The more I learn at university in my nutrition degree the more I see the evidence of how healthy a plant based diet really is. I have always known it instinctively but now it is wonderful to see the science to back it up. Having said this though it is important like with any food style you wish to follow that you ensure you are including all essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals in your cooking.
I personally am fascinated with dementia as I was led to believe it is hereditary, whilst that may be so there is enough evidence out there to suggest that how you behave in your life in the way of exercise and participating in brain activities plus eating a healthy diet can help in the prevention of dementia.
In 2013 at the international conference on nutrition and the brain (held in the USA) dietary guidelines
were established for people who wanted to reduce their risk of dementia and in particular Alzheimer’s (the most common form of dementia). The number one guideline was to minimize saturated fats and trans fats, which are primarily found in dairy products, animal flesh, eggs, fried foods, palm oil and coconut oil (Increased saturated and trans fats are associated with risk of CVD and type 2 diabetes, which in turn are a risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies have shown that high saturated fats increase the rate of decline in cognitive function.).
The second guideline was to replace the protein component of these trans and saturated fats with legumes and to increase fruit, veg and whole grains intake.
So it’s a no brainer (pardon the pun). Ditch the meat and dairy and come and learn how to cook lentils and amazingly good vegan food with me (legumes and whole grains provide good protein and fruit, veg, legumes and whole grains provide fabulous micronutrients associated with less cognitive decline).
In addition adding B vitamins to your diet will help with brain health and also I was recently listening to a podcast
where Dr’s Dean and Ayesha Sherzai talk about the importance of omega 3 fatty acids for the prevention of Alzheimer’s. While you may be relatively young there is no time like now, like right now, to start ensuring you have enough omega 3 in your diet. The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest 8gm for women a day and 13gm for men.
This recipe I share with you today is packed with omega 3. Walnuts and Spirulina are rich in omega 3. To add even more, roll them in hemp seeds instead of coconut. The walnuts and figs in this recipe add calcium and the brazil nuts add calcium and selenium. Watch out, they are addictive, which in this case isn’t a bad thing. You could easily have 1, 2 or 3 of these a day depending on how small you roll them.