Who says we have to suffer...to live a healthy happy vibrant life?

Red wine and dark chocolate... might seem decadent...but these guilty pleasures also might help us live longer...and healthier lives. Red wine and dark chocolate definitely improve an evening..but they also contain resveratrol..which lowers blood sugar. Red wine is a great source of catechins..which boost protective HDL cholesterol. Green tea? Protects your brain..helps you live longer..and soothes your spirit.

Food for Thought, the blog, is about living the good life...a life we create with our thoughts and our choices...and having fun the whole while!

I say lets make the thoughts good ones..and let the choices be healthy...exciting...and delicious! Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fish may protect the brain as we age, providing significant reduction in risk of Alzheimers

People who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week may be protecting their brains from Alzheimer’s disease and other brain problems, researchers reported Wednesday.
Cyrus Raji of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and colleagues conducted brain scans on 260 healthy adults and examined whether there was a relationship between the amount of gray matter, which is crucial to maintaining a healthy brain, and their risk of developing Alzheimer’s or a condition known as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) over the next five years.
After taking into consideration factors such as age, gender, education, race, physical activity and obesity, the researchers found that those who regularly consumed baked or broiled fish on a weekly basis were more likely, a decade later, to have more gray matter in several key parts of the brain, including the hippocampus, the posterior cingulate and the orbital frontal cortex, the researchers reported at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America in Chicago. In addition, those who were regular fish eaters were almost five times less likely to develop MCI or Alzheimer’s, the researchers found. The fish eaters also scored higher on tests measuring thinking abilities, such as working memory, they said.
“Consuming baked or broiled fish promotes stronger neurons in the brain’s gray matter by making them larger and healthier,” Raji said in a news release. “This simple lifestyle choice increases the brain’s resistance to Alzheimer’s disease and lowers risk for the disorder.”
Sorry Mrs Paul, no such protective effect was found for those who ate fried fish.

Choline-rich diet tied to sharper memory.

People who get plenty of choline in their diets may perform better on memory tests, and be less likely to show brain changes associated with dementia, a new study suggests.
The study can only point to a correlation between memory and dietary choline -- a nutrient found in foods like saltwater fish, eggs, liver, chicken, milk and certain legumes, including soy and kidney beans.

The findings suggest that people with lower choline intakes were more likely to be on a "pathway" toward mental decline than their counterparts with higher intakes.
The findings, researchers say, do not mean that choline is the answer to staving off Alzheimer's disease -- the memory-robbing disease that affects 26 million people globally. But there's also reason to believe that choline matters. The nutrient is a precursor to the brain chemical acetylcholine, which plays a key role in memory and other cognitive functions; low acetylcholine levels are associated with Alzheimer's.
The study adds to evidence that your lifetime diet may make a difference in how your brain ages.
A number of studies, though not all, have found links between diet and Alzheimer's risk. Some suggest that Mediterranean-style eating, for instance, might be protective; that typically means a diet high in fish, vegetables and fruit, whole grains and unsaturated fats like those in olive oil.
The message is that eating a healthy, balanced diet in mid-life is important.

The relation of dietary choline to cognitive performance and white-matter hyperintensity in the Framingham Offspring Cohort. Am J Clin Nutr December 2011 vol. 94 no. 6 1584-159

Monday, November 28, 2011

Salt...you don't want too much..or too little!

Most people I know think salt is always something we should get less of..but that doesn't seem to be the case. Too much? Yes we know that is a problem..but so is not getting enough according to this new study. Follow the link and have a look. It might change the way you think about salt.

Consumption of too much, and too little, salt may be linked to a higher risk of heart-related hospitalisations and deaths, according to a new study.

What's for lunch?

Collard Greens and Butter Beans. Yes I am from the south! Spinach, collards, mustard greens and turnip greens figure prominently in traditional southern  cuisine, which is a good thing since they are loaded with calcium magnesium and beta carotene. And no wonder besides being low in calories (one cup of mustard greens has 21 calories; a cup of spinach has only 7!), greens can boost cardiovascular health: A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who ate one serving of leafy greens per day were 46 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those who didn’t. Saute them with some flavorful smoked turkey or steamed them with water and lemon, greens are delicious!