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Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common form of demetia in people 65 years and older and every 70 seconds, someone is diagnosed with the disease. 5.3 million American’s and their families are touched by Alzheimer’s Disease.

1. Dark Chocolate

  • Brain Food Facts:Studies carried out by Norwegian researchers found that the flavonoids in cocoa increase blood flow to the brain and may help to protect against conditions with reduced cerebral blood flow like dementia and stroke. To get the most benefits, buy chocolates with low sugar but high cocoa content (70% or more is the best like these 80% organic extra dark chocolates from Vital Choice).However, while cocoa is rich in beneficial compounds, it’s also high in saturated fats. Many times, it’s also paired with high-fat ingredients like full cream in desserts. So it’s best to keep dark chocolate to a small once-a-week treat.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Flavonoids can be found in practically all fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. A good rule of thumb is that the more colorful a fruit or vegetable is, the higher the levels of flavonoids. Some flavonoid-rich foods that have been studied intensively include red wine, green tea and cherries which will be discussed in detail below.

2. Red Wine

  • Brain Food Facts:The same Norwegian study on dark chocolate also credited modest wine drinking for conferring protective effect on cognitive function and decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This is due to the high levels of flavonoids and possibly other polyphenolics such as resveratrol that are presence in red wine.However, alcohol is a double-edged sword that should be used with caution. Because, ironically, many studies have also found that excessive alcohol intake can lead to dementia as well as a host of other serious health conditions such as cancer by triggering chronic inflammation. So if you do drink, limit yourself to no more than one glass a day.It’s also important to note that in the first few hours after drinking wine, alcohol may actually slow thinking and interfere with the memory temporarily. If you’re preparing for an important test or going to sit for an examination, drinking wine is probably not the way to boost your performance.Alternative Foods for the Brain:

    Green tea is rich in a type of flavonoid known as catechins which can reach as high as 1 gram in a single cup. Numerous studies have attest to the health beneficial properties of green tea including its ability to cut the risk of cancer as well as neurodegenerative diseases. Its ability to keep weight in check also makes green tea a popular choice in many health promoting diets.

3. Clam

  • Brain Food Facts:Researchers in the Oxford Project to Investigate Memory and Aging (OPTIMA) found that elderly adults with low vitamin B12 levels had more than four times the usual risk of Alzheimer’s. It’s thought that when vitamin B12 levels are low, blood levels of homocysteine will raise, significantly increasing the risk for dementia, heart attack ad other ailments. To get a healthy dose of vitamin B12, look no further than clams. This shellfish packs a whopping 98.9mcg of vitamin B12 in just 100g serving, or 1648% of the RDA.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Rich sources of vitamin B12 are found in seafood and animal sources including oysters, mussels, fish, shrimps, scallops, liver of most animals and beef. Lower levels of vitamin B12 can also be found in seaweeds, yeasts and fermented foods like miso and tempeh.

4. Asparagus

  • Brain Food Facts:A Korean study published in 2008 found that individuals who were folate deficient were 3.5 times more likely to develop dementia. What’s more surprising is that those who were not folate deficient but had low folate measures were also at significantly increased dementia risk. To make sure you get sufficient folate, make asparagus a frequent addition to your meals since one cup of these green spears will fulfill nearly 66% of your daily folate needs.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Other great sources of folate include citrus fruits, beans (be sure to sprout them to maximize their nutrients and enhance absorption by the body), broccoli, cauliflower, beets, lentils and leafy green vegetables such as spinach and turnip greens.

5. Wild Salmon

  • Brain Food Facts:According to a study conducted by Tufts University in Boston, subjects who consumed an average of three servings of oily fish a week had almost 50 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. These individuals had significantly higher levels of omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid in the blood than those who took less fish in their diets. And salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids as well as other important nutrients such as vitamin D and B12 that can help to prevent neurodegenerative disorders.But, as wild caught salmons, frozen or canned, generally contain more omega-3, less omega-6 and fewer toxins, you’re better off buying the wild version whenever possible. Aim to eat at least two to three servings of oily fish each week to supply your body with inflammation-fighting compounds. If you’re concerned about environmental toxins such as PCB in seafood, you can also consider taking whole fish oil supplement derived from wild salmon.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Anchovies and sardines are also very good sources of omega-3 fats. For people who don’t eat fish, walnuts, flaxseeds and dark green leafy vegetables are rich in plant-based omega-3 precursor, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). But they lack eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), the two primary omega-3’s. Although technically ALA is converted by the body to EPA and DHA, in reality, the conversion rate is very low (only about one to two percent) and is further reduced if your omega-6 intake is high. So relying solely on walnuts, flaxseeds and dark green leafy vegetables may not provide your body with adequate omega-3 fats. In this case, you can boost your omega-3 intake either by selecting more EPA and DHA-fortified foods, take vegan omega-3 supplements, or both.

