Olive Branch Wellness Center
Wellness tips, health news, nutrition insights, encouragement and more...
July 2017 Issue
Raynette Ilg, ND, Founder
Olive Branch Wellness Center
Memory Loss and Brain Health
Many of my patients over 45 say they worry about their occasional or increasing forgetfulness. They are convinced it means they must be coming down with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Most of the time they have nothing to worry about, since some degree of memory loss is a normal part of aging or due to hormonal shifts in middle age. In fact, we’re often able to clear up their “brain fog” and minor memory problems by rebalancing hormones and making small dietary changes boosted by correct supplements.
But given the rising rates in both dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s good to know there are proven steps you can take to protect and improve your brain’s health. And surprise! Most of these steps include the same advice I give my patients for stepping up weight loss, improving overall health and preventing cancer, heart disease, and more. Even making one or two of the changes below will help your overall health immensely! Your brain wants you to:
- Avoid over the counter allergy medication, antihistamine, sleeping pills and certain pain relievers such as Tylenol PM. These medications and many more, have been shown to increase the risk for dementia. If you need help with sleeping, allergies or pain, come in and see me and we’ll work on natural ways to address your condition.
- Switch out your aluminum cookware for stainless, ceramic, glass or silicone. Aluminum shows up in the hardened plaque material in brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Many deodorants also use aluminum as an active ingredient. Check your health food store for natural alternatives.
- Get plenty of Omega-3 fats and DHA from high quality fish oil or krill oil, and eat lots of wild caught oily fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and mackerel. Omega-3s are highly concentrated in brain tissue and appear necessary for cognitive function. They also reduce inflammation.
- Speaking of which, reduce inflammation! How? Work with me and we will track down hidden food sensitivities or allergies which create low-grade inflammation in your body. Inflammation affects all your organs, but it’s particularly devastating to the brain. Likewise, eat an anti-inflammatory diet, reducing sugar, grains, artificial ingredients and upping berries, lean organic proteins and vegetables.
- Avoid MSG and aspartame and other artificial sweeteners. MSG and aspartame in particular are known neurotoxins that affect brain and nerve tissue.
- Get rid of sugar! New research is showing that Alzheimer’s is connected to insulin resistance, and the way to decrease insulin resistance is to keep your blood sugar low, avoid empty carbs like sugar and processed flours, and increase your amount of daily exercise.
If you’re worried about your memory, experiencing “brain fog,” or need help working the above changes into your life, come in and we’ll put our heads together to protect your brain!
Kale & Spinach Artichoke Dip
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch kale sliced roughly, ribs and stems removed
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 can white beans drained and rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 6.5oz marinated artichokes drained and chopped
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 10 x 6-inch baking dish.
In a 12-inch skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the kale and a pinch of salt and sauté until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the beans, garlic, and mayonnaise and puree until smooth.
Transfer the bean puree to a large bowl. Mix in the artichokes, kale, cheddar, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.
Spread the mixture into the buttered baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. To brown top place the baking dish under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes.