Food For Thought…
“You only get one mind and one body. And it’s got to last a lifetime. Now, it’s very easy to let them ride for many years. But if you don’t take care of that mind and that body, they’ll be a wreck forty years later, just like the car would be.” — Warren Buffett
Researchers have found that people who stuck to a diet that included foods like berries, leafy greens, and fish had a major drop in their risk for the memory-sapping disorder, which affects more than 5 million Americans over age 65.
The eating plan is called the MIND diet. Here’s how it works.
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
But the MIND approach “specifically includes foods and nutrients that medical literature and data show to be good for the brain, such as berries,” says Martha Clare Morris, ScD, Director of Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology at Rush University Medical Center.
You eat things from these 10 food groups:
- Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens): at least six servings a week
- Other vegetables: At least one a day
- Nuts: Five servings a week
- Berries: Two or more servings a week
- Beans: At least three servings a week
- Whole grains: Three or more servings a day
- Fish: Once a week
- Poultry (like chicken or turkey): Two times a week
- Olive oil: Use it as your main cooking
- Wine: One glass a day
- Red meat: Less than four servings a week
- Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily
- Cheese: Less than one serving a week
- Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week
- Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week
One study showed that people who stuck to the MIND diet lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 54%. That’s big. But maybe even more importantly, researchers found that adults who followed the diet only part of the time still cut their risk of the disease by about 35%.
Even if you don’t have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease or other risk factors, you may still want to try this eating plan because it focuses on nutritious whole foods and good for your heart and overall health. Last, understand that even though diet plays a big role, it’s only one aspect of Alzheimer’s disease, so get regular exercise and manage your stress to lower your risk even more.