March 13-19 Celebrating Brain Awareness Week – Is Your Social Life Bad for Your Brain?

Happy group of adult friends having fun

 3 Reasons Why Staying Social Matters to Your Thinking

How many friends do you have? Do you rarely see family, go out for the evening or join your community for an event?

You may not realize it, but your social life may just be bad for your brain.

In the immortal words of Bette Midler, “you’ve got to have friends.” Little did the Divine Miss M know that in addition to our souls, she was hitting a high note on brain health as well.

A recent AARP survey found that adults 40 and over with a higher number of social connections report better brain health.
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Food As Medicine

Buckwheat honey for a cough, peppermint for IBS, turmeric for arthritis, Chia seeds for high cholesterol, salmon for inflamation…“I think most people think food can’t possibly be as potent as drugs, but I see the powerful direct benefits all the time,” said Dr. Melina Jampolis, in a recent discussion with CNN and posted in an article on Fox8.com. A small, growing number of physicians are “prescribing” foods not only for weight management, but also to prevent and treat chronic diseases and CNN spoke with medical nutrition experts to unearth the specific foods they recommend. And you don’t have to be a chef or nutritionist to take advantage of these healthy choices.
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Dr Paula Johnson Keynotes Luncheon

Dr. Paula Johnson commented on the following questions in preparation for her May 12, 2015 visit to Bastyr Center for Natural Health where she delivered the Luncheon Keynote address. She brings a broad range of experience as a physician, researcher and expert in public health and health policy:

Why is it so important to acknowledge the biological differences between men and women, and differences in how they experience disease? Most people are shocked to learn the statistics. Most people assume that this work is already done, that this science is done; they assume that health care is based on evidence. That’s why this is an equal rights issue.
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February Is Heart Month: Share the Love for the Heart-Brain Connection

February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to once again focus our thoughts on what is without doubt the brain’s favorite valentine, the heart.

Why does heart health matter so much to our intellectual wellness? The relationship between cardiovascular function and our brain health is well established. Numerous studies have shown over and again that the same factors known to impact cardiac health, such as physical activity, weight and stress, also play a significant role in determining dementia risk. The robustness of this relationship is strong and clear, and many of us know that what is good for our heart is good for our brain as well.
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Brain Diet Fads: Fact, Fiction or Fashion?

What You Should Know to “Eat Smart” Now

Dr. Green expert on brain health and diet

When it comes to brain health, it seems nothing is more confusing than advice about what we eat and drink. The media’s obsessional reporting of every new finding on brain diet and memory (no matter how small or obscure the study) merely reflects our own anxieties about how the food on our table may literally turn the tables on our long-term vitality. Strident statements and specific instructions are increasingly made. Yet as a recent editorial in the Neurobiology of Aging journal states, “(s)o far, no nutritional intervention has been proved to be effective in reducing the risk or severity of Alzheimer’s or any dementia.”

 

While some may feel that there is little risk in making such brain diet recommendations regardless, this is not truly the case.
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Employees As Caregivers – Employers Take Note

November is National Family Caregiver Month. Where do you expect to find family caregivers? In hospitals, nursing homes and seniors communities, right? Looking after their aging loved ones with an illness or disability? Absolutely.

But guess where else you’ll find the nearly 70 million caregivers in America? In the workplace – in our large corporations and in our small businesses, in cubicles answering phones and in corner offices chairing meetings, on assembly lines handling merchandise and in cars en route to servicing clients.

There are 30 million households providing care for a family member, and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years as our population continues to age.
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Breast Cancer Is Not A Pink Ribbon – Darryle Pollack on Huffington Post

In a recent Huffington Post article, Darryle Pollack paid tribute to Barbie Ritzco who signed up to be a Marine, to be on the front lines fighting America’s battles, not on the front lines fighting breast cancer. In February 2011, she was diagnosed with Stage IIIB Breast Cancer, four months after being deployed to Afghanistan.

On September 26, 2014, cancer swallowed up Barbie Ritzco at age 39, cutting short a remarkable life. Her loss has hit hard. It’s hard to accept that even for the toughest and worthiest warriors, battle metaphors don’t quite fit the truths of cancer.

Barbie taught other truths of cancer along the way.
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Boost Your Brain Health

Here are the top 10 things everyone should know about improving brain health- they might just surprise you!

1. Take a Walk. Getting off the couch and onto your feet is the best thing you can do for your brain! Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise (the kind where you can keep up but can’t keep up a conversation) boosts daily intellectual performance and significantly lowers the risk for dementia. Even walking at a vigorous pace at least 30 minutes a day 5-6 times a week will do the trick.

2. Lose that Spare Tire. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight with a low ratio of “belly fat” can significantly lower the risk for a memory disorder.
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Brain Science from Dr. Cynthia Green

The focus on this month’s brain science report, from Dr. Cynthia Green, features the benefits of keeping busy, both at work and online:

BRAIN SCIENCE: Your Brain @ Work: Challenging Work May Reduce Dementia Risk
German researchers conducting a review of the literature found that a work environment that offers a rich intellectual experience, engagement with others, work with data as well as a high degree of job control may lower risk for dementia later in life. A systematic review of the literature resulted in 17 studies qualifying for inclusion in their analysis. Their findings, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine,suggest that our work environment may play a protective role in brain health.
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Dr. Stork Discusses Mindful Eating And Its Impact On Your Health

We’ve all done it: eaten something so fast that we don’t even taste it! In his latest NY Times best-selling book: The Doctor’s Diet, Dr. Travis Stork offers 10 Food Prescriptions for Optimal Health. Number 1 on his list is mindful eating.

If you can’t remember what food you had at your last meal, you probably ate it mindlessly, without thinking or noticing how it tasted or how your body reacted to it!  If you can open your mind and become fully aware of food and its impact on your health and your life, everything else you do will be easier.
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