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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A Talk with Dominique Antiglio, author of The Life-Changing Power of Sophrology

Dominique Antiglio is the author of The Life Changing Power of Sophrology: Breathe and Connect with the Calm and Happy You. She is a Sophrologist specializing in stress-management, self-development, and birth preparation. Born in Switzerland, Dominique started Sophrology at fifteen years old, learning early ways to positively connect with herself and embrace a new way of living.

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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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What’s Science Got to Do With It? By Susun Weed

Once upon a time, healing was considered an art. Healing was understood by all to be a complex interaction between the patient, the healer, the community of living people, the communities of the plants and animals (and insects and rocks and fish), the communities of the non-living people (such as ancestors, spirit guides, and archetypes) and that mysterious movement known by so many names: Creator, God/dess, All High.

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Have You Checked Out Gaia.com?

Gaia is one of our favorite websites! Formerly known as GaiamTv, it’s been simplified to “Gaia.” You can occasionally find one of their great videos for free on Facebook or YouTube, but, if you’re like us, you will rapidly want to pay for the subscription service. Gaia.com offers ad-free streaming of thousands of exclusive and original videos and full length movies featuring renowned luminaries, as well as a like-minded community of seekers. Not in the mood for a video? There are dozens of articles that will “expand your worldview and amplify the power of our collective consciousness.”

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Merlian News Podcasts With Mitzi Adams

| by Merlian News

Mitzi Adams was first introduced to Jin Shin Jyutsu in 1986 when she started her graduate studies in dance in Arizona. She has studied for a little over two decades and has taught Self-help Jin Shin Jyutsu at various universities. Her love and devotion to Jin Shin Jyutsu are witnessed through her teachings, inspiring all those drawn to this profound art. In this podcast, Mitzi discusses with Merryn Jose what Jin Shin Jyutsu is, how it is applied, how you can use it everyday, and the various healing benefits it provides.

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Increasing Irisin: How the “Feel Good” Exercise Hormone Can Help Your Brain

Just discovered in 2012, irisin is exciting the science community with questions about its role in our bodies. Named after Iris, the Greek messenger to the gods, it’s called the feel good hormone, or the exercise hormone. As reported recently in The New York Times, research with mice has shown that irisin, released during exercise, works to activate brain cell growth and may counteract the beta amyloid growth associated with Alzheimer’s disease. And while there is plenty of research showing that exercise increases bone density, new studies indicate that it may be irisin that is driving the change. This could lead to new advances in the treatment of osteoporosis.

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