Eat Healthy Fats for a Healthy Brain by Allan Warshowsky, MD, FACOG, ABIHM

There has been much controversy about which fats to include in a healthy diet that would help is to avoid or reduce the chances of developing one of the chronic diseases of aging. These would include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancers, osteoarthritic conditions, autoimmune disease, cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is primarily the result of increased brain inflammation. This has been referred to as “the brain on fire.” To maintain our brain health and cognitive abilities, we need to make dietary and other lifestyle choices that will reduce inflammation and put out the fire. Maximizing healthy fats in the diet will optimize brain health.

The fats we find in our food are classified as either synthetic “trans” fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) or the naturally occurring fats and oils in food. These food fats and oils are further categorized as fish oils (deep sea cold water fish), saturated (found in coconut, grass fed/finished red meats, deep sea cold water fish), mono-saturated (olive oil) and polyunsaturated fats (soybean, canola, cottonseed, corn and peanut oils) depending on how “flexible” the fat is.

Saturated fats are least flexible and are therefore solid at room temperature, while the polyunsaturated fats, being most flexible, are liquid at room temperature. The solid saturated fats (coconut, ghee, organic butter) are best for cooking because they can withstand higher heat and not “burn” and create free radicals. Mono saturated (olive oil) and nut and seed oils (flaxseed, walnut) are best no used for cooking, but work well on salads and vegetables. The “trans” fats (partially hydrogenated) are inflammatory and need to be 100% out of the diet.

Oils that are high in the inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids and should be avoided for brain health are:

  • soybean
  • canola
  • cottonseed
  • corn
  • sunflower
  • safflower
  • sesame
  • peanut oils

Oils that are high in the anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids and need to be included for brain health:

  • fish (Pacific salmon, sardines, mackerel)
  • grass fed/finished red meats and pastured poultry
  • ghee and organic butter
  • flaxssed, walnut, nuts
  • coconut
  • olive

Coconut has the added benefit of providing the brain with its preferred energy source, ketones.

When the brain is inflamed, it cannot utilize its usual energy source, glucose or sugar. Ketones supply brain cells (neurons) with the energy they require to heal. Add 2-4 tablespoons to your food daily. Eating healthy fats for a healthy brain requires that you be aware of which fats and oils are increasing inflammation and which are putting out the fire. Include all of the omega 3 anti-inflammatory fats and oils to maintain a healthy brain.

Click here for our Merlian News Podcast interview with Dr. Warshowsky

Allan Warshowsky, MD is a board certified Ob-Gyn, currently in private practice in Rye, NY, who focuses on Integrative Holistic Women’s healthcare and has expanded his practice to include men and teens. His successful practice therapies range from the conventional to the purely holistic including: nutritional therapy, vitamin and herbal treatments, lifestyle changes, visualization and imagery, as well as bio-identical hormones and other integrative approaches. He has authored various books including Healing Fibroids: A Doctor’s Guide to a Natural Cure. Dr. Warshowsky was a founding physician and director of the Women’s Program at Beth Israel’s Continuum Center for Health and Healing from 2000-2003. He is notably a Founding Diplomat and Director Emeritus of the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine. For more information, go to www.doctorallan.com, or call 914-967-1630. His offices are located at 150 Purchase Street, Suite 7, Rye, NY 10580.

 


Whole Grains: Millet by Karen Railey

| by Karen Railey

Millet is one of the oldest foods known to humans and possibly the first cereal grain to be used for domestic purposes. It is mentioned in the Bible, and was used during those times to make bread. Millet has been used in Africa and India as a staple food for thousands of years and it was grown as early as 2700 BC in China where it was the prevalent grain before rice became the dominant staple. It is documented that the plant was also grown by the lake dwellers of Switzerland during the Stone Age.

