This article was written exclusively for our readers by Health and Wellness Writer, Christian Worstell.
We already know that what we eat can have an effect on our hearts, but our diet can affect our minds, too.
The aptly named MIND diet, short for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, focuses on certain foods that can help slow cognitive decline in older age.
While there is no cure for cognitive decline, there are ways you can help prevent it. But, when it comes down to it, the way you fuel your body is a vital component to your overall health and wellness. In fact, studies show that a Mediterranean diet can help slow the cognitive effects of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research shows that certain foods can help improve cognitive function by improving your brain health. That’s what the MIND diet is all about.
The MIND diet includes 10 superfoods and 5 foods to avoid that can help prevent brain diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.
What are the benefits?
A study at a medical center in Chicago reveals that the MIND diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 53 percent.
The study looked at people aged 58 to 98 and found that those who ate foods in the MIND diet had levels of cognitive function that were 7.5 years younger than those of the same age who ate different diets.
The diet is similar to the Mediterannean diet in that it incorporates a lot of fish, vegetables and nuts and little red meat and processed foods.
What does the MIND diet include?
Fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and contains many healthy fats. Fish has even been linked to lowering blood levels. Incorporate fish with low mercury into your diet like cod, salmon and tuna. If you don’t like fish, ask your doctor about taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
Studies show that berries are known to improve memory function. Adding berries such as blackberries and blueberries to your diet could certainly help slow cognitive decline.
Nuts are high in protein and omega-3 fatty acid. They can help lower blood pressure and protect your arteries.
The MIND diet also includes large servings of leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, which are rich in folate, lutein, and vitamin K as well as vegetables such as peas, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. These superfoods are loaded with the vitamins you need for excellent brain power.
Foods to avoid on the MIND diet include cheese (limit to once a week), fast food, red meat, sugary sweets and butter.
If you want to stay sharp as you age, mind your diet.