Wondering about the connection between dementia and nutrition? The MIND diet was created using research about how food affects the rate of cognitive aging and your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD). This healthy and easy-to-follow diet is also highly recommended by physicians and experts in memory care. Even being partially compliant with the diet has a number of health benefits.
In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about the link between what you eat and the risk of ADRD. While more research is needed, studies suggest certain diets may help prevent or delay symptoms of memory loss. In fact, the MIND diet was created with those exact goals: to prevent ADRD and slow the loss of brain function that can happen with age. The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, and most often recommended by physicians and experts in memory care.
Another great benefit about this diet is, there are not many strict or confusing guidelines for how to follow it. We should simply try to consume the recommended foods as much as possible, and avoid other non-recommended foods whenever we can.
Here are the foods people are encouraged to consume on the MIND diet:
- Green, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and lettuce. They’re packed with vitamins and low on calories.
- Other, non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, and broccoli. Starchy vegetables, like potatoes, are higher in calories and low in vitamins, which is why they should be eaten less.
- Berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They’re packed with healthy antioxidants!
- Nuts of any kind. Just remember that raw nuts are always best. Roasted and/or salted nuts contain high levels of oil and sodium.
- Whole grains that are used in whole-wheat bread and pasta, as well as naturally found in oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice.
- Extra Virgin Olive oil should be used as your main cooking oil.
- Fish that’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and tuna.
- Beans of any sort, including lentils and soybeans. Just remember that most canned baked beans contain lots of added fat, sodium, and sugar, which is why they should be avoided.
- Poultry or other white meats, like turkey, can be eaten in limited amounts.
- Wine, whether white or red, has been shown to benefit the brain. That stated, wine consumption should be limited to no more than one glass a day.
Of course, like with any diet, there are also foods you should avoid or limit. These foods include:
- Butter or Margarine of any kind, including “low fat” spreads. Again, olive oil should be used in place of these foods whenever possible.
- Cheese of any kind. In fact, the MIND diet recommends limiting cheese consumption to less than once a week.
- Red meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and any products made from these meats, like hamburgers and hot dogs.
- Fried food of any kind, but particularly from fast food restaurants.
- Sweets like candy, ice cream, donuts, pastries, cookies, brownies, and other foods are packed with sugar, butter and/or oil, and lots of empty calories.
Although it is not entirely understood how the MIND diet prevents symptoms of memory loss, research suggests this hybrid diet provides great brain-boosting benefits that may help keep the brain healthy and performing at a high level. CERTUS believes in the power of food, we use research-based recipes with a unique CERTUS flair. Allowing us to create individualized meals based on preferences and the types of foods loved ones are used to eating. Even though there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, we want everyone to feel their best and enjoy sitting down to a healthy, home-cooked meal.
Tags: Adult Healthcare, Brain Health, DASH Diet, Foods High in Omega-3, Healthy Eating, Mediterranean Diet, MIND Diet