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The food and brain connection

Over a four week period, 45 people who were overweight participated in a recent study at Lund University in Sweden to ascertain if foods containing anti-inflammatory nutrients affected diseases like heart disease, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

In the U.S., heart disease is the number one killer with diabetes not far behind and followed by Alzheimer's disease. To that end, researchers gave the participants foods that included omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and antioxidants in an effort to prevent the inflammation that causes heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

Reduction of bad cholesterol by 33% and blood lipids by 14% as well as high blood pressure by 8% and blood clotting by 26% was shown by the results of the study. Additionally, inflammation that causes these diseases slowed the aging process, which protects against memory loss and dementia.

It is suggested that foods containing antioxidants, fiber and omega 3 fatty acids prepared at home can be beneficial over foods prepared for and cooked in restaurants. These refined foods, such as white flour, white rice and unhealthy oils, are stripped of nutrients, fiber and are processed to improve shelf life.

Home cooking can help use whole foods and can be cooked using healthy fats like olive oil using less heat and therefore saving the nutrients in the foods, in addition to recipes using raw fruits and vegetables.

It may be time to view home recipe preparation in a new light. Increasing evidence is supporting the idea that by sacrificing the convenience of prepared foods you can lose weight, live a longer and healthier life.