While we all experience stressful times in our lives when we can’t find our keys or walk into a room and forget why we’re there, dementia is a little different. June is dedicated to Alzheimer’s awareness and prevention. Keep reading to learn more.
Dementia occurs when neurons in the brain lose their functionality and are no longer able to communicate with other brain cells and eventually die. In addition to memory loss, individuals may have loss of reasoning skills, language and ability to focus.
Personality changes as well as trouble controlling emotions may also develop. As the disease progresses, individuals may forget to eat, have difficulty swallowing or have trouble recognizing family and friends.
Unfortunately, there is no current cure for dementia, so prevention is key. It’s estimated that up to 40% of cases of dementia could be prevented.
Incidence of dementia
The CDC predicts that by 2060, nearly 14 million adults will be diagnosed with dementia. Despite what people believe, dementia is not a normal part of aging. Alzheimer’s dementia is the most common type, but individuals may develop vascular dementia related to previous strokes or other causes that limit blood flow to the brain, such as high blood pressure. 1
Reducing blood pressure was associated with a reduction in dementia and cognitive impairment according to a recent meta-analysis of studies in over 96,150 patients. The duration of the study was over 4 years and included subjects whose blood pressure was controlled through medication.
Diet and dementia
Controlling blood pressure through diet is also beneficial in reducing risk for dementia. Combining DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) with a Mediterranean diet is known appropriately as the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay). 2
The diet was developed through a study done by the National Institutes of Aging in 2015 by a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University Medical Center. The diet reduced risk of Alzheimer’s by 35% in those following it moderately and strict followers had a 53% reduced risk. 2
The diet is heavily plant-based, advising up to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Green leafy vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds and sources of omeg-3-fatty acids have all been found to play a part in reducing the risk for dementia.
Here’s what to include:
Leafy greens– contain antioxidants that protect brain cells from damage. A researcher at Tuft’s found that eating a cup and a half of greens daily reduced the risk of developing memory deficits associated with dementia. Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale and spinach fall into this category. 3
Blueberries- contain anthocyanin, a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant that gives blueberries their beautiful hue. They’re believed to reduce inflammation and protect cells of the brain from damage that leads to dementia. Experts suggest a minimum of ½ cup of berries at least once per week. Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries may also protect brain health. 3
Nuts and seeds- are a source of polyunsaturated fat as well as magnesium and phytochemicals, which help regular blood pressure. Diets containing regular intake of various nuts and seeds (a few handfuls per week) have been shown to reduce the risk of dementia. 3
Fatty fish- such as salmon or mackerel in addition to plant-based foods like walnuts and flaxseeds, are a source of omega-3-fatty acids. These fats help reduce inflammation, which may damage brain tissue. A recent research study showed that brain scans of healthy, older adults were less likely to indicate signs of vascular disease (a risk factor for dementia) when the subjects consumed at least two servings of fish per week. 4
Beans and lentils- known as “pulses” in the nutritional world, are plant-based sources of protein that are beneficial for brain health. A source of soluble fiber, beans and lentils help regulate high blood sugar, which has been linked with the risk of vascular dementia. Enjoy them two to three times per week in place of high fat meats. 5
Dementia does not have to be your destiny. Healthy aging is in your hands!
- The Truth About Aging and Dementia (cdc.gov)
- What is the MIND Diet? A Detailed Beginner’s Guide | U.S. News Best Diets (usnews.com)
- Miranda A, Gómez-Gaete C, Mennickent S. Dieta mediterránea y sus efectos benéficos en la prevención de la enfermedad de Alzheimer [Role of Mediterranean diet on the prevention of Alzheimer disease]. Rev Med Chil. 2017 Apr;145(4):501-507.
- Aline Thomas, PhD student, Inserm U1219, Bordeaux Population Health Research Center, Bordeaux University, France; Lona Sandon, PhD, RDN, LD, program director and associate professor, department of clinical nutrition, school of health professions, UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas; Neurology, Nov. 3, 2021
- Ramdath D, Renwick S, Duncan AM. The Role of Pulses in the Dietary Management of Diabetes. Can J Diabetes. 2016 Aug;40(4):355-63
We all carry traits of our parents. Maybe it’s our eyes, nose, chin, hair, or smile. For me, it’s many of those features. I have my dad’s green eyes, wavy hair, and thin-lipped smile. I also inherited his sense of humor. We were always joking around. I miss his funny quips and laugh.
I lost my dad in 2003 when I was pregnant. I was so ‘eggcited’ to be pregnant but also incredibly sad knowing he’d never meet our kids. My girls have his sense of humor, too.
If my dad were alive, I’m sure he’d share in creating my food puns. While he might not have worn tee shirts, I guarantee he’d use my food pun mugs. I inherited his love for coffee!
In honor of my dad (born in 1928), I’m having a Father’s Day sale. As my food puns have often been called “bad dad jokes”, it seems only fitting! I’m sure he would have worn at least a few of my tee shirts.
Now through June 19, use code Dad28 and take 28% off all food pun swag. I’ve got mugs, tees, tanks, totes, and more!
Ask yourself- who is your gyro? For me, it will always be my dad. RIP dad. I look forward to coffee and bad jokes with you on the other side.
Link to gyro tee: We could be gyros Short-sleeve unisex t-shirt | Sound Bites Nutrition
Link to Lettuce Beet Hunger shop:Lettuce Beet Hunger Food Pun Shop | Sound Bites Nutrition
Yes, Thanksgiving is behind us, but some of the leftovers remain. If you’re like my family, you’ve probably enjoyed turkey soup, turkey tacos, ham and bean soup and Western omelets. Or maybe you froze some of the meat or other goodies?
But what about that delicious cranberry relish? Besides adding it as a condiment to your turkey sandwich, what else can you use it for?
If you’ve followed my blog before, you know I hate food waste. My parents grew up in the depression era (many moons ago), so we didn’t waste a pea on our plates. I fully recognize food insecurity in the US, and it kills me to toss out perfectly good food.
The mighty cranberry
Cranberry relish is popular at holiday time because cranberries are in season from September to November. Their festive crimson color also lends itself to beautiful dishes of sauce, compote and dessert. If you’ve never made homemade cranberry sauce, it’s ridiculously easy. Recipe to follow!
Cranberries are a good source of vitamin C as well as antioxidants to help fight disease. Some research suggests they may reduce the risk of UTIs (urinary tract infections) as well. Cranberry Polyphenols and Prevention against Urinary Tract Infections: Relevant Considerations – PubMed (nih.gov)
Using leftover cranberry sauce
Leftover cranberry sauce should be used within 7 to 10 days or can be frozen and used within a month. I’m sure if you used the cranberry sauce a bit after 10 days (say 12 days), you’ll be OK. It’s acidic by nature and likely won’t mold quickly.
Note- you’ll still have some leftover cranberry sauce with this recipe. If you’ve never tried it in yogurt, now is a good ‘thyme’! It’s great in Greek yogurt or you can also add it to cooked oatmeal.
I enjoy using quinoa in various recipes because of its awesome nutritional profile (good source of fiber, iron and protein), ease of cooking and versatility. I had some mixed quinoa on hand and decided to cook some up for breakfast.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free, making it a great grain for those with Celiac disease or anyone following a gluten-free diet. While it’s often used in grain bowls, salads or side dishes, it can also be used for breakfast. Why not?
Quinoa should be rinsed before cooking to remove tannins that give the grain a metalic taste. A mesh strainer works well for this.
Fresh cranberry sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar or honey
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. orange zest
1 Tbsp. ginger paste
1 (12 oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
- In a medium saucepan, combine the water, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and ginger paste and boil for 3 minutes.
- Add the fresh or frozen cranberries and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat and stir the mixture occasionally. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes. Cranberries will split open as they cook, and the mixture will thicken.
