Monthly Archives: July 2009

Better Breakfast for a Better Memory

Tofu isn’t know for it’s amazing taste.  But it is known for it’s incredible soy-powered health benefits.  There are loads of ways to incorporate soy protein into your diet (and reap the rewards) without sacrificing flavor.  Here are a few ways, compliments of “14 Ways to Make Superfoods Delicious” by Lynn Grieger, to sneak soy into your next meal:

  • Meatballs, Lasagna, and Meat Sauce – make any ground beef-based dish with half ground beef and half textured soy protein.  Combine the soy protein with tomato sauce, tomato juice or milk, then add the meat and you’re good to go!
  • Smoothie-time!  1) Grab a blender, 2) Add soymilk, silken tofu, fruit, juice, and bit of honey, or maple syrup, 3) Blend & enjoy!
  • Stir-fry, Soup, and Casserole – just add tofu bits to any recipe to sneak in some extra protein
  • Soy Nuts – add them to anything or munch on them solo!  

Eating well doesn’t have to be boring.  See which of these ideas are easiest (and tastiest) to incorporate into your meals for better mind and memory!

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Food for A Better Memory

So everyone keeps telling you to eat well for a healthier life, right?  But eat what?  What’s best for your body and brain?

It seems produce is the key to a productive life.  

A 25-year study at Harvard of 13,000 women showed that those who ate high amounts of veggies had less age-related decline in memory compared to those who did not.  A 3-year study at Tufts University of 320 men showed that those who had high-folic-acid diets had their memories protected from homocysteine, a chemical which causes memory decline.  Another study in Australia showed that after a mere 5 weeks of adding folic acid into their diets, women showed memory improvements.  A 6-year study at Rush University Medical Center of 3,000 men and women showed that those who ate fish once a week had a 10% slower decline in memory.  And even better, some studies have shown that anthocyanin and quercetin, phytochemicals or chemical compounds formed in plants, have even reversed some memory loss deficits in lab subjects!  

Great, huh?!  Now, where can we find these memory boosters in food?

  • Cruciferous Vegetables – Crucifer-what??  These are your edible plants.  They’re good for you and high in Vitamin C.  Some of the best for you are Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower and Bok Choy.
  • Leafy Green Vegetables – Low in calories, High in fiber, iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, leafy greens are great!  Spinach, Collard Greens, Mustard Greens, Kale and Swiss chard are great greens.
  • Anthocyanin – Time to add some color to your plate.  Anthocyanins give color to produce and are powerful antioxidants, too!  Any kind of Berry, Cherries, Black Currents, Eggplant, Red, Black, and Purple Grapes, Plums, Rhubarb, Red Onion, Red Apples, Red/Purple Cabbage, and Red Beets have color and memory boosting power thanks to anthocyanins!
  • Quercetin – These little guys give flavor to your food.  Onions (red, yellow, white), Kale, Leeks, Cherry Tomato, Broccoli, Blueberries, Black Currants, Elderberries, Apricots, Red Delicious Apples with Skin, and Red, Purple, and Black Grapes are filled with ‘em!
  • Folic Acid – AKA Folate is great!  Find it in Whole-Grain Breakfast Cereals, Lentils, Black-Eyed Peas, Soybeans, Spinach, Green Peas, Artichokes, Broccoli, Wheat Germ, Beets, and Oranges.

Make a meal with some of these fruits and veggies for a better memory.

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Every 71 Seconds – Memories of Alzheimer’s

Take a journey up the Hudson River to dear Poughkeepsie, and drive to 45 Pershing Avenue, home of the Mill Street Loft, an upstate New York Gallery.  From now through July 31st, the Mill Street Loft presents a photo essay by Michele Muir, “Every 71 Seconds – Memories of Alzheimer’s” featuring victims of Alzheimer’s.  

Michele Muir’s 90-year-old father has Alzheimer’s.  As a professional photographer, Muir had a multitude of snapshots chronicling her father’s life.  While perusing her photos, she literally saw how her father had declined through the years, inspiring her to create a photo essay capturing the influence of Alzheimer’s.

Muir’s black-and-white photo essay, depicts the lives and stories of eight individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.  The photos give Alzheimer’s patients around the world a voice, allowing the viewer to peer into their daily experience.  Her use of black-and-white photography further brings the viewer into the world of the Alzheimer patient, taking them back to the days of old-fashioned photography, where black-and-white snapshots documented the world.  Muir’s emotional touches are noted beyond her choice of color, for Todd Poteet, director of the Art Institute of the Mill Street Loft, explained to the Poughkeepsie Journal that, “the insight is a rare opportunity to look inside the disease and see the humanism and emotion tied to it.” 

In an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal, Muir admitted that, “Sometimes it was heartbreaking, but sometimes it was encouraging to see that people in this state of being are interested in talking about what they have…Many have embraced it, even if they are frustrated, and are using it as an energy source to help others.”  

The photo essay, which she considers a work in progress is undoubtedly a touching project, inspired by the same sentiments of love and heartache which inspired me to create the film, “The Isle of Capri – A Story of My Mother.”  For more information on the photo gallery, please visit www.millstreetloft.org, or call the Mill Street Loft at 845-471-7477.

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