Friday, November 11, 2011

Nutrition Tips to Get Through Tough Times

Diet and exercise are a common theme on our blog because they are the foundation of wellness not just for someone with dementia but those who take on responsibility for their care. Sometimes the effects of a physical illness impact our mental well-being, and vica versa.

Today we wanted to share some advice we received during a panel on how to take better care of ourselves. It was led by Wendy Hileman, Ph.D. Candidate, MPH, MSW, MS, who is CEO and Principle Researcher for the non-profit Healthy Adventures Foundation. Eating well allows your body to better withstand the stress and viruses that seem to grow exponentially this time of year.

Not All Carbs Are Bad
Actually, many of them are quite good for us. Our daily diet should consist of 50-65% carbohydrates, most of which are the complex variety (whole fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains). We also need fats and proteins. When it comes to fats, plant-based oils are fine; animal-based fats are not. By the way, our bodies are "engineered" to watch carbs because that's what we all need for sustenance. But those carbs should be in their truest form -- raw; not blended into smoothies. Each time our food is treated - baked, fried, steamed, etc. - it loses some nutritional value.

Someday You Will Stop Aging. Until then...
We all start to age when we turn 30. From that point forward, we will gain a pound a year if nothing else in our lifestyle changes. Therefore, to maintain or lose weight, you must exercise to consume more than you take in. Here's some good news: for an unknown reason, we stop aging in our late 90s. So if you make it to 100, you technically won't look a day over 98.

Vitamin D Deficiencies Can Influence Mood
Most of us are familiar with SAD - Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder -- but fortunately for us in San Diego, we don't go weeks or month without sunshine. But if we are homebound, we can start to see changes in our moods, and not for the better. Vitamin D is even known to play a role in depression. The best source is sunlight, and the best way to get your daily dose is to go for a walk outdoors 15 to 20 minutes without sunscreen. Doing so will reduce your risk of some cancers by as much as 30%.

Some Foods That Are Good for You
Did you know broccoli can erace cancer cells? That blackberries pack the most antioxidant punch, followed by walnuts, strawberries, artichokes and coffee? To ease or eliminate the common menapausal symptom known as "hot flashes," eat a teaspoon of freshly ground flaxseed each day. And ever wonder why love eating popcorn? It is not only high in fiber, but it contains the same "feel good" chemical triptophan found in turkey. Finally, one more bit of food trivia: 2 Brazil nuts have enough selenium to fight inflammation as a dose of Motrin. But eat more than 6 at a time and they become toxic in our bodies. Now you know why there are so few in that can of mixed nuts!

1 comment:

Liz92154 said...

Thanks for blogging on this, so informative...who knew Brazilian nuts could reduce inflamation, love it!