The foods you eat could be of vital importance when it comes to keeping your mind sharp. Research studies show that certain foods are far more beneficial to our health than others. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, a new type of diet or eating approach has been designed to help stave off the development of this awful neurological disorder. The eating plan is referred to as the MIND/ Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet. It is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension or DASH eating plan.
Foods For Your Mind
Results of a recent study showed that people who adhered to the MIND diet reduced their risk for Alzheimer’s disease by a staggering 53 percent. Even a partial adherence to the eating plan can lead to a 35 percent reduction in the risk for the disease. The MIND diet relies heavily on the following foods:
Leafy Green Vegetables
As is the case with any truly health-driven diet, the MIND diet puts great emphasis on the inclusion of leafy, green vegetables — and for important reasons: Results from two large-scale studies that featured older adults indicated that the consumption of two or more servings of vegetables each day led to a slower rate of overall cognitive decline, and leafy greens exerted the strongest effect.
Indeed, in one of the studies, it appeared that participants who ate more than two daily servings of vegetables had levels of brain function that equated to levels seen in people at least a half a decade younger.
The vitamin E content of leafy green vegetables is typically higher than that of other vegetables. Vitamin E is a nutritional powerhouse. It is rich in antioxidants that may benefit the health of neurons/nerve cells. Healthy fats such as olive oil will increase the absorption of vitamin E, so include a little olive oil with your greens/salad.
Soft fruits such as blueberries and strawberries are highly indicated for cognitive health, so go ahead and add them to your yogurt or cereal, or eat them as is. One particular study, comprised of circa 16,000 women aged 70 and older, showed that consuming two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries each week correlated strongly with a delay in cognitive aging by nearly three years when compared with women who ate less of either berry.
The cognitive protection may be linked to anthocyanins. They are antioxidants that are thought to protect nerve cells in the parts of the brain associated with memory and learning.
Unlike the Mediterranean diet that includes up to six servings of fish each week, the scientists who devised the MIND diet noted that even a once-a-week serving of fish can help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, a recent study that was published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that that the brain’s gray matter may grow in size when broiled or baked fish is consumed at least once each week. Alzheimer’s disease causes gray matter tissue to diminish.
Red Wine and Memory
Numerous studies have shown that drinking red wine in moderation may be good for the heart, but more recent research indicates that wine might also help to preserve cognitive functions.
In 2014, the results obtained from a British Journal of Nutrition longitudinal study that was undertaken over five years, and which involved healthy subjects aged between 43 and 70, was pretty startling. Researchers found that participants who drank one and a half glasses of red wine each day showed the least loss of memory when compared to participants who drank less wine. That calls for a toast: Cheers, everyone!
Grocery List for Brain-Boosting Foods
The MIND diet incorporates ten brain-enhancing food groups. It is not necessary to eat each one every day, however.
- Whole grains: at least three servings
- Leafy green vegetables: at least one serving
- Other vegetables: at least one serving
- Red wine: one glass
Eat Most Days:
- Nuts: walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts
- Healthy oils: use olive oil for most of your cooking
Eat Every Other Day:
- Pulses: include a variety of beans
Eat at Least Twice a Week:
- Soft Fruits: strawberries or blueberries
- Poultry: chicken and turkey
Eat at Least Once Weekly:
Foods to Limit:
- Full-fat cheeses: no more than one serving each week
- Butter: no more than one tablespoon daily
- Fast/Fried foods: no more than one serving weekly
- Red meat: three or fewer times each week
- Sweets and pastries: four or fewer servings each week
Managing Loved Ones With Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer’s have become increasingly prevalent in the modern day United States. Managing the life of a loved one afflicted with Alzheimer’s/Dementia is a difficult and emotional task. Caring Hands Matter offers specialized dementia care services and senior care services that help individuals suffering from Dementia/Alzheimers manage their daily tasks. Contact Caring Hands Matter to learn more about our specialized caregiving services.