Brainpaths® is a unique concept based on the fact that each of our fingertips contain more than 3000 nerve receptors that connect directly to our brains. As the grooves in the discs are traced repeatedly with the fingers, those receptors send messages to the somatosensory cortex in the parietal lobe of the brain.
Amidst all of these dire forecasts, a recent study published in Nature Communications (April, 2016) reports declining dementia rates in England. These trends are being seen in other countries as well. And the researchers cannot attribute this downward trend to medical advances.
Our sense organs are an extension of our brain. It is through these specialized organs that we get information about our surroundings and about ourselves. But Alzheimer’s affects perception in a way that makes understanding the world difficult.
Researchers are hopeful that the bioactive compounds available in maple syrup may prevent proteins in the brain from becoming entangled in a process called fibrillation. It is this fibrillation that creates amyloid plaques.
A study at MIT found that mice with Alzheimer’s remembered better after being active in a stimulating environment.
From The New York Times
DAVID TANIS Time1 hour 15 minutes Makes about 36 meatballs
These North African Meatballs are classified as a Mediterranean diet entree. The Mediterranean Diet has long been thought to protect against Alzheimer’s. If something guards the brain against damage from disease, there is a good chance that it will also slow progression of the disease as well.
This is a fun do-together recipe. Mixing the spices into the ground meat—by hand—and rolling out the meatballs provides wonderful sensory feedback for a person with dementia. Almost all of the spices in this dish are thought to provide protection to the brain. I recommend frying in coconut oil.
North African Meatballs
FOR THE SAFFRON TOMATO SAUCE
FOR THE MEATBALLS
MAKE THE SAUCE
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a wide, heavy bottomed saucepan. Add onion and cook without browning until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato paste, cinnamon and saffron, and stir well to incorporate. Season generously with salt and pepper, and allow to sizzle for 1 minute more. Add broth and simmer gently for 5 minutes. May be made several hours in advance, up to a day.
MAKE THE MEATBALLS
Soothing sensory stimulation is known to help people who have dementia. Benefits include increased socialization and communication as well as a reduction in depression and anxiety and many other behavioral and psychological symptoms.
This turmeric smoothie incorporates many of the natural ingredients that are being investigated for their impact on dementia and inflammation.
carrot, turmeric, and ginger soup with cumin roasted chickpeas
Author: Gena Hamshaw (The Full Helping)
Serves: 4-6 Servings
For the soup:
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons turmeric root, grated (or 1½ teaspoons, ground turmeric)
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated (or 1 teaspoon, ground)
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ½ teaspoon salt (and more to taste)
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 1¾ pounds peeled and roughly chopped carrots (about 6 cups)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup coconut milk, canned and full fat
For the cumin toasted chickpeas:
- 1½-2 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Roast the chickpeas. Preheat your oven to 400 F. Toss the chickpeas in the oil, cumin, chili, and paprika. Spread them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and season generously with salt and pepper. Roast the chickpeas for 35 minutes, or until they’re quite golden brown and a little crispy. Give them a stir a few times during roasting to prevent sticking. Chickpeas can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
- To make the soup, heat the coconut oil a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add the onions. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are clear and soft. Add a few tablespoons of water as you go along to prevent the onions from sticking. Add the garlic, turmeric , and ginger, and cook for another two minutes, or until everything is very fragrant.
- Add the cinnamon, salt, pepper flakes, carrots, and vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot.
- Simmer the soup for 30 minutes, or until the carrots are totally tender. When the soup is ready, transfer it to a blender (in batches, if necessary), and blend carefully until it’s totally smooth (stand back from the blender, as hot soups tend to spatter). Alternately, you can use an immersion blender to blend the soup till smooth. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add another ½-3/4 cup broth.
- Stir in the coconut milk. Check the soup for seasoning, and season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired. Serve, topping each bowl with about a ⅓ cup roasted chickpeas and a sprinkle of turmeric powder. Soup will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days, and it can be frozen for up to a month.
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