Almost six million Americans are affected by Alzheimer’s disease alone. This number is expected to triple over the next few decades. With this in mind, we need to take a greater look around the world. The rates of dementia vary significantly in other geographical regions, from the lowest rates in areas of Africa, France, South Asia, and Italy to the highest rates in Western Europe and North America. As you know, lifestyles vary greatly around the world. However, we have an opportunity to observe the lifestyles and diets in these areas. Several reports state that areas of the world that have lower levels of dementia have several dietary factors in common: lower consumption of red meat, eating fish regularly, eating an abundance of vegetables, greens and herbs are just a few.
Understandably, the topic of diet has been building momentum around the world for quite some time. More and more research is being found on the impact of diet on the body and the brain and it all relates to living well. It is important to know that every diet affects each individual differently. Current research shows that the Mediterranean Diet and the Dash Diet are both linked to positive brain health and may decrease a person’s risk of dementia. Even more profoundly, the MIND diet which utilizes both the Mediterranean and Dash Diet has been creating a buzz for quite some time. Some components of the MIND diet are the consumption of leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, and berries but, as importantly, it limits red meat, butter, cheese, sweets, and fried food. This is an ideal diet for our brains. With our commitment, CERTUS is proud to offer the MIND diet in our communities as well as free educational cooking demos for the public.
By Joshua Freitas, M.Ed., BC-DEd, CAEd; Vice President of Program Development
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