Worried About Memory Loss? Try the MIND Diet
Researchers identify 10 foods to eat and 5 to avoid to dramatically reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s
Are you worried your memory might be slipping? The MIND diet may be able help keep your brain healthy and your memory sharp, when practiced consistently for a number of years.
According to a new study from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the MIND diet may reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent. Even if you only do moderately well at following the diet, you will probably still see about a 33 percent reduction in your risk.
The study, which was recently published in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia, relied on food questionnaires and repeated neurological tests on 900 individuals between 58 and 98 years of age. The data showed that a closer adherence to the MIND diet recommendations was linked to improved retention of cognitive function. In fact, the individuals who followed the diet the most closely and consistently over the years had the cognitive function of a person about 7.5 years younger.
So What is the MIND Diet?
The MIND diet consists of recommendations for 10 types of foods that you should eat to promote brain health, and 5 types of foods you should avoid.
What to Eat
- Leafy greens: at least 2 servings of kale, spinach, broccoli, collards and other greens per week; preferably 6 or more servings for the biggest brain benefits
- Other veggies: at least one small salad or other vegetable per day
- Nuts: 5 or more servings per week
- Berries: at least 2 servings of blueberries or strawberries per week
- Beans: high-fiber, low-fat beans should be eaten 3 times per week
- Whole grains: at least 3 servings per day
- Fish: once per week
- Poultry: two or more servings per week
- Olive Oil: use olive oil as your primary oil for cooking and salad dressings
- Wine: one glass per day
What to Avoid
- Red meat: no more than 4 servings per week
- Butter and margarine: less than 1 tablespoon per day
- Cheese: no more than once per week
- Pastries and sweets: no more than 5 per week
- Fried foods: no more than once per week
Other Considerations for Memory Protection
Diet is of course important for many aspects of your health, including your brain health. But when it comes to conditions like Alzheimer’s, there are many other factors at work that can affect your risk for the disease, such as genetics, smoking, and exercise. It is important to take a balanced approach that includes all possible measures to protect your memory and cognitive function.
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