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"GENIUS FOODS" is a genius book. How to avoid Alzheimer's and dementia.

A new book just released in the last couple of months puts these brain diseases squarely in the crosshairs of diet.  How what we eat can impact the development of the diseases of memory loss.

It's a book worth owning or at least borrowing from the library because memory loss seems to be taking over the nutrition and medical airwaves in terms of the rise in frequency of these disorders. 

This will come as no surprise to my regular readers, but the #1 enemy of the brain is - wait for it - drumroll - sugar and refined carbohydrates.  In fact, Alzheimer's has been dubbed "Type 3 Diabetes" in the medical field. This is because in many individuals the capacity to metabolize carbohydrates is greatly diminished.

How to avoid these brain maladies?  It's actually pretty simple:  eat a diet that is comprised of a moderate amount of protein (20 - 25% ), very low amount of simple carbohydrates and starches, (no more than 20%) and a high good-fat diet, about 60% of your calories each day from mostly olive oil.  (This is pretty different from the 1980s recommendation of 25% and the more current recommendation of 35%)

And exercise! Precisely the interval type training exercises that push your body hard for a short time (2 - 3 min) then rest a bit, then do it again until you've reached about 30 min of activity 3 - 4x a week.  Not such a big deal. These hard, intense, short pushes of energy output actually grow mitochondria, the energy factory cells of the body, and so important for the brain and its complex system of neurotransmitters.

This will sound so alien to most people b/c of the 65 years of the "low-fat" mantra that has gotten us into this state of obesity as well as Type 2 and now, Type 3 diabetes.

But turning around a food industry that has gotten fat off our illnesses is not an easy thing to do.  Just like everything else in life that you would like to see changed, the change must come from each one of us, individually.  Voting with our forks is a lot more effective (and helpful!)  than changing food labels.

The author lists 10 foods that he labels "genius foods" that should be eaten every day if possible!  They are:
#1  Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
#2  Avocados
#3  Blueberries
#4  Dark chocolate (85%)
#5  Eggs (especially the yolk!!)
#6  Grass-fed beef
#7  Dark leafy greens (spinach, collards, chard, arugula, kale, etc)
#8  Broccoli
#9  Wild salmon
#10 Almonds

Each food gets it's own chapter with full explanations of why this food is in the top 10 for a healthy brain.

As you might have noticed, missing from this list is bread, cake, donuts, cookies, crackers, and just about all cereals that we have mistakenly thought of as a good way to start the day.  A really good way to start the day would be 3oz salmon (canned, wild, is fine), 1/4 avocado, 1-2 Tbsp olive oil, sprinkled with a mixture of turmeric and celtic sea salt.

Now, that will make your brain work all morning without brain fatigue.  Toss back a handful of almonds if you get hungry before lunchtime.

The scientific material in the book is written and vetted by Paul Grewal, MD, and is the co-author with Max Lugavere, a well known guest on Dr Oz.  His mother developed Alzheimer's in her late 50s so he became dedicated to the cause of understanding how people get this disease and why certain folks and not others.

What we thought might be a genetic predisposition to this disease might be the inheritance of a pro-inflammatory diet from our parents and ancestors.  If we were raised with a lot of carbs in the house (bread, crackers, cookies, sweets, starches like potato and pasta) we are more likely to be prone to brain inflammation and diseases of the brain that result in memory loss.  And alcohol even adds fuel to the fire.

I encourage everyone to read this book!

Mary Anne Robinson, MS Bio-Nutrition