Constitutional Health Network:
Brain Foods

There’s a new diet on the block. It’s called the MIND diet, and unlike other diets which focus on weight loss or lowering your blood sugar, this one does just what the name suggests. It focuses on your brains. And it can cut your risk of Alzheimer’s by more than half. The MIND diet focuses on 10 brain-boosting food groups and five not-so-healthy ones. It doesn’t ask you to count calories or measure portions. Instead it asks you to focus on what you should already be eating for a healthy you—real food, lots of vegetables and fruits, and more omega-3 fatty acids. And if you just can’t live without your favorite “forbidden” food that’s ok. Even people who followed the program “moderately well” had as much as a 35% reduction in their Alzheimer’s risk. That’s pretty impressive. So what should you be eating for your MIND? Here’s a breakdown of the 10 different food groups and some specific ...

The medical and scientific worlds were quick to call Dr. Robert Lustig a crackpot when he first started telling the world that fructose was a poison. But in 2016, a study by UCLA scientists vindicated the “fructose is poison” message. The paper was published in the journal EBioMedicine, which is about as reputable as journals come—it’s jointly published by The Lancet and Cell, two highly respected medical journals. And what it tells us is that not only is excess fructose a poison, it’s a much worse poison than anyone ever imagined. Fructose doesn’t just make us fat and diabetic, like Dr. Lustig tells us. It doesn’t just damage the liver. It actually causes genetic damage—in the brain. This isn’t the first time UCLA has looked at fructose and the brain This month’s study expands on a study UCLA researchers did back in 2012. Both studies found that rats given fructose-sweetened water did much more poorly on memory ...

It’s a running joke that cats are really aliens bent on taking over the world and it turns out, the idea may not be so far off the mark. We’ve long known that cats play host to a parasite which can infect humans—this is why pregnant women are exempt from emptying the litter box. But while scientists thought that the parasite goes dormant once it infects humans, recent research shows that this isn’t the case at all. Not only does the beast not go dormant—it lives in your brain and exerts a sort of mind control. Aliens have invaded your brain. For real Toxoplasmosis gondii is a parasite that normally infects cats. It’s famous among scientists for its novel method of spreading itself from one cat to another—it hijacks rats and changes their behavior so that they’re more likely to get eaten. That’s more than a little creepy. Toxo leaves the host cat via cat feces. A rat comes in contact with it through contaminated ...

If you’re a die-hard list-maker, there may be many different reasons you keep up the habit. Maybe you feel you need lists to keep you “on task.” You might find they help you prioritize and get more done in the day. Maybe you’re just a little OCD and not starting your day with a list leaves you mildly off-balance and jittery. Ask five different list-makers what motivates them, and you’ll get fifty different enthusiastic answers. If you’re not a list-maker, though, the very thought of becoming one might make you feel a little anxious. Lists may make you feel boxed in. You might feel like they stifle your creativity and leave no room for spontaneity. In fact if you’re not a list-writer, just the idea of writing down and organizing your “to-do’s” can be downright panic-inducing. So you might want to take a deep, calming breath before we go on. Because today I’m here to tell you something scary: Making to-do lists ...

It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I’m not a fan of psychiatry. Psychiatric drugs are some of the most over-prescribed, useless, and even dangerous pills on the planet. And psychiatry seems determined to turn every little personality quirk and character trait into a “disorder” that needs medication. So what I’m about to say probably will surprise you. It might even shock you. So hold onto your seat. Are you ready? Here it is: Psychiatry just did something fantastic. At this year’s annual meeting of the American Psychiatric association, researchers presented a study that is so spot-on, so absolutely right, so downright sane that I had to read the news twice to make sure I wasn’t hallucinating. If anyone in the profession pays attention to this—which sadly, they probably won’t—it could begin to change the way mainstream medicine looks at some kinds of mental illness. What did this amazing study say? Simply ...

Alzheimer’s disease was first described not long after the turn of the twentieth century, when Dr. Alois Alzheimer examined the brain of a mental patient who’d died. Her symptoms had included memory loss, difficulty with language, and bizarre behavior. On dissecting her brain Alzheimer discovered that it was full of clumps of an unknown substance and tangles of fibers. The woman was suffering from what has come to be called Alzheimer’s disease. The clumps and tangles are what we now call beta-amyloid plaques and tau tangles—the hallmark physical signs of the disease. Since then science and medicine have told us that these clumps of plaque and tangles are what actually causes Alzheimer’s. Read nearly any article on Alzheimer’s disease and you’ll find this assumption. It’s been taken as a fact even though—as I’ve so often pointed out—we really have no way of knowing if these changes are a cause or merely a ...

