventh leading cause of death is diabetes, and more than 100 million people in the United States are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes which could increase to a whopping 54 percent, by 2030. We are now finding that these two forms of diseased are heavily linked, with Alzheimer's often referred to as type 3 diabetes."

Hyman says the low-fat craze that became popular in the '60s hurt our nation's health because we began to eat more sugar and white flour to replace the fat, and we ate larger portions because without the satiety value of fat, we were hungry all the time.

"Eating fat is the number one thing your can do to help your brain," Hyman says.

"The right kind of fats will not make you fat but will provide powerful healing and support to make you feel your best," he says. "That's become 60 percent of your brain is made up of DHA, an omega-3 fat found in fatty fish, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and algae. EPA is another important type of omega-3, and both of these fatty acids are critical for supporting brain function and mood, regulating metabolism, and preventing diabetes, and inflammation. Avoid oils like canola grape seed, corn, sunflower, and soybean and be sure to eliminate hydrogenated oils completely, says the expert, as they contribute to inflammation and the progression of disease."

Hyman, author of Eat Fat, Get Thin, adds we should also eat what he calls "slow-carb" foods, which are low glycemic plant-based foods that are rich in nutrients and fiber. Some examples are dark leafy greens, cauliflower, peppers, onions, asparagus, mushrooms, blackberries sand blueberries.

"Eating healthy fats with these foods helps you absorb more of the essential fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K," he says. "In my personal experience, I found that even though I was already eating a healthy diet rich in vegetables, embracing more of the right kinds of fats like avocado, olive oil, and even saturated ones like coconut oil and grass-fed beef, pushed my mental acuity through the roof."

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America will have 14 million people in need of full-time care for Alzheimer's disease by 2020, Newsmax Health's Lynn Allison reports.
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Friday, 17 August 2018 10:39 AM
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