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5 ways to build your brain health, and why it’s important now :: WRAL.com

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This last year has been tough. And, as you move towards a more “normal” life, addressing the stress that comes with it is important – from work and childcare at home to long breakups with loved ones. That’s what Alzheimer’s Association – Chapter in Eastern North Carolina reminds the North Carolinians of the beginning of the summer season.

“Chronic stress, such as that experienced during the pandemic, can affect memory, mood and anxiety,” said Lisa Roberts, the chapter’s executive director, in a press release. “When North Carolina residents return to normal, we encourage them that brain health is a priority.”

In the press release, the Alzheimer’s Association offered these five suggestions to help us all restore our spiritual wellbeing:

Refresh yourself on brain-healthy basics

There is evidence that healthy behavior took a back seat for many Americans during the pandemic. Gym memberships were cut, social engagement became more difficult, and many Americans traded healthy eating for their favorite foods, take-away meals, and frequent snacking while working remotely. A study recently published found that participants gained nearly 1.5 pounds a month on average over the past year.

The Alzheimer’s Association – through their US POINTER study – examines the role lifestyle interventions, including diet, can play in protecting cognitive function. Currently, many experts agree that people can improve their brain health and reduce their risk of cognitive decline by adopting healthy lifestyle habits, preferably in combination, including:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintaining a heart-healthy diet
  • Sleep properly
  • Stay socially and mentally active

Return to normal at your own pace

Many Americans long for a return to normal life after the pandemic, while others are concerned. Indeed, a recent poll found that nearly half of adults feel uncomfortable when the pandemic ends when they return to face-to-face interactions. For those who are feeling anxious, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends taking small steps. It can also be important to set boundaries and share your preferences with others in your social circles.

Help others

There is evidence to suggest that helping others during the pandemic not only makes you feel better, but it can also be good for you. Research shows that helping others in crisis can be an effective way to relieve stress and anxiety. A study Study released during the pandemic found that adults over 50 who volunteer about two hours a week have a significantly lower risk of death, higher levels of physical activity, and improved wellbeing. To help others and yourself through June and year round, volunteer in your community, run errands or deliver meals to a senior at home, or make a donation to a popular cause.

Separate and separate

Technology dominated our everyday lives like never before during the pandemic. While technology has kept us connected through COVID-19, it has also made many Americans tired. Experts warn that excessive stimulation from our phones, computers, social media sources, and news reports can add to our already heightened levels of anxiety. To avoid overloading the technology, experts recommend limiting screen time, avoiding taking your phone everywhere, and disconnecting digital devices before bed.

Take control of your stress before it controls you

In small doses, stress teaches the brain to respond healthily to unexpected, inconvenient, or uncomfortable realities in everyday life. However, prolonged or repeated stress can weaken and damage the brain, which can lead to serious health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, memory loss, and an increased risk of dementia. Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers have been reported to be particularly vulnerable to physical and emotional stress. The Alzheimer’s Society offers Tips to Manage Caregiver Stress. Meditation, exercise, listening to music, or returning to a favorite activity that you missed during the pandemic are just a few ways to deal with stress.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an overwhelming time for all of us,” Roberts said in the press release. “It is important that people know that we can take steps to reduce the stress and anxiety we may be feeling. It can be easy to take brain health for granted, but now, more than ever, it is a good idea to make it a priority. “

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer’s Association will offer a variety of opportunities to learn and get involved with brain health. This contains The longest day, a fundraiser, on June 20th.

The club also offers a wide variety of virtual programs, including a Healthy Brain, Healthy Body, Healthy You symposium starting June 7th.

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One Major Side Effect of Skipping Breakfast, New Study Says

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How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day as you grow up? Chances are, too often to count them. However, new research from Ohio State University suggests that the old adage is somewhat true.

The study, published in the journal Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, found that adults who skip breakfast are more likely to miss several key nutrients and make unhealthy choices throughout the day.

After analyzing data from more than 30,000 American adults, it became clear that those who skip breakfast are more likely to miss out on calcium from milk, vitamin C from fruits, and myriad other vitamins and minerals found in fortified cereals. including vitamin D and iron.

