By Dean L. Jones
While in the grocery checkout line today a man made a friendly observation that my items looked very healthy (bananas, baby spinach, alfalfa sprouts, cabbage coleslaw, and some seedless grapes) compared to his foodstuff selection of packaged salami, mayonnaise and red punch. Although, to my surprise he mentioned that his 79th birthday was approaching next week.
Of course I have no correlation to this kindly gentleman’s eating preferences to effectively feeding the mind, but recent medical reports reveal that up to 20% of Americans over 65 years of age suffer mental lapses. The general term for it is mild cognitive impairment, conversely, this is not to be confused with any form of dementia. This infraction is associated with being easily distracted, having problems with the ability to think, and/or remember swiftly.
The medical community submits that people should be mindful to include eating vitamin filled foods to help with retaining a sharp memory, especially B-12 and folate (B-9). Vitamin B-12 has been looked at as a treatment for many diseases and conditions, including fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, breast cancer, high cholesterol, and sickle cell disease. Additionally, studies suggest that a person’s folate and vitamin B-12 deficiencies can play a role in depression.
People who suffer from diabetes are routinely instructed by their physician to ensure good levels of B-12 in their regular diet. A loss of memory can result from having a stroke, high blood pressure, and a lack of mental stimulation. Comparatively, excessive processed sugar consumption is attributed to adverse health effects including heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, high blood cholesterol, cancer and not to mention potential tooth cavities.
We reduce our ability to calculate and remember whenever we eat too much processed sugar, as it destroys the symbiotic bacteria appropriately living in our intestines and as this bacterium withers it kills off our stock of ‘B’ vitamins. Processed sugar is 100% void of any vitamins or minerals, and it prevents the body’s ability to digest and metabolize all ‘B’ vitamins, chromium, magnesium, zinc and calcium. Consequently, it cannot be over-emphasized about how sugar sweetened beverages are the single largest contributor of added sugar in the diet. A single can of sugar-sweetened soda contains up to 40-grams (about 10-teaspoons) of sugar and has absolutely no good health benefits.
Nevertheless, just a half-cup of cooked lentils, a member of the legume family, contains 180 micrograms of folate and a half-cup of cooked spinach or broccoli contain about 100 and 50 micrograms, respectively. Roughly 3-ounces of either smoked salmon , herring, tuna, canned sardines, trout, and shellfish (cooked clams) each have 100 grams of Vitamin B-12. One 3-ounce serving of fortified soy products, like silken tofu or soy milk, contain 85 grams of vitamin B-12. In conclusion, the idea to want to remember accurately comes easy and swiftly when we live SugarAlert!
Dean Jones is an Ethics Advocate, Southland Partnership Corporation (a public benefit organization), contributing his view on certain aspects of foodstuff.