- Cool the sauce for 20 to 30 minutes before storing in the fridge or freezer.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving 111 calories, 0 gm fat, .3 gm protein, 27 carbs, 1.7 fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 15 mg sodium
1 cup dried quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup almonds or other nuts, chopped
- Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer before using.
- Place quinoa and water in a medium pan and boil for 1 minute.
- Reduce heat to a low simmer and cover the pot. Cook quinoa for 13 to 14 minutes until all the water is soaked up.
- Serve 1/2 cup warm quinoa with 1 Tbsp. cranberry sauce.
- Top with 1 Tbsp. chopped almonds or other nuts.
Quiona and cranberry sauce with almonds
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 300 calories, 6.3 gm fat, 6.3 gm protein, 50 grams carbs,4.5 gm fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 217 mg sodium
I’m whiskin’ it all! Now’s the best thyme to get your food pun swag ordered for the holidays! Take a break from the turkey and have a few laughs while you peruse my shop.
Today through Cyber Monday! Use code BF25 at check out for 25% off all food pun swag. Chews from Praise Cheeses, Olive you, This. Is. The. Wurst, Oh. My Gouda and more!
This includes tees, totes, onesies, hoodies and mugs! From Avo nice day to “Won’t you be vine?”- your foodie friends won’t be disappointed with a fun, food pun tee or tote.
As always, part of proceeds goes towards those suffering food insecurity in Cincinnati including https://lasoupe.org
#blackfriday #blackfridaysale #foodpuns #foodpungifts #chefsgifts #foodiegifts #teeshirts #teeshirtsale #cybermonday #cybermondaydeals #blackfridaydeals #holidaygifts #holidaygiftideas #holidaysale #onsale
Is coffee a friend or foe when it comes to headaches? I recently researched and wrote a full article on the topic for Today’s Dietitian.
Personally, I enjoy coffee and couldn’t start my day without it. It’s been found to have several health benefits including diabetes prevention, Parkinson’s disease prevention and reduction in heart disease risk, particularly in women.
On the downside, a recent study showed that excess coffee (6 or more cups/day) may increase the risk of dementia. Like anything- moderation is key (meaning 2-3 cups per day for most people).
Check out my article on headaches and see what you can do to prevent them:
Integrative Nutrition: Nutrition for Headaches and Migraines – Today’s Dietitian Magazine (todaysdietitian.com)
In addition, I’d like to mention that I’m open to more freelance writing opportunities. If you need someone to write food, health or nutrition copy for your food brand, social media pages, newsletter or web site, please message me for more information.
I’ve signed up for https://www.listiller.com to find more writing jobs as I move away from 1:1 nutrition counseling.
Nothing gives me more satisfaction than collaborating with other dietitians. Each of us has a unique skill or talent and it’s so fun to combine forces for good.
This week, I’ve collaborated with Chefs Abbie Gellman and Julie Harrington, who are also RDs. They run the Culinary Nutrition Studio where they offer culinary classes for chefs, dietitians or anyone that wants to learn to cook. I participated as a beta tester and LOVED the course. Both are amazing chefs and dietitians who making cooking more fun.
Join our IG contest! US residents only.
One winner will receive my Avo nice day Eco tote bag and one free live virtual culinary nutrition workshop of their choice with Chefs Abbie and Julie. Enter here to win: Culinary Nutrition Studio on Instagram: “✨GIVEAWAY✨ We are so excited to partner with Lisa Andrews, aka @nutrigirl66 of Sound Bites Nutrition for this giveaway! One winner will…”
The winner can choose from the following workshops:
Culinary Nutrition for Diabetes Management
Thursday, June 17th
6-8 pm EST
Culinary Nutrition for Food Allergies
Tuesday, July 20th
6-8 pm EST
Culinary Nutrition for Cancer
Tuesday, September 21st
6-8 pm EST
Cuisines from Around the World
with Guest Chef and Food Network Star Palak Patel
Tuesday, October 12th
6-8 pm EST