Read on to learn more about the results of this new study. And for more, make sure you catch the 7 best brands of oat milk to buy, according to nutritionists.

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“Adults who skip breakfast not only miss out on essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, but they also eat more calories, added sugars, and saturated fat,” said Stephanie Fanelli, MS, RDN, LD, lead study author and a graduate student in the College of Medicine OSU, tells Eat This, Not That!

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“Over time, this habit could increase the risk of weight gain and chronic diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” she adds.

Currently, calcium, potassium, fiber, and vitamin D are all considered “food of public health concern” for the general US population, as stated in the USDA’s latest nutritional guidelines.

And although those who skipped breakfast reportedly ate larger lunches, dinners, and snacks than those who ate the morning meal, the researchers found that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to have the lower threshold did not reach certain nutrients.

breakfastAli Inay / Unsplash

“Breakfast is an opportunity to get started on the right foot. The foods commonly eaten for breakfast contain fortified and naturally occurring vitamins and minerals that we eat less of in later meals throughout the day, ”says Fanelli.

Chris Taylor, professor of medical dietetics at OSU and lead researcher on the study, explains that several nutrients – including folic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, and vitamin D – are a product of fortified breakfast foods.

“But there are also many vitamins and minerals that come from whole grains, dairy products, and fruits commonly eaten for breakfast,” he says, adding that while there may be some foods that alternate between lunch and breakfast, the traditional ones Breakfast often requires a completely separate set of foods.

Chia pudding fruitShutterstock

The study also found that those who ate breakfast appeared to have better food choices throughout the day.

“We found that adults who ate breakfast had significantly better nutritional quality, even though they ate more total calories for the day than those who skipped breakfast,” says Fanelli. “This tells us that people who ate breakfast made better nutritional choices for the day, not just at breakfast.”

So who needs some healthy breakfast recipes anyway? Check out healthy breakfast foods that dietitians say you should eat.

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7 Tips That Helped Me Maintain Weight in an IBD Flare-Up

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Remember, no matter how you look or feel, you are worthy of your own love.

While most symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are invisible, the weight loss is an extremely visible one that puts a strain on those affected, both physically and mentally.

Maintaining an appropriate weight is often a constant challenge as weight can fluctuate slightly in people with IBD. In a culture that praises smaller bodies, we are sometimes even praised for weight loss, which is perceived as a sign of health rather than a sign of a chronic, invisible disease.

Losing weight and struggling to maintain a healthy weight with IBD is something I’ve worked on for many years. During this time I lacked confidence and self-love.

Even at times when I was doing really well, I couldn’t get past a certain number on the scale. I often felt like I was going to evaporate. I felt bones that people shouldn’t be feeling because they’re usually protected by fat, which was scary and unnerving.

However, I’ve managed to gain weight using the strategies outlined below and keep it off for the long term.

Most of our nutrients are absorbed from food in the small intestine. Since the small intestine is involved in Crohn’s disease, it can be a significant barrier to weight gain and maintenance.

Even if ulcerative colitis (UC) occurs only in the large intestine, it doesn’t mean that patients with UC shouldn’t focus on healing inflammation. That’s because inflammation from intestinal permeability, bacterial and fungal overgrowths, food sensitivities, and more can occur – not just from inflammation directly from IBD. In addition, inflammation in the colon is its own concern.

The more inflammation you have, the more difficult it will be for your body to absorb nutrients. That hurts your chances of reaching a reasonable weight.

I saw improvements in my weight as I made my diet simple but nutritious. I left out some of the “fun” gluten-free snacks I enjoyed and focused on proteins, pasture-raised butter and extra virgin olive oil, bone broth, teas, and herbs.

I even switched out some of the products I used on my skin and at home to eliminate them as potential sources of stress on my body.

To start healing inflammation, focus on an anti-inflammatory diet and incorporate the best foods for colon health.

In general, an anti-inflammatory diet is low in sugar and free from refined grains. The focus should be on whole foods such as high-quality proteins, fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds according to tolerance and water as the main source of hydrate.

