280116 "Your Brain on Food"

Eating correctly creates a hedge against aging and decrepitude in the same way that physical activity does for your bones and muscles. As the newest Science suggests, eating lean meats, nuts, seeds, little fruit, no sugar, and green leafy vegetables is the key to optimal health. What doesn't get much play is the benefits to brain health when you eat with this in mind..

Alzheimers and Dementia are diseases that are becoming more and more prevalent. I have written in the past about these understudied and little known brain diseases and how the GEN-Xer's and the baby boomers are showing staggering signs of the disease at younger and younger ages. I am revisiting this to emphasize the ongoing importance of everyday choices that you make in your diet.

I stumbled upon an article about a new "MIND" diet that closely resembles that of the 'paleo' or 'mediterranean' diets that we as CrossFitters have heard about for some time.This 'diet' was not pulled from cultural eating or anthropological evidence, but our of Harvard and Rush Universities. While similar, the standards are slightly different on intake:

Foods to Encourage and Limit on the MIND Diet
Optimal amounts of the 10 key food groups include:

1. Green Leafy Vegetables – six or more servings per week

2. Other Vegetables – one or more servings per day

3. Nuts – five or more servings per week

4. Berries – two or more servings per week

5. Beans – three or more meals per week

6. Whole Grains – three or more servings per day

7. Fish – one or more meals per week

8. Poultry – two or more meals per week

9. Olive Oil – primary oil used for food preparation

10. Wine – one glass per day

Foods to limit:

Red Meat – less than four meals per week

Butter and Stick Margarine – less than one tablespoon per day

Cheese – less than one serving per week

Pastries and Sweets – less than five servings per week

Fried/Fast Food – less than one serving per week

Simple guidelines for optimal Brain Health. Note that the fats, both Omega 3 and Omga 6's are stressed. And as I read the nitty gritty, it is more about the quality of fats rather than the quantity. Closely following the MIND diet reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53 percent, which is similar to the reduction in risk from closely following a Mediterranean diet. The benefits lie in the cognitive memory and activity which are increased from a healthy fat intake.  However, even those who partially follow a MIND diet have a 35 percent lower chance of getting Alzheimer’s.

The other aspects of all the diets mentioned is the anti-inflammatory properties of all the foods. Berries have strong antioxidant properties, and consumption of blueberries in particular is shown to reduce the cognitive decline that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E, found in nuts and whole grains, is particularly important as a powerful antioxidant and inflammatory agent with strong links to neuroprotection of the brain.

This is definitely food for thought, huh!! Eating correctly will keep the body looking good in the short term and the mind healthy for the long haul. No matter the name you put on it, purposeful eating will help you in innumerable ways. Think before you eat!!


Turkish Get Up Complex. 5 per Arm.

Kettle Bell Intervals:

3X :30 @ Each
Single Arm Swing "L"
Single Arm Swing "R"
Lateral Hops

Rest 1:00

3X :30 @ Each
Single Arm Press "L"
Single Arm Press "R"
Leg Pass Thru

rest 1:00

2X :45 @Each
Double KB Clean and Jerk
Toe Touch

Rest 3:00

400m Run
20 KB Swing
12 Deficit HSPU 4/2"

*Scored on this final Interval