The medical and scientific worlds were quick to call Dr. Robert Lustig a crackpot when he first started telling the world that fructose was a poison. This month, a study by UCLA scientists vindicated the “fructose is poison” message. The paper was published in the journal EBioMedicine, which is about as reputable as journals come—it’s jointly published by The Lancet and Cell, two highly respected medical journals. And what it tells us is that not only is excess fructose a poison, it’s much worse than anyone ever imagined. Fructose doesn’t just make us fat and diabetic, like Dr. Lustig tells us. It doesn’t just damage the liver. It actually causes genetic damage—in the brain. This isn’t the first time UCLA has looked at fructose and the brain This month’s study expands on a study UCLA researchers did back in 2012. Both studies found that rats given fructose-sweetened water did much more poorly on memory tasks. In ...

You've probably heard of Martin Shkreli even if you don't actually know his name. He is — or was, until this recently — the CEO of a Big Pharma company called Turing, the same scumbag company that jacked the price of a $13 specialty drug up to an insane $750 per pill earlier this year. The drug, Daraprim, is the only drug there is to treat the parasitic disease toxoplasmosis. And Turing is the only company making it. Shkreli was arrested this week. Not for price-gouging. Not for endangering people's health. Not for sticking it to Big Insurance in the biggest way possible. No. He was arrested for securities fraud, which happened several years ago at a completely different company. Here's the thing: that $750 pill still costs $750, and that's not likely to change. Meanwhile, the public is being given Shkreli's head on a plate so we feel like something is being done. But it's not. Nothing has changed. When it comes to the real problem ...

If you keep up with health headlines, you’ve probably heard the word “superfood” a lot. Each week seems to bring a new superfood, guaranteed to have a profound effect on your health. Superfoods lower your risk of heart disease. They boost your immune system. They improve your memory and ward off Alzheimer’s. And we want to eat them all. But which foods really ARE super?   Here are the facts: although I don’t care for the “superfood” label, there really are some foods which really can have a big impact on your health. And while you probably don’t want to go on a diet of nothing but chocolate and green tea, making some of them a regular part of your diet can have a real effect.   Memory foods: fact or fantasy? Separating the health facts from the propaganda is never easy, and it’s especially hard when it comes to nutrition. Why? Because studying how food affects us relies on a lot of guesswork. ...

There’s a new diet on the block.   It’s called the MIND diet, and unlike other diets which focus on weight loss or lowering your blood sugar, this one does just what the name suggests. It focuses on your brains. And it can cut your risk of Alzheimer’s by more than half. The MIND diet focuses on 10 brain-boosting food groups and five not-so-healthy ones. It doesn’t ask you to count calories or measure portions. Instead it asks you go focus on what you should already be eating for a healthy you - real food, lots of vegetables and fruits, and more omega-3 fatty acids. And if you just can’t live without your favorite “forbidden” food that’s ok. Even people who followed the program “moderately well” had as much as a 35% reduction in their Alzheimer’s risk.   That’s pretty impressive.   So what should you be eating for your MIND? Here’s a breakdown of the 10 ...

A few years ago, my friend Sarah got the kind of news that most of us only have nightmares about — her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. It was a terrible time for her. The woman who had loved her and cared for her all her life was slowly disintegrating before her eyes, and there was nothing anyone could do about it. No amount of medical care, love and tenderness, or even pleading with God made a difference.    Dealing with dementia is, in many ways, like going through the stages of grief, and Sarah reacted as most people would. She bargained with God. She became angry and then depressed. And then, she was inspired to change her life.    With the specter of someday facing the same fate in front of her, Sarah decided to fight back. She joined a gym and started exercising. She took supplements. She started meditating and took a yoga class after reading that these might help stave off dementia. She did puzzles and "brain ...

So what happens when your brain shrinks? If you think a shrinking brain sounds like the plot for a horror movie or a thriller, think again.Your brain is shrinking right now, this very instant. And it will continue to shrink for as long as you live. Does this mean you'll end up with a brain the size of a raisin if you live long enough? No. It does mean that as you age it may take you longer to process some information, or have more difficulty with some topics than others. The bad news is that it's a normal process that happens to everyone. The good news is that there's something you can do about it. The incredible shrinking brain: not a movie title, just biology Throughout childhood, our brains grow at an amazing rate. During our teens and even our twenties they're in a constant state of creating new connections and removing disused ones, and brain size stays fairly steady. Once we pass our mid to late twenties, though, our brains slowly but ...

No matter how things may appear, the world is not all gloom and doom. There are awful things going on around us, of course. GMO food is a reality, and our voices really were ignored when we protested. Big Insurance really is reaching deep into our pockets for every last penny. Big Pharma really does have its tentacles stuck deep in the heart of government. None of this is our imaginations—we really are in the middle of a battle both for our health and our rights. BUT—and this is sometimes hard to remember—even in the midst of a battle there are islands of calm, instances of kindness, bright shining moments that make it possible to keep on going even when things seem their worst. When bombs are falling all around you, you have three choices: you can panic and run screaming right into the line of fire. You can huddle in your foxhole and pray that none of them hit you. Or you can grab whatever you have on hand and build a better bomb shelter. I think ...

