Last month, I found myself being the main part of a two-person rehab for my 82 year-old father. He has a long list of health issues, some of which landed him in the hospital, over and over in the past two years - none of which are COVID, just to reassure you. Part of my job was to help him re-learn how to walk after surgery on his femur and to strengthen his brain function after all of time in and out of medical facilities. My thought was that the more mobile and present he was, the more agency and autonomy, he might have. I should add that he was not especially interested in cooperating with this process.
What I also learned is that sugar is toxic to the brain. Sugar, in the form of refined sugar, wheat, rice, corn, agave, jams and fruit and in larger doses, honey and maple syrup, are so bad for the brain that Alzheimer's is now being called Type-3 Diabetes. If you have any sort of inflammation in your body, you owe it to yourself to give yourself 21 days without refined sugar, grains, dairy and soy. You'll be shocked at how much better you feel - though you do need to be quite strict to feel the effects.
Chocolate, on the other hand, with all its polyphenols and anti-inflammatory properties, is great for the brain and can also give you a burst of energy. The secret is to reduce or eliminate the refined sugar.
Unfortunately, my parents LOVE sugar in all of its forms. Eating sweets and simple carbohydrates is one of the great pleasures of my their lives. So every time I have looked after my father, I have worked on removing as much sugar and simple carbohydrates as I can from his diet and trying to discover treats for him that slow the absorption of the sugars and fortify brain and muscle function.One dessert I love is the black bean brownies or cookies from Chocolate Covered Katie's Blog. She's pretty ingenious and has a whole bunch of interesting recipes. I highly recommend following her! ( https://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/no-flour-black-bean-brownies/ ) My embedded link might not work!
I loved the ideas of black beans - more protein, a prebiotic, slowing down the absorption of the starch - along with cacao to also stimulate the brain. I also added medicinal mushrooms - lion's mane, chaga, cordyceps and reishi because the chocolate covers the bitter taste and they've shown success in some studies in reversing dementia. Since my version became quite thick, I made cookies instead of brownies and everyone (except my dad) asked for the recipe.
Here's my most recent version and how they came out: