A gift certificate for a plant based cooking class makes a great father's day gift!

Big News For Brain Health

10 June 2024

Big news! A just-released study led by none other than Dr. Dean Ornish (who first proved that lifestyle intervention can reverse heart disease) indicates that the same strategies used for heart health can also REVERSE mild cognitive impairment.

Until now, most experts believed that the only effective strategy for Alzheimers Disease and dementia was prevention. A 2020 analysis had identified 12 modifiable risk factors that account for around 40% of worldwide dementias, which consequently could theoretically be prevented or delayed.

This new research demonstrates that, even in cases where loss of cognitive function has begun, it can be repaired! Participants in the 20-week study consumed a whole foods minimally-processed plant-based (vegan) diet, high in complex carbohydrates (predominantly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, soy products, seeds and nuts) and especially low in harmful fats, sweeteners and refined carbohydrates.

Additionally, they participated in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily and strength training 3x per week.  They practiced stress management for one hour per day, in the form of meditation, gentle yoga-based poses, stretching, progressive relaxation, breathing exercises, and imagery. They received support from nurses and mental health professionals, and a book of memory exercises.

It's especially encouraging to note that participants did not need to do everything perfectly, but, “the more these AD patients changed their lifestyle in the prescribed ways, the greater was the beneficial impact on their cognition and function.” Don't get me wrong. Major lifestyle changes were required to achieve a real impact on brain health, and for optimal improvement, more is better!

I can't help you with the exercise or stress management (although IMHO cooking is a form of mindfulness meditation!). What I can help you with is the whole foods plant based diet.  If you have an open mind and a desire to improve your brain health (or prevent/treat heart disease, diabetes, hypertension) with food, then please reach out to me to discuss the delicious and easy ways to do this! BTW I love working with seniors (yes, you can teach an old dog new tricks).

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If you're not keen on further reading, but want to know more about this new study and the many benefits of the plant-based diet, check out Dr. Michael Greger (nutritionfacts.org).

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