This article reports on the findings of a recent research publication regarding the role of diet in dementia. It suggests that those with diets high in essential nutrients were less likely to have the brain shrinkage associated with Alzheimer’s disease and to have better cognitive performance.
Specifically Dr Bowman’s research suggests that those with diets high in omega 3 fatty acids and several vitamins (C, D, E and B) were less likely to have brain shrinkage and more likely to have better cognitive performance than those whose diets were low in these nutrients.
Furthermore his research suggests that those whose diets are high in trans fats were more likely to have brain shrinkage and to perform less well on cognitive tests than those whose diets were low in trans fats. A quick search on the internet will inform you on the foods that contain trans fats but in summary, it’s fast food, snack food, desserts, pizza, margarine, processed fried foods and baked goods eg cakes, pastries, doughnuts. They can appear in so called ‘healthy’ bars and even some breakfast cereals. Hydrogenated (or partially hydrogenated) vegetable oil is another name to look out for on the ingredients list.
The American Heart Association recommends less than 1% of your total daily calories should be trans fat (for 2000 cal diet that’s less than 2 grams) but heading for zero feels like the right amount given the detrimental effects to health overall (increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes) not just the effects reported in this research. Be aware that if the food contains less than 0.5 Grams companies are not required to list it and can put zero trans fats on the labelling even if it contains some trans fat.
The foods that contain the omega 3 fatty acids are flaxseed (linseed), walnuts and oily fish like salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines.
Of course it is necessary to have a healthy diet in order to maintain a healthy harmonious body. However, is that enough?? Will a diet rich in fish really be enough to prevent Alzheimer’s?? This research article does state that more work or research is required to confirm their findings and is not at this point stating that a fishy diet is sufficient to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Esoterically and energetically there is more to preventing dementia than consuming a diet rich in fish or omega 3 fatty acids. Whilst acknowledging and reaffirming that a truly healthy diet (free from gluten, dairy, yeast, caffeine, alcohol and sugar) is necessary to maintain health, harmony and wellbeing, there are other factors to consider.
In this article on the intial identification of Alzheimer’s disease, the original patient being observed once told Doctor Alzheimer that ‘I have lost myself’. This is actually a very accurate description of what is happening energetically to bring about Alzheimer’s disease ….the individual is no longer fully present, is indeed lost to herself. How does this happen?
Descartes’ idea that the mind and body are separate independent entities is responsible for a lot of erroneous thinking regarding the make up of the human being, illness and disease. The mind and body are in fact intimately interwoven and interconnected and contrary to the modern day world view, it is the body that holds the true wisdom and which speaks truth, not the mind. Many of man’s ills arise because we ignore or override this wisdom in the false belief that the mind as we know it is supreme.
To be in true harmony we need to be with our bodies, our mind and body fully connected and fully present in whatever we are doing. All too often we check -out and are not present, letting our minds run ahead to the next job or task whilst our body is doing something else. Most people will probably relate to driving a car and reaching the destination but not really having been aware of the details of the journey because of thinking about what to make for dinner, what is to be done at work, what to say to the boss, what happened yesterday, what might happen tomorrow and so on…..the list is endless of the ways that we take ourselves, our minds away from what we are physcially doing. This happens more often than we perhaps realise and it is a good exercise to begin noticing if we are with ourselves (mind and body connected) or have left ourselves.
Keeping the mind and body connected, being present in what we are doing is called conscious presence. We can build and develop conscious presence in small ways eg when brushing teeth or taking a shower – keep the mind focused on the physical aspects of the activity. This can be as simple as thinking internally ‘I am brushing my teeth’, ‘I am taking a shower, I feel my hands on my head gently massaging in the shampoo….. I feel the sponge gliding smoothly on my arm’. This may sound very simplistic and it is – but try it and see if you manage to stay present for the duration of your shower or does your mind wander off to think about something else?? If it does, just notice it and bring it back to the task at hand without critcising or judging yourself.
There are many other ways we give up or ‘check-out’ to not be present to what is happening with ourselves, our families and the world. It might be vegging in front of the TV or using the computer to numb out as well as more obviously harming ways of checking-out through drugs and alcohol. The bottom line is the more we check-out and are not fully present with mind and body connected, the more we are at risk of dementia as it is understood esoterically and energetically – fishy diet or no fishy diet!!
Understanding why we choose to ‘check-out’ or give up is another part of the healing process that will have to wait for another blog…..:-)
Feel free to share your experiences eg. of developing conscious presence or noticing when and how often you leave yourself and what helps to bring you back to you such that you stay mind and body fully connected, fully present.