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The List of Benefits of Curcumin Keeps Growing

| by Merlian News

Curcumin is a naturally occurring compound found in the spice turmeric that has been used for centuries as an Ayurvedic medicine treatment for such ailments as allergies, diabetes and ulcers. To date it is one of the most studied natural compounds in modern medicine. Now curcumin and turmeric have been linked with lowering high cholesterol, acting as a steroid-like anti-inflammatory on arthritis and a variety of immune disorders, preventing Alzheimer’s, and inducing cell death in cancerous cells. From Dr. Andrew Weil to Dr. Joseph Mercola, from Dr. Oz to Deepak Chopra, physicians and dieticians have been recommending curcumin to their patients for years.

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Dandelions May Help Beat Cancer

Dandelion, both leaves and roots, whether grown wild or cultivated, is full of medicinal benefits. The greens can be chopped into salad, cooked like spinach, or added to juicing, while the root form can be used to make an infusion/tea or extract. Pamela Ovadje, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Windsor, has done extensive work in investigating the anti-cancer properties of dandelions and other natural extracts. She found that an extract of dandelions can cause apoptosis, or cell death, among cancerous cells while not harming the healthy ones.

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The Unlikely Vegan Gets His NY Fix by Phil Shainmark

| by Phil Shainmark

So, my brother-in-law Dan and I went to NY, and it was an awesome trip from start to finish. My father picked us up at the airport and took us to Royal Palace in White Plains, NY. I’ve mentioned it before, but it’s worth talking about again. Dan and I were famished, so a buffet was definitely the way to go. We loaded up our plates and went to town. The staff there is so great, asking us what we liked and didn’t like, and talking to us about India and where the foods come from when we expressed an interest. I will go there any time I’m in the area. The next day we went to Long Island to see my grandparents, and go to Town Bagel (I needed my NY bagel fix).

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Cut out the Grains to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease by Dr. Mercola

Alzheimer’s disease is at epidemic proportions, with 5.4 million Americans–including one in eight people aged 65 and over–living with the disease. In the next 20 years, it is projected that Alzheimer’s will affect one in four Americans, rivaling the current prevalence of obesity and diabetes. There is still no known accepted cure for this devastating disease, and no effective treatments. Alzheimer’s drugs are often of little to no benefit at all, which underscores the importance of prevention throughout your lifetime.

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Starting Seeds Indoors for Spring Planting

| by Priscilla Warhowsky

Who doesn’t love to walk into the garden and pick a summer ripened juicy tomato to eat off the vine or slice up later with basil and olive oil? It’s almost a rite of summer for gardeners. Many summer vegetables that love heat such as tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers can be started indoors as seeds in late March to mid April to get a head start on the season. Starting seeds indoors is easy, fun, and you get to watch your creation from seed to plant to your dinner plate….

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The Benefits of Turmeric Tea

| by Merlian News

Many people know about the healing benefits of turmeric: with the active ingredient curcumin, it is a potent anti-inflammatory, a digestive aid, a powerful anti-oxidant and may help to prevent cancer and other diseases. Turmeric is available loose as a spice, in pill form and as an extract. But did you know that one of the most effective ways to take turmeric is as a tea? Served hot or cold, turmeric is a refreshing addition to your daily routine.

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The Unlikely Vegan Dines Out by Phil Shainmark

So since last time, I’ve tried some new things – Egyptian food for one – at a place called Pots here in Las Vegas. They have the usual hummus and babaghanoush, but they also offer a tasting menu, and my wife, my mother, and I all tried it. It was excellent. Ive noticed that being Vegan has made me move out of my comfort zone with a lot of foods. Egyptian was never something I would have tried in the past, but I’m glad I did now.

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9 Health Benefits of Thyme

Thyme, an herb native to the Mediterranean but now grown over most of the world, has been used for thousands of years as a medicine, an antidote for the Plague and in embalming preparations. And while it’s unlikely that thyme stopped the plague, modern research has proven that thyme does indeed combat infection. One study from 2010 suggests that thymol, the active ingredient in thyme, can reduce bacterial resistance to common drugs, including penicillin. A member of the mint family, thyme has long been used in Mediterranean cuisines for its sharp minty flavor as well as its medicinal properties.

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