Eating for Brain Health

In case you missed my TV segment last week, here is the information about the MIND diet which has been named one of the top diets for 2016, according to U.S. News and World Report, which analyzed 35 different eating plans.

Out of all the diseases out there that we are at risk for, either genetically or environmentally, the one that frightens me the most is Alzheimer’s (and other forms of dementia or cognitive decline). I have personally seen members of my own family suffer, and have numerous friends who have also experienced this devastating condition in their families. If there is anything we can do to prevent this, I am all for it!

This eating plan is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, both of which are heart healthy and good for lowering blood pressure. This plan focuses on foods that have been scientifically proven to protect the brain, lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 53%. The great thing about it is that it is very easy to follow. And even if you are not concerned about Alzheimer’s and other forms of cognitive decline, this is a really healthy way to eat.

The following brain healthy food groups are included on this eating plan:

  • Leafy greens (at least 6 servings per week)
  • Vegetables (at least 1 per day)
  • Whole grains (at least 3 per day)
  • Nuts (5 servings per week)
  • Beans (at least 3 servings per week)
  • Berries (at least 2 servings per week)
  • Fish (once per week)
  • Poultry (twice per week)
  • Olive oil (use as your mail oil)
  • Red wine (1 glass per day)

The following foods are to be AVOIDED:

  • Red meat
  • Butter/margarine
  • Cheese
  • Pastries and sweets
  • Fried or fast foods

While researchers admit that there is still a great deal of study to be done in this area, this eating plan has already been proven through scientific research to benefit brain health. And be choosy in what you purchase — try to find produce which is organically produced and without pesticides (which harm your brain and other organs), purchase wild caught fish (NEVER farm raised as this produces unhealthy fat in the fish), and poultry that is “free range” (beware of “cage free” which does not always mean free range!).

I don’t know about you, but I want my Golden Years to be enjoyed with a healthy body AND brain!

~ Doneane