healthy memory July 16, 2019 9:58 am

The Connection Between Dementia and Nutrition

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 considerable discussion about the connection between dietary habits and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (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 healthy 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. 

 

Foods encouraged on the MIND diet include:

  • Green, leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and lettuce. They’re rich in vitamins and low in calories.
  • Other, non-starchy vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, and broccoli. Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, have higher calorie counts and lower vitamin content, making it advisable to limit their consumption.
  • Berries like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. They’re abundant in 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, like those found in whole-wheat bread and pasta, as well as naturally occurring 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. Keep in mind that most canned baked beans contain significant amounts of added fat, sodium, and sugar, making it advisable to avoid them.
  • 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. Given that, it’s advisable to limit wine consumption to no more than one glass per day.

 

Foods you should avoid or limit

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. Once more, whenever possible, opt for olive oil instead of these foods.
  • 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. 

 

Though the precise mechanisms underlying how the MIND diet prevents symptoms of memory loss remain unclear, research indicates that this hybrid diet offers substantial brain-boosting benefits, potentially contributing to maintaining a healthy and high-performing brain. CERTUS believes in the power of food, we use research-based recipes with a unique CERTUS flair. This empowers us to customize meals according to the preferences and dietary habits of our loved ones. 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.

 

 

 

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