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Health Hack with @amyfitnessandnutrition

Mental Health Awareness Week runs from 27th Sep – 3rd Oct 2021 and a colleague of mine is running a series of events to raise awareness and inspire education around dementia. It’s something we should all be thinking about – for ourselves, our parents and grandparents.

Photo Credit - Julia Gray Photography

When we celebrate the lengthening of life expectancy we shouldn’t ignore the quality of life. Heart Disease, Diabetes, Depression, Dementia & Alzheimer’s. Many of these chronic diseases are ones that we take for granted. We may have increased our lifespan but what about our health span? If we raised the conversation with our healthy, lean ancestors who hunted to feed themselves and asked them if they wanted to live for an extra 30+ years, but be confined both physically and mentally by a lifestyle disease – my inkling is that they would say ‘no thanks’.

Photo Credit - Julia Gray Photography

There are studies likening Alzheimer’s to a third type of diabetes. Similarly, to Type 2 Diabetes the link between a high sugar and a diet high in processed carbohydrates is inexplicably linked to it’s onset. The cause? The function of insulin, one of the body’s most important compounds.

Some Food For Thought: - The higher your blood sugar levels the faster your cognitive decline - Those with Type 2 Diabetes are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s - At younger ages issues can manifest with symptoms like brain fog, lack of concentration or ADHD symptoms - Our brains are up to 70% Fat and so fat is a brilliant fuel source for the brain - The right fats matter – Omega 3’s in fatty fish, olive oil, avocado, not processed vegetable oils (that are inflammatory)

Photo Credit - Julia Gray Photography

Foods To Add: Fatty Fish – studies show may slow age-related mental decline Coffee – with caffeine and antioxidants that support brain health Broccoli – lots of anti-oxidants and Vitamin K Blueberries – have been shown to help improve memory Dark Chocolate – contains flavonoids that enhance memory and prevent decline

Foods To Watch: - Refined Sugar & Carbohydrates - Too Many Grains - Sugary Drinks - Aspartame (an artificial sweetener) - Really Highly Processed Foods

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