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Stir it up magazine May 2017

Focus Days launched to increase awareness Nutrition and Hydration Week’s leads have announced a series of focus days throughout the year to keep the attention on good nutrition and hydration as a vital part of a care package. The initial dates and themes are as follows: • Thirsty Thursday (June 15) - Leading up to the warmer days and the requirement for a reminder on the need to properly hydrate • Fruity Friday (September 15) - All things bright and beautiful, it’s harvest time for a lot of British produce apples, pears berries etc. • Tasty Suppers (November 28) - A reminder for hearty nutrition in the winter months including warm cosy hot milky drinks • Big Breakfast (January 22, 2018) - A reminder to start the day with a hearty breakfast Andy Jones, lead for hospital catering, said: “We have been told many times that nutrition and hydration is a 365 day operation and why just focus on one week. This is the opportunity for hospital staff to further embed good nutrition throughout the year and ensure food is medicine.” NACC’s new ambassadors The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has anounced that Chris and Jayne Roberts are its new ambassadors. Chris and Jayne are committed to educating others about dementia, drawing on their particular experiences. Jayne’s mother has a diagnosis of dementia and, in his early 50s, Chris also has a diagnosis of mixed dementia, vascular damage and Alzheimer’s. Neel Radia, national chair of the NACC, said: “Their knowledge will be invaluable to us in understanding further how to cater for people with dementia, and their connections will also be most beneficial in helping us develop and share best practice and guidance in this area.” Mediterranean diet has lasting effects on brain health of older people >> A new study shows that older people who followed a Mediterranean diet retained more brain volume over a three-year period than those who did not follow the diet as closely. Researchers from the American Academy of Neurology gathered information on the eating habits of 967 Scottish people around the age of 70 who did not have dementia. Of those people, 562 had an MRI brain scan around age 73 to measure overall brain volume, gray matter volume and thickness of the outer layer of the brain. From that group, 401 people then returned for a second MRI at age 76. These measurements were compared to how closely participants followed the Mediterranean diet. A Mediterranean diet includes large amounts of fruits, vegetables, olive oil, beans and cereal grains such as wheat and rice, moderate amounts of fish, dairy and wine, and limited red meat and poultry. Dr Clare Walton, research manager at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “There is an increasing amount of evidence to indicate that eating a healthy diet that’s rich in oily fish, fresh veg and nuts is good for your brain and can help to maintain your memory as you get older. “While the evidence suggests a Mediterranean diet can help keep your brain healthy as you age, we can’t yet say that it prevents dementia. What’s good for your heart is also good for your head and a healthy lifestyle that features regular exercise, a balanced diet and not smoking can help to lower your chances of dementia.” Dates for your diary • Thirsty Thursday June 15 • Fruity Friday September 15 • Tasty Supper November 28 • Big Breakfast January 22 Our brains shrink by 1-2% per year in old age and this study suggests that a Mediterranean-style diet could also potentially help to slow down this shrinking process. HEALTH & WELFARE MAY 2017 31


Stir it up magazine May 2017
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