Healthy Eating, Healthy Brain

MIND diet may slow brain from aging by 7.5 years according to new research. The MIND diet is a group of specific foods that may help slow cognitive decline among aging adults, even when the person isn't at risk for developing Alzheimer's disease. This study came from Rush University Medical Center and the finding is in addition to a previous study by the same team that found the MIND diet may reduce overall risk of Alzheimer's. 

Findings showed that older adults who followed the MIND diet more rigorously showed an equivalent of 7.5 years younger cognitively than those who followed the diet least. The results of the study recently were published online in the journal, Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of Alzheimer's Association.

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The MIND Diet has 15 components including brain-healthy food groups. Foods to always avoid is red meat, butter, cheese, pastries, sweets, fried or fast food. 

To benefit, one would need to eat at least three servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable and one other veggie every day along with a glass of wine. Snacks on most days would be nuts, beans every other and poultry and berries only eaten twice per week and fish as least once a week. 

In addition, the study found that to have a real shot at avoiding the devastating effects of cognitive decline, he or she must limit intake of the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), sweets and pastries, whole fat cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three).


MIND diet foods to prevent and fight Alzheimer’s disease:

·         Beans. Beans are high in protein and fiber. They are also low in fat and calories. Aim to eat beans at least three times a week.

·         Olive oil. Olive oil, compared all other types of cooking oil, provides the most protection for brain health.

·         Whole grains. Rich in fiber. Get at least three servings a day.

·         Vegetables. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and collards are rich in vitamins A and C. Aim for at least two servings a week, but if you can, get six or more servings a week as this many gives the most optimal benefits for brain health. You should also try to eating a salad and at least one other veggie every day.

·         Fish. Eating fish at least once a week can help protect brain function.

·         Nuts. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants, which are all excellent for brain health. Nuts can also help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim to eat a handful of nuts about five times a week. Be careful though, nuts are often high in calories.

·         Wine. One glass of wine each day may be good for protecting cognitive function.

·         Berries. Blueberries and strawberries are a great for brain health. Both are beneficial in regards to improving cognitive function. Aim to eat berries at least twice a week.

·         Poultry. Try to get at least two or more servings a week.

 

Foods to avoid to prevent Alzheimer’s disease:

·         Butter and margarine. Limit to less than a tablespoon each day.

·         Fried food. Limit eating fried foods and fast food to no more than once a week.

·         Cheese. Limit eating cheese to no more than once a week.

·         Red meat. Limit eating red meat to no more than four servings a week.

·         Sweets. Limit eating sweets to no more than five each week.