"You get the health benefits of coffee up through about the first 24 ounces. It's the biggest source of antioxidants for Americans, and we think it helps prevent Alzheimer's and Parkinson's as well."
--Mehmet Oz, MD
June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, sponsored by The Alzheimer’s Association. When I work with a group of kids, I often ask if they have any family members with Alzheimer’s or memory issues. There are always a few hands in the air. It breaks my heart when children know they have a family member affected by Alzheimer’s. When I ask kids who has a family members with diabetes, more hands go up.
Teaching kids about what real food is and what to do with it is critical to improving health literacy aimed at preventing and reversing diabetes and childhood obesity. Because Alzheimer’s, similar to diabetes, can take decades to develop before symptoms appear, we as families and communities need to learn about healthy eating, especially plant-based eating, as a way to prevent and reverse diabetes and possibly Alzheimer’s.
Our brains are one of the most amazing machines in the world. Preventing diseases, however, is where the U.S. “health” care system does a really poor job. Research shows we need to include foods high in antioxidants, such as coffee and dark chocolate. Eat green leafy vegetables like kale, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage, and dark blue and red foods like blueberries and pomegranate juice, and drinking a cup or two of coffee a day, may be the type of food we need to eat more of to protect one of our most valuable resources – our brain.
Let’s learn to nourish our brains – and those of our children - for good health now and in 30 or 50 years!
With love and kindness,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect