Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eating Healthy Is Important For Dystonia

I read this article on The Dystonia Spasmodic Torticollis website. Nothing below was written by me. Just thought I would share it with all of you.

Patient Resource Center


The media is full of information touting the perfect diet. It may be called the Alkaline Ash Diet, Mediterranean Diet, the Anti Inflammatory Diet or the Raw Diet.   Since the Royal Wedding we even have the Dukan Diet. All of these diets claim to have the secret to health, long lasting life, prevention of disease and achieving the perfect body weight. Although each of these diet programs have components that are of benefit to health and, in particular, neurological health, the ideal diet need not be expensive nor involve copious lists of do’s and don’ts.( copious lists of allowed and prohibited foods)


Dr. Gene Bowman, a researcher that has investigated neurological health related to nutrition, aging and the brain has found that there are 3 aspects to diet and neurological health: Less Trans Fatty Acids and Omega 6 Fatty Acids and more Omega 3 Fatty Acids and plenty of B vitamins. Other studies have focused on the effects of excess cooking, browning and frying; even stir frying and baking, which has promoted more raw food diet. Diets high in animal products, meat fish and dairy have been associated with cancer, heart disease and other degenerative disorders.
So how do you eat healthy? Further, how do you choose your food selections and still enjoy eating? I like to call this kind of eating CLEAN EATING.
Maybe you are not ready to become a vegetarian, but you can still benefit by beginning to replace some animal based proteins in your diet with plant based proteins. Plant based proteins include dried cooked beans, such as lentils, pinto beans, chick peas. Other plant based proteins include soy products such as tofu, Edamame’, or soy milk. Even nuts are a good plant protein. You can also create plant protein from wheat in the form of wheat gluten or Seitan. Below is a recipe using Seitan. If you are gluten sensitive, however, this would not be recommended.


When eating foods that are browned by a combination of fat, protein and sugar an end product found to progress aging is identified. An example would be barbeque foods, frying foods, especially meats, French fries, baked rolls and pastries. You do not need to quit eating all of these, but it is best to limit these kind of foods and counteract the negatives from these foods with plenty of raw foods. Make sure to include several servings of fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. This can include adding raw nuts to salads or other dishes. You might prepare fresh veggies and fruit with a healthy dip. See the recipe below for one idea.


The American diet is full of bad fats. This includes Trans fats that are hidden in many processed foods and often labeled as “Trans Free” This is very confusing to consumers for the law allows products to be labeled Trans Free if they contain less than .5 g of Trans fat per serving. But when you look at the label of what a serving is, it is very easy to over consume the serving size, thus consuming more Trans fats than what is healthy for you. Good examples are snack crackers, chips, margarines and dairy creamers. It is best to limit or avoid these foods altogether. Omega 6 and Omega 3 are our Essential Fats. Omega 6 are found in many oils and salad dressings in addition to snack foods and margarines. Although some Omega 6 is needed in our diet, we often easily eat too much.   Omega 3 is the fat we are often lacking enough of in our diets. It is a little harder to obtain and is the key to neurological health. Omega 3 are found in nuts like walnuts, pumpkins seeds, fatty fish like salmon or tuna, flax oil, canola oil, olive oil, kidney beans, soy milk and tofu.


Fruits, vegetables and juices should be the hub of your diet. No less than 9 per day should be your goal.   This can often be a challenge. Be creative. Have salad for breakfast, make a smoothie for lunch. See a recipe below for a smoothie. Always be thinking of how you can add another vegetable to a lunch, dinner or snack.


 Some research indicates that Milk may not be the best food for neurological disease. Indicates that milk consumption is associated with a higher rate of neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.   Calcium is important but you would be best to keep your milk to less than 2 cups per day or choose other foods fortified with calcium. Calcium fortified orange juice, calcium fortified soy milk, almond milk or rice milk are good options.


- Fruit, vegetables, and whole grains are good sources of B vitamin. Grains can be cooked as a hot cereal such as millet, quinoa, rice or amaranth. Whole grains can also be used as a side dish at dinner such as brown rice, quinoa or whole wheat pasta. Experiment with grains you have never tried before. It is best to diversify—or use diverse types of grains. Mix it up. Brewer’s yeast is an excellent source of B vitamins. Add it to hot cereal, smoothies or other grain dishes. If you do not eat any meat products at all you may need a Vitamin B 12 supplement of 50 mcg per day or make sure you obtain Vit B-12 fortified food equal to this amount.

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