The MIND Diet for Better Health

By Laurel Sterling, RD

There is a growing body of evidence that shows that what you eat can affect your brain. A recent study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center demonstrates that a diet plan they developed may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53%! This diet has been coined the MIND diet. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It is a combination of the well known Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). Apparently, the MIND diet proved to be more effective than either diet alone. They found that those who followed either the DASH or the Mediterranean diet “moderately” had almost no drop in their Alzheimer’s risk.

The MIND diet breaks its recommendations down into 10 “brain healthy food groups” a person should eat and five “unhealthy food groups” to avoid.

Food Groups to Include:

  • Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens) at least 6 servings/week
  • Other vegetables – At least 1/day
  • Nuts – 5 servings/week
  • Berries – 2 or more servings/week
  • Beans – At least 3 servings/week
  • Whole grains – 3 or more servings/day
  • Fish – Once/week
  • Poultry (like chicken or turkey) – 2 times/week
  • Olive oil – Use it as your main cooking oil
  • Wine – 1 glass/day

Food Groups to Avoid:

  • Red meat – Less than 4 servings/week
  • Butter and margarine – Less than 1 tablespoon/day
  • Cheese – Less than 1 serving/week
  • Pastries and sweets – Less than 5 servings/week
  • Fried or fast food – Less than 1 serving/week

They discovered that the MIND diet helped slow the rate of cognitive decline and protect against Alzheimer’s regardless of genetics and other risk factors like smoking and exercise. So let’s MIND the way we eat!

PGX for Weight Loss

By Laurel Sterling, RD

laurelPeople are consistently coming in to see me regarding weight loss, appetite control, and blood-sugar regulation. If I had to choose one product that would address all of these issues, I would recommend PGX to them.

PGX is PolyGlycopleX. PGX is a blend of highly purified naturally-occurring, water-soluble indigestible polysaccharides (fibers). PGX has been clinically studied for years particularly for blood-sugar regulation.

Added to liquid, PGX absorbs over 600 times its weight in water. Taken with adequate amounts of water, it expands in the stomach and intestine. This is how it makes you feel fuller faster and longer reducing hunger so that you eat less. PGX helps get you over the blood-sugar rollercoaster. I have seen clients take one dose of the PGX granules, and their blood-sugar numbers were steadily lowered…for a full day!

There are many ways to get in your daily PGX. There are softgels, granules, and a protein drink called SlimStyles. You will need to ramp up slowly with the PGX so you get used to the extra fiber. There is a caution to take medications one hour before or two hours after PGX. PGX can be utilized along with any sensible dietary plan. Some people have used the protein drink as their breakfast, and put the granules in an evening soup. However you choose to do it, PGX is the way to go!

Alexis’ Health & Beauty Journey #12: On Sharing Your Experiences

Capers-Alexis_AFTERBy Alexis Capers – Alexis Capers is our Enhanced Beauty Salon and Enhanced Beauty Area manager. Join her every other Wednesday for a blog about her journey into natural health & beauty products.

This week I was touched by a very sensitive subject. I always pride myself on being present in my friends and families lives. I feel as though I have my finger on the pulse of what is truly going on. But I found out how blind we can be to matters that others want to hide from us, and do it well.

I discovered as I went through a journey of re-learning how to go about my diet and eating habits (it’s like learning to walk again) that someone close to me is suffering from Anorexia. I was stunned, but thinking back could see how this was true. Then she shared with me that a close friend of mine confided in her that she too has the disease. It is a helpless feeling to know this about these individuals and I feel like I should have been doing something for them.

I battle with my own weight and body issues. If you are overweight and labeled obese, it is considered a disease; it is the number-two preventable killer after cigarette smoking. But we can put down a smoke. Food is necessary in life and poor eating much harder to overcome. I am fortunate that this job opportunity at Natur-Tyme came when it did. I believe in some ways, it has saved my life.

I am more conscious of my body and what I need to maintain my health now and beyond. I was not given the proper guidance when I had Gastric Bypass Surgery (Roux-en y to be exact) back in 2001. Two babies and chemotherapy later, I have fallen deep into bad eating habits and choices.

My message to you today is to not be afraid to share what you are dealing with.

Find someone you trust and let them help you help yourself. Every day is a battle to be won. Every evening is another chance to say “I failed,” but if you do slip, pick yourself back up and fight again tomorrow! We have a knowledgeable support network at our store willing to get you on track.

Take care of you. We only get one of you to go around!

Items I’m falling for this week:

Seaweed bath cellulite soap is made with caffeine so it helps reduce the appearance of cellulite! Café smoothies! They are delicious and nutritious. Almond Dream Bites Vanilla or Chocolate (why choose!). The best non-dairy ice-cream alternative I have ever tried! A hearty 15 pieces are only 230 Calories, yum! If you prefer a crunchy snack, Sage Valley White Cheddar puffs are the best! They taste wonderful and are not too bad on the calorie count either! Plus, we have a wide variety of bulk items to keep you healthy.

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Quick Reference Guide for Gluten-Free Diets

By: Carol B. Blair, BB, CNC, DiHom

Gluten_FreeAvoidance of gluten, which is found in many grains, (especially wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and triticale) is essential if one is gluten-intolerant.

Rice, corn, soy, potato, tapioca, and arrowroot are considered acceptable alternatives. Although corn is a high-allergy grain, it is not thought to cause damage to the villi in celiac individuals.

Buckwheat (kasha), amaranth, and quinoa are seeds and are also generally regarded as satisfactory gluten-free foods for baking.

Legumes (beans, lentils, and peas) are also gluten-free and are used as flours.

Tapioca, soy, sorghum, ragi, millet, teff, and wild rice are other items that may be eaten or milled into flour for the gluten-free diet. Gluten-free oats now available.

The average diet contains 10-40 grams of gluten per day.  An average slice of whole wheat bread contains about 4.8 grams (10% gluten by weight), a serving of pasta is about 6.4 grams (11% by weight). 0.1 grams of gluten can cause damage to a person with celiac disease!  This is 1/48th of a slice of bread! One study of 10 children for 28 days revealed,
through biopsies, an increase in intra-epithelial lymphocyte count, one of the earliest signs of
damage. Four patients showed increased IgA anti-gliadin antibodies. Intestinal permeability,
however, remained the same in this study (Catassi et al).

Be aware that some drugs such as statins contain gluten! Celiac intolerance is often accompanied by a dairy allergy! A gluten-free diet is often considered helpful for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Ideas to Incorporate in a Gluten-Free Diet:

  • Fearn’s brown rice baking mix – apple/cinnamon pancakes
  • Nut-thin crackers*
  • Rice pasta
  • Quinoa and corn pasta
  • Le garden gluten-free bread
  • Rice, corn, soy, tapioca, arrowroot, quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, GF oats
  • Potatoes (especially red skin)
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash
  • All vegetables and all fruits
  • Protein foods: chicken, turkey, fish, meat, eggs, nuts and seeds, beans, lentils, and peas

* Please note that this product is not casein-free; therefore, it is not recommended for individuals with autism.