Women’s brain health is a strong personal concern for me, as my grandmother at 83 years young passed away from a 10 year battle with dementia. Over the course of a decade, my grandmother was transformed from a strong, independent and proud woman, wife, mother and grandmother, into a confused and frightened being who couldn’t understand what was happening to her. In the beginning, 2 or 3 years before her official diagnosis, my family and I experienced subtle signs of mental health deterioration, but we mainly attributed this to ‘old age.’ Personally, I remember picking her up for a family dinner, and she kept asking me “so, who’s going to be there for dinner?” After I answered the question, we continued on with our conversation or had a few minutes of silence. Then just a few moments later, she would ask me the exact same question and this happened at least 3 times in the 20 minute drive home. In addition to signs of short term memory loss, we also began to notice her impaired mathematical abilities, inappropriate dressing for the weather conditions and disorientation when in the outside world. As I watched the slow development of the disease take the life of my grandmother, I also observed and experienced first hand how emotionally and mentally taxing this was on my family. As my grandmother could no longer take care of herself, she entered a nursing care facility for Alzheimer’s patients where activities were specifically geared for brain stimulation. With daily visits from my mom and weekly visits from her grandkids, it was not an easy transition. Although she was in a facility with trained professionals and specific medications, the disease may have been delayed, but inevitably took its toll.
This is one of the major reasons why Women’s Brain Health is such a strong passion of mine. As the Founding Food for Memory Morsels, the nutrition program for The Women’s Brain Health Initiative (WBHI), I am honoured to be a part of such an incredible cause shedding light on the research bias that still focuses on men.
It was frightening to learn that women suffer from depression, stroke and dementia twice as much as men and an astounding 70% of new Alzheimer’s patients will be women.
WBHI is correcting this research bias by creating education programs and funding research on brain-aging diseases that affect women. Every year WBHI develops Mind Over Matter magazines to shed light on the latest research findings and tools needed to stay brain healthy longer. As a holistic nutritionist, I truly believe optimal health begins in the gut. Staying healthy with nutrition is one of the KEY tools to keeping your brain healthy longer. Click here to read the online magazine for all your brain healthy tools including:
- pharmaceutical drugs
- nutraceutical supplements
- technology tools
- the impact of sex
- mindfulness techniques
- education programs
- healthy nutrition (here’s a sneak peak into some brain boosting recipes)
Personally, I now take daily preventative measures through healthy nutrition, mindfulness and consistent movement practices to not only prevent what may be in my blood line, but also to help inspire family, friends and clients to do the same. One of my biggest passions is empowering others. I couldn’t be more honoured to be a part of someone’s health journey. What are you doing to keep your brain healthy? Comment below, I’d love to hear your story.