How far would you go to keep your mind intact? Many studies show that there may be a link between what we eat and the health of our brains.
Although Dementia and Alzheimer’s have a hereditary aspect, changing to the MIND diet may very well decrease your chances of developing these degenerative diseases. According to a study published in 2011, 1 in 3 cases of alzheimer’s disease worldwide is preventable.
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes on eating right for your heart, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). Both diets have shown to be beneficial for the brain health of their test groups, but were difficult to commit to. And so, nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris developed the MIND diet.
In test groups of patients of the average age of 81, the participants who followed the diet rigorously had a 53% lower risk of developing late stage Alzheimer’s. They also had an average brain age score of 7.5 years lower than their true age. Even better, the diet doesn’t have to be followed religiously to be effective. In fact, patients who followed the diet as a loose guideline had a 35% reduced risk of developing late stage Alzheimer’s.
The diet is pretty easy to follow. It categorizes foods into 15 groups: 10 are brain-healthy, 5 are not. Rather than giving strict rules on what to eat and when to eat it, the mind diet suggests food groups to consume on a per-day or per-week basis.
Here are 5 foods you should reduce:
- Red meat: Less than four servings a week
- Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily
- Cheese: Less than one serving a week
- Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week
- Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week
10 foods that will dramatically increase brain health
- Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens): At least six servings weekly
- Other vegetables: At least one a day
- Nuts: Five servings a week
- Berries: Two or more servings a week: (blueberries are the most potent)
- Beans: At least three servings a week
- Whole Grains: Three or more servings a day
- Fish: Once a week
- Poultry (like chicken or turkey): Two times a week
- Olive oil: Use it as your main cooking oil.
- Wine: Consume one glass a day
Grapes are an underrated superfood. Resveratol, which is found in their skin, is a powerful antioxidant that’s proven to regulate hormone levels, combat physical signs of aging and contribute to an overall longer life.
What better way to toast to your health?