Isaiah 48:17 - This is what the LORD says-- your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.
As we age it seems to be that our brain capacity diminishes. We forget things more frequently, and make more errors. We work at bringing our capacity back up, but it can be difficult to do.
There are many brain games out there that have proven they help your brain functions both the ability to think clearer, and in some cases, the brain can actually grow in size.
Yet, many of us find ourselves having to leave notes all around our homes and offices to remind us of tasks we need to complete for the day and what we need to pick up at the store.
There are several other ways to help your brain including your diet. The food you eat does affect your brain health. So take a look at some of the foods that keep the brain healthy, improve your ability to retain information stored and help you make better choices.
Webmd.com in their article titled, “Eat Smart for a Healthier Brain,” lists several foods such as blueberries that have been tested to improve the learning capacity and reduce the effects of age-related conditions. Wild salmon, nuts and seeds also have a positive effect on the brain.
In addition, on eatthis.com you’ll find their article, “30 Best and Worst Food for Your Brain,” and as the title says, it lists not only thirty best foods for your brain, but also the thirty worst foods.
Armed with the recommendations of these two articles you’ll be able to put together meal plans that will make your brain and the rest of your body happy as you eat healthier. Also, remember that God will teach you what is best for you and will direct you down the road you should take to feed your brain and improve your brain’s health.
Jeremiah 33:6 - Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.
You’ve been to the doctor and he sends you to the lab to have some routine blood work done.
It’s not a big deal. You’ve had lots of blood tests in the past, and for the most part they had turned out normal.
But then a week after your blood test, you receive a call from your doctor asking you to come back in. Now, you’re getting worried. They’ve always given you results by phone and the medical assistant told you what you should do next.
Your mind goes to many places as you imagine the worst. It could be cancer. It could be diabetes. It could be an incurable disease. After all, the doctor wouldn’t have called you in if it’s wasn’t serious.
A couple of days later you face your doctor. He begins to explain your blood test and remarks that for the most part the test was normal except for one area: Your kidney function test is low. Our kidneys act like a filter taking impurities out of our blood. The normal kidney function marker is greater than ninety points and yours is only 67. Now what?
Your doctor may suggest you cut back in strength and amount of the medications you’re on, so that your kidneys don’t have to work as hard. You may have also been on a boat load of vitamins and minerals, some that are doubled up, so it is suggested that you cut back on those. All of this must be reviewed with your doctor, as cutting back on certain medications can cause serious affects on your body.
But then the doctor does a strange thing. He tells you about some dietary changes you can make to enhance the health of your kidneys.
So what kind of diet was he talking about? Healthline.com posts the article, “The 20 Best Foods for People with Kidney Problems.” The article not only lists helpful foods, but also tells you how much sodium, potassium and phosphorous are in each food. These levels are especially important for people contending with kidney problems.
• • • Please note, if you have kidney disease, your health care provider will have a nutritionist determine the best diet for your individual needs.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God is interested in your health, and with your help, he can bring health and healing. Then you can be at peace as your kidney function normalizes.
Psalm 22:26 - The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will praise him -- may your hearts live forever!
You reach for your sandwich and open your mouth to take a bite when shooting pain causes you to stop. The pain runs from the jaw joint and radiates across and up your face. And it’s no fun to experience.
This isn’t the first time it’s happened. Most days it’s not too bad, but lately, the pain has gotten worse. And to top it off, your ears are full of cracking and crunching with every bite you take, as the jaw moves while you eat or even when you yawn.
You’ve also been experiencing headaches and muscle pain in addition to the crunching and clicking.
So what is going on? It’s a chronic condition called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. And it’s not unusual.
You can learn about the causes, signs and symptoms of TMJ such as pain in the jaw joint or temple, in the article, “Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ),” on medicinenet.com.
Sometimes TMJ can heal quickly and sometimes it can take months of treatment and even surgery. For some, it never fully resolves and it’s a matter of learning how to reduce the pain. Depending on your unique situation, your doctor or dentist may recommend more than one treatment.
You can learn some of the recommended treatments for TMJ in the article, "The Complete Guide to Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD,TMJ)," on askthedentist.com.
With this information in hand and an appointment with your dentist scheduled, you can now make a better informed decision on which treatments might be right for you.
Remember also, finding relief from TMJ will once again as the Bible verse above says, allow you to eat and be satisfied. You won’t have to worry as much about being in pain when you eat.
Proverbs 27:7 - One who is full loathes honey from the comb, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.