You can consider additional supplements like collagen, ginger, turmeric, tart cherry juice, and other foods or herbs that have been shown to improve inflammation.

It’s important to evaluate what you eat on a typical day and see how you can tweak the types and amounts of your foods. Insufficient intake of macronutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, or fat, can be harmful, especially if you are already underweight.

If you’re looking to gain weight, now is not the time to cut down on macronutrients (I’m looking at you, keto.)

Try to prioritize whole food macronutrients. What I mean is pick sweet potatoes over bread. Choose chicken, beef, and fish over protein powders. Opt for extra virgin olive oil, pasture butter (if tolerated) and coconut oil instead of vegetable oils. This provides nutrients that are much easier to use and have health benefits.

Make a mental checklist and make sure there are always protein, fat, and carbohydrates on your plate. You may want to work with a nutritionist or nutritionist to make sure your servings are appropriate for your goals.

Some foods have more calories than others, which can be a great thing when you are trying to gain weight.

Fats have the most calories per gram compared to proteins and carbohydrates. Higher fat foods like coconut, avocado, nuts – and the products made from them – are foods to consider on a daily basis.

Think about how to include more of these high calorie foods in your diet.

Whenever I needed to gain weight and maintain weight, I added sliced ​​avocados to dishes, ate smoothies between meals, and ate rice cakes with nut butter.

An extra dash of extra virgin olive oil or avocado slices add up if you make these choices consistently.

These are just a handful of ways you can add high calorie (but still nutrient dense) foods to your plate.

It is common for large meals to cause gastrointestinal discomfort in IBD. Larger meals during the day can cause diarrhea in some, which is not helpful in gaining weight.

If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms while trying to gain weight, eating smaller meals and snacks throughout the day will likely make you feel better and won’t cause additional symptoms in the long run.

To ensure you have access to many of the food options that you can get hold of on a daily basis, buy and prepare some easy-to-grab groceries. Some additional snacks I’ve stocked up on are:

  • soft-boiled eggs
  • Meat sticks or jerky
  • dried mango
  • yogurt
  • hot buckwheat cereal or oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Apple sauce
  • grilled chicken strips
  • smoked salmon
  • gluten-free toast or waffles with jam and nut butter

Make sure you leave extra snacks where you work or where you spend time outside of your home.

It can be difficult to get enough calories in without feeling like you’re eating all day.

Not only that, but not every job or lifestyle can eat that often.

Liquid food can be a helpful supplement here to support a nutrient-rich diet or to temporarily replace solid food if necessary.

One important note: research liquid supplements before buying or incorporating them. Some popular liquid supplements on the market use bad ingredients. Keep in mind that as you gain weight, you want to cure inflammation, so avoid things like corn fillers, vegetable oils, and artificial ingredients.

Use these as a supplement to your diet. They can be taken between meals when you don’t have time to eat a full meal, or as a substitute for solid foods to give your digestive system a break.

I haven’t moved my body productively for so long. Apart from the occasional short walks, exercise was not part of my lifestyle.

I was either too tired or afraid that exercise would burn calories that I couldn’t afford to lose. It didn’t occur to me then that I should try on purpose.

Weight training helps build muscle which will benefit your body composition goals. In addition, it is important to maintain muscle mass, as a lack of exercise and lack of nutrients puts you at risk of losing.

I haven’t started and don’t recommend weight training if you are in or recovering from a surge or generally feeling weak. Bodyweight exercises are great to get started with and to add to your routine later.

Try everything from lunges, squats, pushups, planks, and more. Start slowly and gradually increase your repetitions as can be tolerated.

You don’t need a lot of time for these exercises. Start your day with some of these exercises, or take breaks during your work day and pump a few reps.

This is a more drastic option and takes your overall health and vitality into account. You should consider the pros and cons, as well as your state of health.

I am listing this as an option because bowel resection surgery has allowed me to make leaps in my weight and general health.

How does this work? A surgeon will remove the parts of your bowel that are scarred from inflammation and possibly other severely inflamed areas. Without these compromised areas, you can absorb nutrients much more easily and experience less pain.

For me it was like getting a clean slate. I was able to gain weight and have held this weight for over 2 years until remission.

