In an effort to raise awareness, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease, this month’s article will highlight the importance of nutrition to keep your brain healthy.

The brain is the most important part of our body. It needs a steady stream of nutrients to keep it healthy. Nutrients in the food we eat fuel our brain and body. If we do not get the right fuel, our health suffers. Getting nutrients directly from natural foods is best.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, research suggests that the following types of foods promote general brain health; fish and Omega 3 fatty acids, whole grains and bright fruits and vegetables, and some spices. This past month the Isanti Memory Café, featured the importance of the Mediterranean Diet as a wonderful lifestyle for brain health. It provides the foods necessary to keep the brain healthy. Research suggests that fish and Omega 3 fatty acids lower the risk of stroke and dementia and may play a role in enhancing memory and slowing mental decline. Eating whole grains can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease and enhance blood flow. Eat lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables at every meal. They are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Eat a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables each day! A little spice can pack a punch of nutrition. Curcumin, an ancient East Indian herb used in curry, has unique properties that are healthy for the brain. Turmeric is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent that supports brain health. Move your body everyday. Look for ways to be active. Exercise in moderation. Dance. Walk. Swim. Bike. Garden. Hike. The Mediterranean diet is not a specific diet plan or program, but a collection of eating and life style habits traditionally followed by the people of the Mediterranean region of Greece, Crete, Southern France and part of Italy. A wonderful web site that talks about this lifestyle is Old Ways Cultural Food Traditions www.oldwayspt.org

Source: Alzheimer’s Association – Living Well

If you’d like a sample menu to get you started give Jayne Mund, Caregiver Consultant a call or email her. 651-257-7905 or jaynem@familypathways.org

“Eat food. Not much. Mostly plants.” ~ Michael Pollan

Feel free to reach out to Jayne Mund, Caregiver Consultant. A Caregiver Consultant can provide guidance and assist the caregiver in planning for and dealing with aspects of the care-giving experience.

For information about local resources to assist you in next steps after a diagnosis, contact Jayne Mund at 651-257-7905.

“The gateways to knowledge, tools & information are always open!”

For more information about the Cambridge ACT on Alzheimer’s call Julie Tooker at 763-691-6192.

Your input and assistance is valuable! Let’s ACT together to create and sustain a dementia friendly community. There is Hope. There is Help.

Resources: www.alz.org & www.ACTonALZ.org

• CambridgeACT Memory Café meets the second Thursday of each month from 9:30-10:30 a.m. on Sept. 12 at the SAC’s Enrichment Center, 140 Buchanan St. N. Suite 164, Cambridge. Registration-Questions: Contact Angie Detert at 320-364-1115 or angie@familypathways.org to sign up and/or for more information.

• CambridgeACT Isanti Memory Café meets the fourth Thursday of each month on Sept. 26 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at Spirit River Community, 1321 Heritage Blvd. NE, Isanti. Registration-Questions: Contact Julie Tooker at 763-691-6192 or jtooker@preshomes.org to sign up and-or for more information.

• Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group meets the third Tuesday of the month on Sept. 17 from 10-11:30 a.m. at the GracePointe Crossing Town Center, 1545 River Hills Parkway, Cambridge. Contact Molly Carlson for more information at mcarlson@preshomes.org or call 763-691-6172.

• Free Dementia Friends class being offered this fall session. Tuesday Sept. 10, 2-3:30 p.m. at the Adult Enrichment Center in Cambridge; Thursday Oct. 10, 2-3:30 p.m. at the Adult Enrichment Center in Cambridge; Wednesday Nov. 13. 2-3:30 p.m. at the Adult Enrichment Center in Cambridge. Contact Community Ed to sign up at 763-689-6189 to find out location of each session.

• Alzheimer’s Association, Minnesota-North Dakota Chapter 24-hour helpline, 800-272-3900, www.alz.org/mnnd.

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