You’re sitting in a booth at your favorite restaurant when your waitress asks you if you’d like some coffee. “Yes,” you say as she pours you a cup of decaf coffee.
Now comes a question: You look over to the small, clear plastic box that’s sitting on your table next to the window and you ask yourself, “Should I use sugar or a substitute?”
For years people have been debating the advantages and disadvantages of these two choices. Too much sugar and you might develop diabetes, but too much artificial sweetener can also be detrimental to your health.
Let’s do a little of our own research and see if you will use one lump or two; or, one packet or two.
Choose the button here to watch a video which appeared on Good Morning America:
Now that you’ve gotten a little bit more information on whether sugar or a substitute is better and which choice is the best for you, consider the verse above. It’s important to realize that consuming too much of a sweetener can cause your body to loathe it. So as they say, “Do everything with moderation.”
Psalm 104:24 - How many are your works, LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
In my last post you found a link to an article on health.harvard.edu which discussed each vitamins distinct benefit for the body and what foods contain them.
Another article on health.harvard.edu discusses how minerals aid the body and which foods they can be found in the article, "Listing of Vitamins," such as Calcium protects the bones, Chloride balances body fluids, Chromium enhances insulin and glucose levels, Copper for iron metabolism and red blood cells, Fluoride for strong bone formation, Iodine for the thyroid, Iron for hemoglobin in red blood cells, Magnesium for many chemical reactions and works with calcium, Manganese helps form bones and amino acids, Molybdenum for several enzymes, Phosphorus helps build and protect bones, Potassium to balance body fluids and heartbeat, Selenium as an antioxidant, Sodium to balance body fluids, Sulfur to stabilize some protein structures, and Zinc helps form many enzymes and proteins and helps create new cells.
And last, God has created all foods for our benefit. In them you will find the nutrients you need to help in your quest for better health, in spite of chronic pain and illness. Let’s try to eat the best that we can and make it a priority.
Job 12:13 - “To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.
With chronic pain your appetite can go either way - not feeling like eating or eating everything in sight. Regardless, it’s important to eat a healthy diet being careful to eat foods that will promote the right benefits especially for those battling chronic pain and illness.
You'll find the benefits of vitamins and which foods they can be found in the article, "Listing of Vitamins," on health.harvard.edu, such as Vitamin A for vision, Thiamin for the body's energy, Riboflavin for energy, Niacin for energy and nervous system, Pantothenic Acid to help convert food into energy, Vitamin B6 and B12 may lower homocysteine levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, Biotin for energy, Vitamin C as an antioxidant, Choline helps make and release neurotransmitters, Vitamin D for the bones, Vitamin E an antioxidant, Folic Acid for new cell creation, and Vitamin K helps activate proteins and calcium.
Now that you’ve read the article above and looked at the benefits of vitamins, my next post will discuss the benefits of minerals for the body.
And just in case you feel a bit overwhelmed with all of this information, realize that God is wise and he will counsel us on what foods are the best for us. He also uses other people who possess knowledge in nutrition who can guide us through making the right food choices.
Isaiah 55:2 - Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Remember the old commercial that said, “Bet you can’t eat just one Lay’s potato chip”? It was as if the bag of chips was calling your name. And when you ate them, it gave you a momentary feeling of comfort.
Overeating does the same thing. You may set out to only eat a small meal, but then decide to raid the refrigerator for goodies after the meal and blow the whole effort.
Overeating and pain seem to go hand-in-hand. However, the relief from overeating only lasts momentarily. Whereas, with overeating the effects stay with you as you watch, in dread, as the numbers on the scale keep going up and up.
And as the scale goes up so does a decrease in activity level including exercise. Not just the difficulty in moving your body, but the desire to exercise also lessons.
Whether it’s the taste or the sense of fullness there is real scientific evidence that eating certain foods can provide a temporary relief from pain. These foods are not the ones that can cause weight gain when eaten.
Take a look at the article, “7 Foods That Help Fight Pain,” on everydayhealth.com which talks about food that can help you reduce pain.
And as the Bible verse above says eat what is good and you’ll delight in a right fare. Eating healthy isn’t a kill joy. I recently switched to a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, along with the deletion of high fat, and a low consumption of carbohydrates. As a bonus to losing weight, I have more energy and a decrease in overall chronic pain.
So instead of reaching for that cookie, reach for an apple. Your body will thank you.
Have you found success in a decrease in chronic pain or in losing weight by eating healthy foods? I’d love to hear from you.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.