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Fighting Brain Decline with Food

Updated: Jun 21, 2022

By Cali Freyn and Ashley Reichel

Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s awareness month? It is the time of year we are encouraged to spread the word about and discuss Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. As Health Coaches and Neurofeedback Specialists though, we are constantly immersed in all things brain-related. We work with people of all ages with a variety of different symptoms affecting their brain function. We see the people that are aging and want to stay on top of natural deterioration, dementia, and even Alzheimer’s Disease.

Many of our patients are affected by Dementia and Alzheimer’s, and being in the integrative field, we like to help our patients and clients holistically by giving them the tools they need to prevent and slow the decline of an aging brain. One of our favorite tools to help patients make nutritional changes is a recent book written by Uma Naidoo, M.D. She writes about the various foods that can benefit brain function and mental health along with the foods that may worsen them. Dr. Naidoo talks specifically about Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and brain fog, and details how to combat these conditions with food. We have witnessed the power of food that Dr. Naidoo speaks of firsthand. We see this when a patient makes positive changes to their diet and lifestyle while training their brain through Neurofeedback. Typically, these patients have greater outcomes than just neurofeedback alone.

To simplify Dr. Naidoo’s findings, the research shows that the MIND Diet (Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) offers maximum cognitive protection. It has been shown to be effective at reversing and protecting against cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s Disease. This diet combines the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension). It focuses on 10 “good” foods to incorporate weekly. These foods include:

· Green leafy vegetables (6 or more servings per week)

· Colorful vegetables (1 or more servings per day)

· Berries (2 or more servings per week)

· Nuts (5 or more servings per week)

· Olive oil (use as your primary oil)

· Whole grains (3 or more servings per day)

· Fish high in omega 3 (1 or more meals per week)

· Beans (More than 3 meals per week)

· Poultry (chicken or turkey, 2 or more meals per week)

· Red Wine (1 glass per day)

It comes as no surprise to us to hear that the Western Diet is very destructive to our minds and bodies, and has become the culprit of many of the most common diseases today. According to Dr. Naidoo’s research, the Western Diet can hamper the expression of critical growth factors like brain-derived neurotrophic factors and other hormones that promote healthy function in the hippocampus. Components of the Western Diet like saturated fat cause inflammation in the brain, which has been linked to cognitive decline in aging and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. Thankfully there is research to support that damage from a Western Diet can be undone by transitioning to a more well-balanced diet full of whole foods. To avoid such damage Dr. Naidoo recommends avoiding certain foods found below:

· Foods high in bad fats (red meat, fried foods)

· High Glycemic index foods (white bread, white rice, potatoes, pasta)

· Anything made from refined flour

· Gluten (wheat products such as bread, pizza, pasta, and many alcoholic drinks)

No matter your age it is never too late to support your brain through food and healthy lifestyle choices. It is a privilege to get older, so in honor of Alzheimer’s awareness month make it a permanent practice to protect your health and get the most out of the years to come!

If you would like more information about our Neurofeedback program here at IM of CNY, please feel free to call our main office 315-741-5774 or email us at

Supporting you in health,

Cali Freyn and Ashley Reichel

Holistic Health Coaches

Neurofeedback Specialists

HeartMath Practitioners

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