The Mind Diet
Posted On Nov 03, 2017
In light of Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness month, I have opted to investigate brain health and things that I can do to avoid this devastating degenerative disorder that afflicts 5.4 million Americans. The extent of my knowledge on brain health started and ended in freshman science class where we had to pry open the brain of a dead pig fetus – both repulsive and pointless in terms of the pursuit of real and practical brain function wisdom.
Even the mainstream media and big advertising tend to focus on other American plagues such as weight loss with and it’s trendy little diets, “skinny” everything and fitness competitions with high TV ratings. There’s a vaccination epidemic, a wave of “leaky guts,” and we can’t forget the “gluten-free” era we are currently living in as well.
All while Alzheimer’s, dementia, and a slew of other neurological disorders stay tightly suspended on the back burner. However, it’s 2016 and not only does Alzheimer’s get its own month but it get’s a trendy diet too!
A recent study published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia found that this diet, called the MIND Diet, may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 53%. MIND stands for Mediterranean DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The sum of the brain boosting plan calls for a lots of vegetables, fruits, healthy fats (such as nuts and olive oil) and lean proteins (such as fish and chicken).
To fuel your brain, load up on the following key players in the MIND diet:
One. Fatty Fish
Seafood offers at least two nutrients that help keep your mind sharp: Omega-3 fats and vitamin D. “Just one 4-ounce piece of cooked salmon contains 600 IU of vitamin D, which is pretty high for a food source of D,” says Joy Dubost, PhD, RD, a dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Two. Green Leafy Vegetables
Loaded with vitamin K, greens such as spinach, kale, and collards have been shown to slow cognitive decline. According to a new study from Rush University Medical Center, people who ate 1 to 2 servings of leafy greens each day had the cognitive ability of a person 11 years younger than those who consumed none.
Three. Olive Oil
Olive oil is an excellent source of polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that have can help prevent and even reverse age in addition to addressing disease-related memory problems. Research published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that extra virgin olive oil improves learning and memory.
This super berry contains an antioxidant—anthocyanin—that may be particularly healthy for your brain. A Harvard Nurses’ Health Study of 16,000 women over the age of 70 found that women who consumed two or more half-cup servings of blueberries or strawberries per week remained mentally sharper than those who didn’t eat the berries. Tufts animal studies have found that blueberries help improve short-term memory, navigational skills, balance and coordination.
It seems to me that there is a common denominator in healthy eating that is all encompassing which include leafy greens, Omega-3’s, “good” fats, and low-sugar fruits.
If only I can get addicted to kale as I am to Cheetos.