Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Maybe Popeye was Right about Spinach!

I know this is the day before the Supreme Court is expected to hand down its decision on the Affordable Care Act and every journalist/political junkie is trying to guess the outcome.  I'm exercising self-restraint and will wait until the actual decision comes down to discuss that topic.

Instead I want to talk about Alzheimer's disease - or rather the avoidance of Alzheimer's disease.  My Mother was a fresh fruit and salad advocate for as long as I can remember.  We ate some meat (besides not being able to afford expensive cuts very often, Mother was more of a fish person).  Dad is a meat and potatoes kind of guy, but Mom made sure we always had salad at every meal and vegetables as a side dish.  We ate lots of fish (the kids, not Dad), including tuna, and rarely ate anything fried. Kale and spinach and broccoli and cabbage were all staples in our diet.  Of course, we were of part Irish descent, so potatoes graced our table on most nights.  I also can remember Mom cutting up fresh vegetables and putting them in ice water in the fridge for snacks along with whatever fresh fruit was in season.

Aside from the potatoes, this kind of diet is supposed to help protect one against Alzheimer's disease.  Yet Mom suffered from that debilitating illness for about 5 years before she died of a weakened heart.  I suppose the argument may be made that she would have succumbed to the dread disease at a younger age if she hadn't eaten such a healthy diet.  As it was, she wasn't definitively diagnosed until she was over 75.  Now that I'm in my sixties that doesn't seem so very far away.  Every time I forget where my keys are or where I parked in the mall parking lot, I feel the shadows getting closer and closer.

Anyway, why not try a healthy diet to avoid sickness?  If it works with other diseases, it seems to make sense that it would work for this disease too.  In that spirit, I share this link to the Alzheimer's Association webpage on a healthy brain diet.  Read it in good health.

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