For years, science has told us that Alzheimer’s disease ( watch our video to fight back diabetes naturally ) is the result of the buildup of a substance called beta-amyloid. This protein forms sticky plaques in the brain, so the theory goes, where it interrupts brain cells’ ability to make connections and communicate with one another. The plaque eventually causes the cells to die and leads to the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. This is the theory that nearly all experimental Alzheimer’s treatments have been based on. If we could stop the build-up of plaque, the thinking goes, we could slow or stop the progression of the Alzheimer’s disease. But a new study from Harvard University Medical School suggests that most of what we think we know about Alzheimer’s disease might be dead wrong. There’s compelling evidence that amyloid plaque isn’t the cause of Alzheimer’s disease at all. In fact, it’s probably the body’s attempt ...

On August 12, long jumper Jeff Henderson captured the gold with a leap of 8.38 meters. It was a memorable moment for Team USA—the first US gold medal in the event since 2004. The win might have had fans cheering, but what he did after being awarded his medal brought a tear to their eyes. It reminded us all just what the Games are all about and the spirit that underlies them. The 27-year-old Arkansas native is a multi-talented athlete who is also a sprinter. He became a serious athlete at age 15 and winning the gold is thus far the pinnacle of his career. In a touching gesture guaranteed to tug the hardest heartstrings, he decided to pay tribute in front of the whole world to the person who helped him climb to that pinnacle, even if she doesn’t remember it now. Henderson dedicated the gold to his mother. And he confided that she is one of the millions of people world-wide who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease—the most devastating form of dementia. ...

“Let food be the medicine." It's advice that’s fallen in and out of favor throughout history. Some American pantry staples such as Kellog’s Corn Flakes and graham crackers started life as “medicinal” foods but are now on the “don’t eat that!” list. Others, such as the spice turmeric, show some real scientific potential. And sometimes unexpected foods show truly surprising health benefits. For example: recent research suggests that our pancakes might contain one of the keys to defeating Alzheimer’s disease—in the form of maple syrup. It might not be good for our waistlines but Canadian researchers say it appears to have a positive effect on our brains. Alzheimer’s disease is the most devastating form of dementia. It robs its victims of their memories, their personalities, and eventually their lives. It has no cure. And although science still doesn’t understand its root cause, it appears ...

If there were something simple and enjoyable—and even free—that would cut your risk of dying (from anything!) by more than 20 percent, would you do it? If you said, “yes,” it might be time to take a trip to the library. A new study from Yale University found that people who read on a regular basis are up to 23 percent less likely to die from any cause than non-readers. Read a book, not a magazine The study looked at more than 3,600 people. All were over 50. It followed them for twelve whole years, not just the space of a few months. And though researchers can’t tell us exactly why reading seems to have this effect, the results showed that the regular readers added about two years to their lives. What they read, and how long they read, also seemed to have an effect. Those who read books, as opposed to other things like magazines, and who read for just three and a half hours per week—=the equivalent of only half an hour each ...

If you can’t make it through the day without needing a nap, there could be a lot of reasons. Maybe you need a new mattress and your bed is beating you up. Maybe you’re eating too much sugar for breakfast and not enough protein. Maybe you sleep with a television on in your room or stay up too late checking Facebook. Maybe you don’t get enough exercise. Maybe you just overdid it the day before or you were up all night with a sick child or grandchild. There are a billion things that can leave you totally exhausted long before bedtime. We all have the occasional day where we wonder how we’ll even make it through lunch, much less dinner. However, if you find yourself exhausted for no obvious reason on a regular basis, there might be something else going on. But before you start worrying about whether you have a heart problem or there’s something wrong with your thyroid, you might consider something much simpler and more likely: It could be your ...

Alzheimer’s disease may get most of the news headlines, but it’s far from the only frightening brain disease out there. There’s also Huntington’s disease, which in the end robs you of the ability to speak, walk, or control your movements. There’s multiple sclerosis, in which your own immune system attacks your nerves and your brain. There’s ALS, which eventually paralyses you and takes away the ability even to breathe on your own—usually within about five years. There are various types of dementia aside from Alzheimer’s. And then there’s Parkinson’s disease, which robs you of the ability to control your movements and eventually leaves you trapped in your own body even though your mind is intact. As many as 60,000 new cases of Parkinson’s are diagnosed each year, and victims may live with the disease for decades. There is no cure for any of these diseases. In fact, though we’re well-versed in the symptoms ...

In the past decade we’ve discovered that your pancreas isn’t the only organ that produces insulin. Your brain also makes insulin and, like your body, it can become insulin-resistant. When that happens, your brain cells can’t use sugar properly and eventually they starve. This could be the beginning of the chain reaction that eventually leads to Alzheimer’s.     When your body becomes too insulin-resistant we call it type 2 diabetes. When it happens in your brain, we don’t call it anything…but maybe we should. A growing number of doctors now argue that we should start calling it what it is: type 3 diabetes.   But there’s good news.   You see, we know what causes insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We also know how to prevent it. And the same steps that prevent type 2 diabetes will prevent—and possibly even reverse—type 3.      You may have heard it before. ...

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