How satisfied are you with your memory, ability to recall information, and focus each day?
If you’re like the many people that I’ve spoken with over the past few months, you probably feel like there could be room for improvement.
Our brains have the incredible responsibility of providing us with the framework for how we navigate, communicate with, and even find meaning in the world.
But more often than not, we feel like our brain may not be functioning to its full ability.
Even further, many are stressed by the looming fear of cognitive decline during aging and uncertainty of what to do to help prevent it.
I talked with a woman who lost her husband to dementia a few months ago and her fear of losing her own cognitive abilities is one of the most common concerns shared with me.
Remember learning exactly how to care for your brain each day during your high school health class? Yeah, I didn't learn that in high school and not even in college while studying nutrition!
The longer I’m in the field of nutrition the more I see that the concept of “brain health” itself is rarely talked about and there isn’t enough practical education available.
While my education has given me a foundation for understanding how food affects the body and various pathologies, it has failed to educate me on how I can protect my brain and teach others to do the same.
What’s worse, I hear the constant narrative of people going to the doctor for help with their brains and being handed pharmaceuticals without any education on lifestyle factors they can change.
With RememBar, I have seen so many people get excited to talk about brain health and determine small changes they can make in their daily habits.
People want to learn and they want products that will help improve their brain!
Many are also realizing that modern medicine is not supporting their health in the way that it should be, which is frightening considering there so many people having trouble with brain function and cognitive decline.
Dementia and Alzheiemer’s are not some niche diseases that only affect a few people - there are 5.8 million people living with Alzhiemer’s disease in the United States alone with that number expected to triple by 2050!
How can this vital area of health education be missing when Alzheimer’s is estimated by a report from the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) to be a global epidemic by 2050!
We have a potential epidemic on our hands and we are not prepared to fight it with our current approaches.
I’m baffled that eating for prevention against cognitive decline is hardly a point of interest, even when we have research showing us that our food choices can have an extreme effect on our brain!
In fact, scientists have discovered that diet can reduce the chances of cognitive decline by as much as 50% (1)!
This research is groundbreaking and should be at the forefront of our Alzheimer’s prevention efforts!
Our focus needs to be on educating people on ways to eat for their brain starting when they are young, instead of waiting until they are already on the slippery slope of dementia.
Dietary habits are something that everyone has the ability to control to a certain extent - and if food plays as important of a role in cognition as scientists have determined, what are we waiting for?
Especially knowing that Alzheimer’s can develop 20 years before any start to symptoms show, starting healthy habits as soon as possible is extremely crucial (2)!
A new case of Alzheimer’s develops every 65 seconds. That’s over 1,300 people per day that could have benefited from more conversation surrounding practical preventative practices for the brain.
I want rememBar to be that voice that can help people take their health into their own hands now, no matter what stage in life.
So what are we doing wrong nutritionally and what are some basic ways that we can remedy that?
The Standard American diet is one of the worst things that has happened to our brains.
This diet is characterized by processed meats, refined white flour products, fast foods, sweets, and highly processed dairy products. A high intake of these unhealthy foods along with a low intake of the whole foods that our human ancestors consumed deprives our large and powerful brains of the nourishment they need to remain that way.
63% of America’s calories come from refined and processed foods like potato chips, sodas, and cookies while only 6% comes from brain-protective foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts.
This poor diet is one of the biggest reasons why Americans also have such high rates of obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes - of which the associated risk factors may also increase the chances of cognitive decline.
You can help protect your body and brain by consuming foods like nuts, seeds, berries, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and fish, and reducing common foods of the standard American diet.
Do you like eating chocolate and drinking coffee? You may be surprised to learn that these can also be protective for your brain. When you learn more about them - and pick the right ones to eat and drink - you can actually help your brain out now and in the future.
Making some of these changes to your eating habits has scientifically shown to have the possibility of changing the trajectory of yours or your loved one’s life.
If we can take steps to learn about protecting our brains and make changes to our lives, maybe we can help stop this global epidemic from coming.
Start eating right to protect your brain, for as Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.