6. Walnut

  • Brain Food Facts:Research by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging suggested that a moderate, but not high, diet of walnuts helped improve motor and cognitive skills in older rodents. The experts believed that a combination of polyphenols, omega-3 fats and other bioactive substances in walnut is responsible for this beneficial effect.But more is not necessarily good. The study discovered that mice fed on a walnut diet equivalent to a human eating more than 1 ounce of walnuts, or about seven to nine walnuts, a day actually displayed lower long-term memory skills.This may be due to the high omega-6 content of walnut. Although this brain-like nut is high in alpha-linolenic acid, it’s even richer in linoleic acid, an omega-6 essential fatty acid. Linoleic acid could lead to more inflammatory compounds being created and less anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats in the body when the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is out of balanced.Alternative Foods for the Brain:

    Though the exact mechanism of how walnut improves cognitive function is unclear, most doctors and nutritionists recommend eating a wide range of food, including nuts. So don’t stop at walnuts. Each day, grab and enjoy a handful of mixed nuts, dried fruits and seeds — like hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, raisins, dried cranberries and blueberries — to get a spectrum of health-boosting nutrients each day.

7. Cherry

  • Brain Food Facts:Scientists found that the antioxidant compounds, anthocyanins, which give cherries their bright red color possess anti-inflammatory properties that could work like pain medications such as Vioxx and Celebrex, but without the nasty side effects. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs can cause adverse effects, some of which are severe like stomach bleeding and heart attack, especially among the elderly. But cherries do not irritate the stomach the way manufactured drugs do and they also contain compounds that keep platelets in the blood from clumping together.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Berries like blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are jam-packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytochemicals that help to reduce brain inflammation and brain oxidative stress, both of which have been associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

8. Turmeric

  • Brain Food Facts:Plaques in the brain are thought to contribute to the degradation of brain cells and lead to Alzheimer’s disease. A study found that curcumin in turmeric is an effective substance that removes plagues from the brain. Turmeric, a top anti-inflammatory food used since ancient times, is commonly used as a spice in curry dishes. Countries with populations that eat curry regularly, such as India, have been observed to report lower rates of dementia. Add this inexpensive, versatile spice into your meals at least once a week to cool inflammation and ward off dementia.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Ginger is a close cousin of turmeric with similar anti-inflammatory properties. Though study on its effect on the brain is limited, ginger’s ability to reduce inflammation may also confer some inhibitory effect on dementia indirectly.

9. Apple

  • Brain Food Facts:There are now even more reasons to take an apple a day. Quercetin, found in abundance in the skins of apples, has been found to protect the brain from damages associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders in studies conducted by Cornell University. Other studies have also suggested that eating apples may also help reduce the risk of cancer.Alternative Foods for the Brain:Capers, a common ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine, lovage and red onion are also excellent sources of quercetin. Berries like cherries, raspberries and cranberries also contain some but lower amounts of this flavonoid. Article by The Conscious Life

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Homeless Receive Care Packet from Stillborn Angel

A plastic bag full of crackers, juice and cookies lay on the back seat of my mother-in-law’s car. My 10 year old vehicle breaks down quite often, so my husband’s mother loaned me her zippy little car for a few days. I thought what a great idea, snacks and a beverage for when she’s stuck in traffic.

I forgot to inquire about the snacks; however, the subject came up in her bible study class days later. My mother-in-law’s friend stated that she was rather uncomfortable giving money to the homeless. Whatever the case, the vote was unanimous that we all had similar thoughts of uneasiness by giving just cash.

My mother-in-law packs up goodies for the homeless people standing at the intersection we pass daily, going into Greensboro. Juice boxes, granola bars, crackers, cookies and chips are placed into a see through plastic bag. Nothing in them will melt from our intense North Carolina heat.

I love the idea of helping out the less fortunate in this “out-of-the-box” manner. I decided to participate. It makes me feel good and I hope to add a little nourishment for someone less fortunate than myself. Giving back to the community in this fashion may touch the heart of a homeless person in a positive way. One never knows when they are making a memory, but it’s worth trying. I insert a little piece of paper with Tanner’s name in between the snacks. This act of kindness gives me the opportunity to write my stillborn angel’s name many, many times. Bereaved parents never forget their children. Larry Wayne McCraw was the recipient of the snack bag one rainy day.

Larry recently passed in a vehicular accident. Rest in Peace dear Larry.

Read our local blog regarding Greensboro’s homeless community, http://chosenfast.com

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The home had the typical and comforting scent of any Grandparents house, cottage-like. The room was warm and cozy with Joe reclined in the corner chair wearing a flannel and covered with a fuzzy fleece blanket. He was awake, talkative and in a jovial mood.

 Joe and Evelyn

Joe and Margaret Davis just celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary with her knowing the past 5 years her husband had Alzheimer’s disease. Margaret noticed signs of the disease more than 8 years ago and decided to keep her husband at home. Margaret is still in good health and with the assistance of an in-home care agency to help with cooking (for both), cleaning, companionship and looking after Joe, they can live together. The agency reminds Margaret that hurtful words Joe would occasionally speak is the disease talking and being in the military (long-term memory) may contribute to other comments.

