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All natural gluten-free dairy-free, sugar-free, glycemic-friendly and fair trade compliant/ ethically traded cocoa. Bioflavanoids antioxidants, calcium and more.
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The reality of growing old and losing your memory
A few weeks ago, I came across a documentary that truly shed some light on a disease that, for whatever reason, simply does not get the attention that it should, Alzheimer’s disease. It’s almost as if it is simply a part of aging; you get old, you lose your memory, you get put in a nursing home. The film, Alive Inside, follows a social worker, Dan Cohen, who single-handedly began to treat Alzheimer’s patients with music. By playing music they may have recognized from their early adulthood, Alzheimer’s patients began to open their eyes, move and even retell stories from their past. While it was uplifting to witness improved brain function in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s, music treatments are not enough to eliminate the disease; we need to prevent it altogether.
The topic of Alzheimer’s could not come at a better time than Brain Awareness Week. Currently, more than 5 million Americans are suffering from the disease, and every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S will develop Alzheimer’s. Of those 5 million, almost 2/3 are women; a woman’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s in their 60s is 1 in 6, compared to breast cancer risk, which is 1 in 11.1Still, what really makes Alzheimer’s harder than most diseases is the care provided to Alzheimer’s patients. It is an extremely demanding task that, all too often, falls on family members who end up also suffering physically, emotionally and financially. In 2013, 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to someone suffering from Alzheimer’s; incurring an additional $9.3 million in health care costs of their own along the way.2Alzheimer’s not only takes away the health and lives of those who suffer from the disease, but also impacts all those around them.
While Alive Inside showed how music can provide some support to those suffering from the disease, what else can be done to help prevent one from developing Alzheimer’s? A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is looking at the effects that cocoa flavanols play in maintaining cognitive function. The 8 week study gave men and women from ages 61 to 85, without cognitive impairments, different levels of cocoa flavanols in cocoa drinks. Those who consumed the highest levels of cocoa flavanols saw significant improvements in cognitive function.3 This isn’t the first incidence of cocoa helping improved brain function. Last year, a mice study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that a polyphenol-rich cocoa extract could reduce nerve damage in Alzheimer’s patients.
It is imperative that we all learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and do our best to maintain healthy brain function. Start by getting a healthy dose of some cocoa flavanols which can be found in Beyond Hot Chocolate™. During the warm weather, you can add a scoop of of Beyond Hot Chocolate™ to your smoothies or shakes. Try blending some almond milk, strawberries, almond butter, a banana and a scoop of Beyond Hot Chocolate™ and get your dose of cocoa flavanols needed for optimal health!
Start improving brain function now! Prevention is the Key!
Contributing Writer and Fitness Instructor