The surgery brought me other benefits, such as a lot of energy and a reduction in symptoms.

Is A Colon Resection Right For You? This is a question you need to ask your doctor and discuss with a gastrointestinal surgeon. If you are having a hard time getting through relapses, maintaining your weight, or managing pain that is interrupting your life on a daily basis, your doctors may think this is a good option for you.

Remember, every body and case of IBD works differently. People take and hold weight in different capacities.

Gaining weight also takes time, especially when dealing with inflammation and pain. Be gentle with yourself and your trip, and contact your doctor and other healthcare professionals who can assist and guide you along the way.

The most important thing I want to take away from you is that you are worthy of your own love no matter how you look or feel.

Looking back, I can see that I didn’t love myself when I really needed it. Appreciate the challenges your body is going through and don’t lose sight of what you can achieve.

Alexa Federico is a Boston-based writer, nutritional therapist, and autoimmune paleotrainer. Her experience with Crohn’s disease inspired her to work with the IBD community. Alexa is an aspiring yogi who would live in a cozy cafe if she could! She is the guide in the IBD Healthline app and would love to meet you there. You can also connect with her on her website or on Instagram.

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‘Cooking in the D’ program for people with disabilities unveils new Detroit location

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Detroit – Cooking in the D, the program that has prepared, trained, and placed more than 1,400 adults with developmental disabilities in jobs at dozen of employers over the past few years, has new digs.

Officially, at least.

Services to Enhance Potential was founded in 2012 at Detroit’s Eastern Market and launched its first culinary arts program, which has now grown to two locations, one at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Westland and another on Conner Avenue in Detroit .

The program at 2900 Conner, Building B, has been operational since early February, but officials were unable to properly hold an opening event due to COVID-19 restrictions.

With Governor Gretchen Whitmer announcing her plans to remove all COVID-19 Restrictions in the state by Tuesday, it is the perfect time for the program to kick off an open house event, said Brent Mikulski, President and CEO of STEP.

On Thursday of the open house, the ribbon was cut by the chef Danielle Love and a lunch with salads, sandwiches and desserts prepared by the participants of the program was shared.

Mikulski said the program came about after organizers realized how many people with developmental disabilities felt that their only option for eating was fast food transit.

“We found that there are a number of people we serve who would either benefit from eating healthier or preparing meals and doing those things better instead of taking a routine drive and ordering a meal by number. Said Mikulski.

Not only are participants taught about healthy eating, but the skills acquired can also be converted into possible future employment options.

Participants are led by a licensed chef who will help prepare a menu, purchase ingredients, and cook the food before sitting down to enjoy their creation as a group.

“I teach basic cooking skills and our goal is to learn how to be in the kitchen,” says Love.

Due to the current guidelines on social distancing, the program classes have between 10 and 12 students.

In addition to cooking, we learn which things have to be refrigerated for how long, how cutting boards are color-coded to prevent cross-contamination and correct hand washing techniques,said love.

Jessica Jackson, 36, from Detroit, has been on the program since 2015 and says the experience completely changed the way she viewed food.

“I used to get a lot to take away,” said Jackson. “But now I know how to make burgers, egg rolls, salads, and pasta salads.”

Jessica Jackson, 36, of Detroit shares what she learned from Services to Enhance Performance Cooking on the D program at the Open House and Ribbon Cut in Detroit on Thursday, June 17, 2021.  The program is the culinary arts program that teaches people with developmental disabilities to cook.

No longer relying on takeaway food to feed himself, Jackson cooks at home and learns how to grow her own vegetables.

“Our goal is more than imparting healthy nutrition and professional training”,said Mikulski. “There is also the social aspect of sitting down and eating the lunch that they prepared as a group.”

“I’ve made a lot of friends,” said Jackson.

Cooking in the D

Individuals interested in participating in the Cooking in the D program must be eligible for Medicaid in Wayne County and have an intellectual / developmental disability and / or severe and persistent mental illness.

Contact STEP at (734) 718-0483.

Companies interested in participating in the program can email stepcentral.org/contact or (313) 278-3040 Ext. 0.

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