 

Joe was also emotional this day and held Margaret’s hand saying,” When I was 18, I loved this woman and I can’t remember her name.” Margaret stated her and Joe always held hands and still pray together, with Joe remembering most of the Lord’s Prayer. While Joe was still awake and in good spirits, Margaret decided to play a song on the piano while the rest of us tried to sing. Amazing Grace was the selection and Joe was very moved by the music by letting go of a few tears and squeezing Evelyn’s hand.

 Joe and Margaret

Margaret is able to treasure lasting memory’s within the walls of their home, especially with the love and support of their daughter Millie. Millie checks on them regularly and communicates directly with the in-home care agency regarding concerns or issues needing to be addressed, including the 90 day assessments.

 Margaret plays Amazing Grace

As we left, Margaret was sure to show us all the photographs of them together through the years, with every picture having a detailed story. Joe said good-bye to us and that Margaret knew everything and is a beautiful woman he would never forget.

Evelyn Yalung of Options for Senior America takes on new clients, however, considers them an extended part of her family with frequent visits, phone calls and gift giving. Most of her clients are spouses wanting to keep loved ones at home. For those with advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, Options for Senior America provides 24 hour in-home care. This is due to the patient needing constant care. Those with the disease may wander and put themselves in danger. Evelyn knows that families with loved ones diagnosed with the disease are overwhelmed. She offers a listening ear and literature to walk families through the transitions forthcoming. In-home care provides Margaret with a peace of mind and someone to talk to when matters are too much to handle by herself.

Read a daughter’s perspective

Read a granddaughter’s perspective 

Free Supplies, tools and materials for monthly papercrafting workshop to honor loved ones and remember those who have passed.

Emerald Event Center

2000 East Wendover

January 21st Friday Night

from 5-11pm

RSVP Diana@justacloudaway.com

 

Sponsored by

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Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal’s Editorial Calendar is based on the Awareness Months, national or special days of remembrance, monthly flowers or gemstones and community events, fundraisers, and activities of the Piedmont Triad Area.

January

  • Garnet
  • Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Awareness Month- Cervical Cancer, Poison & Birth Defect Prevention, Blood Donor

February

  • Amethyst
  • Violet, Primrose
  • Awareness Month- Heart Disease, Bipolar Disorder, Eating Disorder, Heartworm (Pets)
  • 14th– Organ Donor Day

March

  • Aquamarine
  • Daffodil
  • Awareness Month-American Red Cross, Poison & Brain Injury

April

  • Diamond
  • Daisy, Sweet Pea
  • Awareness Month-STD, Alcohol, Organ Donor, Autism,Rabies (Pets),Parkinson’s
  • 22nd-Earth Day
  • 8th– D.A.R.E. Day

May

  • Emerald
  • Lily of the Valley, Hawthorn
  • Awareness Month- Stroke, Mental Health, ALS
  • 9th– Mothers Day
  • 31st– Memorial Day

June

  • Pearl, Moonstone or Alexandrite
  • Rose, Honeysuckle
  • Awareness Month- Skin, Prostrate Cancer, Safety
  • 7th– National Cancer Survivors Day
  • 20th– Fathers Day

July

  • Ruby
  • Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Awareness Month- UV, Solar , Cord Blood, International Group B Strep, Herbal/Prescription

August

  • Peridot
  • Poppy, Gladiolas
  • Awareness Month- Immunization, Breastfeeding
  • August 3rd-America’s Night Out Against Crime

September

  • Sapphire
  • Aster, Morning Glory
  • Prostrate, Ovarian and
    Childhood Cancer, Pain Awareness
  • 10th– World Suicide Prevention Day
  • 11th– 911

October

  • Opal or Tourmaline
  • Calendula, Cosmos
  • Awareness Month- Pregnancy & Infant Loss, SIDS, Breast Cancer, Fire Prevention, Bullying Prevention

November

  • Topaz or Citrine
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Awareness Month- Alzheimer, Caregiver, Lung Cancer, Long Term Care, Brain Aneurysm, Prematurity, Hospice, Adoption
  • 11th– Veteran’s Day
  • 18th-Great American Smoke out

December

  • Turquoise, Blue Topaz
  • Holly, Narcissus
  • Awareness Month- Drunk & Drugged Driving, AIDS, Seasonal Depression
  • 1st– World AIDS Day

Journals are located online, here on the blog and in print with over 300 locations. Contact us with additional awareness causes at, Diana@justacloudaway.com.

Just a Cloud Away, Inc.™ Journal is offering sponsorship of each monthly publication for a $200.00 donation.

Another way to support the continuation of the journal is our monthly “Quilt of Remembrance”. $25 to purchase a memorial ad to honor a loved one or pregnancy. Those wanting to honor a pet are also welcome to do so.

Memorial ads are 3 lines with 18 characters per line including spaces. Checks can be mailed to

Just a Cloud Away-PO Box 327 – Julian, NC 27283

If you think your story may help someone else, please contact us for an interview.

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