All about Alzheimers

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

I once had a patient whose wife insisted that he was losing his memory. I didn’t really make much of her words because I’d get perfect answers to any question I asked him. It was evident I didn't see it coming. Eventually, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's, dementia, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob syndrome – difficult to differentiate as all three conditions result in the patient unable to manage themselves. All three conditions are almost impossible to reverse. We all have memory lapses. We even tend to laugh off such dips in our memory as a ‘senior moment’. But, with more and more people getting diagnosed with these diseases, it’s no more a laughing matter. Instead, its time to take remedial steps.

When we consume foods rich in fat and low in fibre, our blood thickens. This results in less oxygenation to every single part of the body. Since the arteries providing blood to the brain are smaller and narrower they may get blocked more easily, denying adequate oxygenation to the tiny crevices in our brain. This may result in ‘normal’ memory loss that we may hardly feel. But a loss that can build up.

Why not take charge right away by making simple changes? Why wait until we are left with no choice?



Delhi-based 50 year old Anita's life took a dramatic turn within just three months of her introduction to SHARAN. Today, she calls the whole plant based diet a blessing that the Almighty has showered upon us.

Until three months ago, I weighed 74 kgs. That apart, I suffered from breathlessness, swollen and aching knees and ankles, discoloured and puffy face, frequent migraine attacks, heart palpitations, cold sweats and more.

I tried exercising, starving, shakes, creams and belts – all in vain. To my good luck, I was introduced to Poonam Sharma, a SHARAN dietician, and gained deep insights into the benefits of a plant based diet. 

Within a week I felt the difference and, within a month, my family members noticed the difference. I started receiving compliments that boosted my morale and encouraged me to stay committed. Earlier, I could barely climb a few flights of stairs. Today, I run up and down the stairs without knee pain, ankle pain or any kind of swelling. Most of all, with no breathlessness! My face glows. Migraines, heart palpitations and cold-sweats are but a memory and don’t bother me anymore. Last but not the least, I have lost seven kilos in these three months without starving myself or living in denial.

From being a non-vegetarian for the past 50 years to eliminating animal food completely from my diet – it’s been quite a journey but worth every bit of the effort. The benefits of staying healthy are so tangible and so important to me that I have no problem saying no when I’m offered a meat dish. There is no going back now.

Sunny Spread

Sunflower seeds are high in Vitamin E – a good reason to try out this yummy spread by Neepa Uday who is a wonderful cook and has benefitted a lot from following the SHARAN diet.

This spread is a hit with both adults and kids, and can be served as a dip too.

Ingredients: (Preferably all organic)

  • 1 cup sunflower seeds or water melon seeds (soaked for 6 to 8 hours)

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

  • 1 cup chopped celery or coriander leaves

  • 2 tbsp roasted peanut powder or white sesame seeds

  • Fresh juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 cup basil leaves or tulsi

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic

  • 1 or 2 light green chillies (optional)

  • Himalayan sea salt to taste


Blend all the ingredients into a smooth paste. Voilà, the spread is ready!

Serves 2.

Pause to Ponder


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. Since 1 January, 2016, we have been offering three possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN's main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN's Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN's Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN's events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

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All about Alzheimer's

SHARAN recently conducted a health talk at the Cooper Hospital in Mumbai where we learnt that most hospitals have a dedicated Alzheimer's ward. This was something unheard of earlier.

Alzheimer's disease is basically a neurological disorder in which the death of brain cells causes memory loss and problems in thinking and behaviour.  Initially, the symptoms are mild but grow severe with time until a person with Alzheimer's needs full-time assistance.

There is no known cure for Alzheimer's as the death of brain cells cannot be reversed. However, therapies make it easier for people to live with the disease.

The good news is that the onset of Alzheimer's can be reduced with just a few reminders in our day to day life… 

1. Diet

Foods rich in saturated fats (dairy, meat, oils and processed foods) and sugar laden snacks and desserts are all linked to a higher chance of cognitive decline. A whole plant based diet is naturally high in antioxidants and fibre and low in saturated fats, which in turn minimize the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

2. Vitamin E

Foods such as seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables and whole grains are packed with this essential nutrient.

3. Vitamin B12

A lack of this vital vitamin causes serious health issues. So, get yourselves tested and take a supplement if necessary.

4. Use steel/iron utensils

Although not proven that aluminium plays a role in Alzheimer’s, its best to avoid any cookware, baking powder or other products that contain aluminium.

5. Exercise

Physical exercise can only benefit. So get moving to keep those symptoms at bay!

6. Get enough sleep

A good seven to eight hour sleep per night will do the trick. Take a test now – ask yourself how many hours of sleep do you manage to get every night on an average? 

7. Challenge your brain

Learn something new, indulge in a hobby, be a part of a writer’s or reader’s club, work on puzzles, crosswords, craft a new recipe….anything that stimulates the brain.

8. Quit smoking & alcohol

Never ever did good to anyone, so cut these out!

9. Limit mobile use

The radiation from mobile phones destroy brain cells and could lead to the early onset of Alzheimer's disease.

10. Manage stress

All of us are required to cope with stress causing situations in our daily lives. The key lies in how well we learn to handle them.

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Associate Reyna K Rupani, who is based in Mumbai. She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more. Find out how she has benefited in so many ways by going on a whole plant-based diet here.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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