August 2011 
 Dr. Tara Skye Goldin's Newsletter, The Brain and Mind Issue
 Natural Medicine That Gets Results!
In This Issue

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Here in Colorado summer is in full swing. Long days spent up in the mountains or poolside, perhaps some travel, enjoying the first ripe tomatoes from my garden, and basically enjoying the warm weather. Unfortunately, or fortunately as the case may be, the school-aged kids go back to school in a few short weeks which seems a bit unfair since it seems that most of us are just getting used to summer, now.

What that means is perhaps it is time to tune up our brains as well as your children's since it will be time to return to a more academic focus. This transition can be difficult from relatively unstructured summer fun to the rigors of schoolwork. Even those of us who no longer have children at home, or who are childless could use some brain support, so here it is!

 Fish Oils and Pediatric Brain Function

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for our eyes to work well; and for parts of the brain used for memory, learning and reasoning. If we do not eat enough omega-3, these functions may be impaired. Omega-3 is an Essential Fatty Acid, found in fish and seafood. Many people who don't eat much seafood choose to take 'fish oil supplements', because these contain large amounts of omega-3. Research shows mixed results about the benefits of fish oils in children.This fact sheet explains what we do know. From The Royal Children's Hospital of Melbourne

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 Ginkgo biloba and Memory

Ginkgo has been used in traditional medicine to treat circulatory disorders and enhance memory. Scientific studies throughout the years have found evidence to support these uses. Although not all studies agree, ginkgo may be especially effective in treating dementia (including Alzheimer's disease) and intermittent claudication (poor circulation in the legs). It also shows promise for enhancing memory in older adults. Laboratory studies have shown that ginkgo improves blood circulation by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of blood platelets. From the Universty of Maryland Medical Center

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 Brain Health and Sugar

What is the correlation between sugar and brain function? It turns out that this relationship, like any relationship, has it's good points and it's bad points. Have you ever felt the excitement and agitation of a sugar buzz? And then the lethargy of a sugar crash? Your brain needs some sugar to function, yet too much sugar can be harmful. We all love to have those sweets but must learn to enjoy them in moderation, here's why... From Brain Health and Puzzles

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 Quick Tip for Improved Brain Function
 Note: no doughnuts and coffee for breakfast!

Many areas of the world, including the United States, where obesity reigns, start their morning with sugar, carbohydrates and caffeine. This is the surest way to sabotage your or your children's brain function. Both cognitive abilities and moods respond better to a high protein and high fat content for breakfast. In other words: better to go with the bacon and eggs than the bagel or cereal and coffee for breakfast. To start your day out right think HIGH PROTEIN!

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 Ratatouille Time!!!
 in most of the country anyway. A few more weeks to wait in Colorado!

It is getting close to the time when the fruiting vegetables such as zucchini, eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes are ripening to the point where we can make some ratatouille from our own gardens or our local produce and fresh culinary herbs. Full of good fiber, beta carotenes and Vitamin C. Having a child, I loved the movie Ratattouille. Here is a similar recipe for a new twist on an old favorite. Enjoy!

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Enjoy the fruits of summer and remember, at least out here school starts very soon. Remember also that regular physical exercise clears the mind and will help to improve your mental focus and mood. Get out and have fun for a few more weeks, and then when school starts, a different kind of fun!