EVOLUTIONS JOKE

At one of my recent talks, someone asked me  why I was so active promoting brain health, cognitive health?  My answer at the time was “Because we didn’t know, but now we do!  Now that we know we have to do something about it.”  My answer may have had context after a talk, but not here.  So, I filled in the middle between “We didn’t know” and “Now we know and have to do something about it.”   It came out as

EVOLUTION’S JOKE                                                                                                            Based on our structure and physical capabilities we, as humans, should never have survived.  But evolution provided us with opposable thumbs and a unique brain with the capability for learning, reasoning, problem solving, planning, conceptual thought, and complex communication.  The brain that evolved provided us with a gateway into a world that went far beyond our natural surroundings.  It was a world we could create and expand.

The evolution of the human brain has given us fire, tools, the wheel, electricity, the telescope, cars, the steam engine, the train, the telephone, radio, the plane, television, digital electronics, space ships, to mention a few, and we’ve wiped out or controlled numerous diseases.  Our evolutionary success has even led to an increasingly older population.

Those are incredible accomplishments EXCEPT, that our older population, programmed to retire at the age of 65, has no defined societal age role and is plagued with memory loss, cognitive decline and dementia, of which Alzheimer’s is at the top of the charts with vascular dementia a nearby second.

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YOUR NEW BRAIN

Did you know that you have a new brain? Don’t look around. Don’t even put your hands to your head. The brain you were born with is still the brain you have today. It’s just that new technology and advances in research have shown that the brain you have today is very different than what it was thought to be. That means that it’s very different than what you thought it was.

Your brain is not a fixed genetic inheritance. The internal structure of your brain is constantly changing in response to what you do or don’t do. They call it plasticity or neuroplasticity. That means that the brain you have today is different than the brain you had when you were a kid, even a young adult.

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DELETION OF PREVIOUS POST

I recently received a response to my blog “Dieting Doesn’t Work”.  I thought it was interesting and to the point so I posted it as a reblogg.  I had no idea it was a post, in disguise, from a popular diet firm.  Either I didn’t read the post closely enough or it was edited on their site.  IF that’s what happened it could be edited on their site and, since I had accepted it, it automatically posted on my site with the revisions.  But I have learned from it.  Read comments more closely, and don’t blog other people’s posts.  If I find something of interest I will provide a link.  Just to make it clear I do not sponsor, support or recommend any diet program.

 

DIETING DOESN’T WORK

We’re well into 2017.  Most of the resolutions we’ve made, which probably fall into the categories of diet and exercise, have probable gone by the wayside.  But not to worry, you don’t have to wait for New Year’s 2018 before tackling some of these things again.  It’s more a matter of why did you want to do it in the first place.  Let’s start with diet.  Chances are you decided to watch what you eat because you wanted to lose weight and possibly a few inches here and there.  That meant watching your calories.  Some of you may have even gone on one of the popular diets.

Unfortunately, history tell us that most people that go on a diet might lose weight at the beginning, but it doesn’t take long before their cheating.  Once that happens it’s a short hop to eating the way you did before.  To make matters worse research tells us that in time a large percentage of the people that go on diets will actually gain more weight than they originally lost.  That makes them heavier, and probably thicker, than when they started their diet.  You can ask yourself “Why?”.  You had good intentions.

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THE BRAIN HEALTH CHEF

I’ve posted “Why Do We Eat  – Parts 1, 2 and 3”.   Now it’s time that I provide some recipes to go along with living a brain healthy life style.  I’ve started out by adding “Brain Healthy Chef” to the menu of items on top of my graphic with two recipes.  But there are some things you should know about eating for brain health. Continue reading

WHY DO WE EAT – PART 3

We eat because our brain and body have requirements for energy, tissue protection, repair and building.  We eat to help the structure and functioning of cells, particularly in the brain.  We eat to provide the vitamins and minerals to maintain the functioning health of our brain and blood vessels.  In short, our brain and body have functioning requirements that are supported and maintained by the foods we eat and drink.

Unfortunately, our culture seems to have lost sight of those needs.  We eat foods that are easily  available and promoted on TV.  Consequently, we consume an inordinate amount of simple sugars, foods with added sugars and saturated fats.

In “Why Do We Eat-Part 1” I highlighted the need for water and the problem with red meats easily available to us in supermarkets and fast food restaurants.  In “Why Do We Eat-Part 2” I highlighted simple sugars.  “Why Do We Eat?-Part 3” highlights the fats, or fatty acids, we ingest.  It all starts with understanding the difference between non-essential and essential fats., or fatty acids.

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WHY WE EAT – PART 2

Why do we eat?   The answer to that question seems to have gotten lost, at least in our culture, and the price we’ve paid is health, particularly brain health.

For centuries, and up until the end of World War II, what we ate supported the health of our brain, muscles and body.  But that started changing radically in the early 50’s with the introduction of processed foods, fast foods, a multitude of snack foods and television. 

We paid attention to what was available to us and what we were hearing and seeing on television.  Television advertising was preaching the benefits of processed foods, fast foods and snacks.  We were being inundated with SIMPLE SUGARS, and we didn’t even know it.  MORE IMPORTANTLY, WE DIDN’T KNOW THAT ALL THAT SIMPLE SUGAR WAS NEGATIVELY AFFECTING OUR HEALTH, PARTICULARLY OUR BRAIN HEALTH. 

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WHY DO WE EAT-PART 1

Why do we eat?  The answer to that question seems to have gotten lost in western civilization.  With time and the availability of food we’ve become “DAMAGE DOERS”.  We eat too much food, we eat too much food at one time and we eat too much of the wrong foods. 

We depend on our environment to provide us with what we need, particularly in the area of food.  But, we’ve let the speed of processing, processed foods, fast foods, television advertising, sugary drinks and how food is made available to us create an environment that’s damaging to our health, particularly our cognitive health. 

We focus on weight and heart health, but what you eat has a major impact on your brain’s ability to function, and on how well you think.  The older you get the worse it gets.  We blame age, but it’s not age.  It’s the health and functioning ability of your brain. 

Regardless of how educated you are, if your brain isn’t as healthy as it once was, it won’t function as well as it once did. Continue reading

YOUR BRAIN IS YOUR PARTNER

Did you know that your brain and you are partners?   You take care of it, and it will take care of you.  But we’ve ignored the needs of our brain because we didn’t know it had needs. 

For centuries we’ve been led to believe that our brain is a fixed genetic inheritance and that it would always remain the same, perform the same way.  Genetics were king, or queen, as the case may be.  All we had to do is to fill up our brain with learning and put out the effort.  If we did that we would be home free.  NOT TRUE! 

From your very first gasp of breath your brain and you are partners.  How you take care of it will determine how it takes care of you, and that;s true at all ages.  What does that all mean?
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WE DIDN’T KNOW-NOW WE DO!

Is Alzheimer’s a disease?  YES, but it’s not a disease like the flu or a virus.  It’s not something air-born that you catch.  Alzheimer’s dementia is a cognitive malfunctioning of the brain that follows a path.  That path begins when we’re younger and continues throughout life.  Unfortunately,a lack of knowledge and understanding has pushed us down a path as we age that’s led to poor brain health, a brain that doesn’t function as effectively as it could, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s dementia. 

Until recently we were led to believe that our brain was a fixed, genetic inheritance and we had to make the best of it.  NOT TRUE!  The internal structure of your brain is constantly changing, along with its capabilities, in response to what you do and don’t do.   Continue reading