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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Healthy Eating for a Healthier Brain

Can you eat to delay aging and have a healthier brain?  You can.  There are many foods that protect brain health.  In fact, there is a diet plan called the MIND diet. Besides eating healthy, exercising regularly also promotes a healthier brain.
What is the MIND diet? 
It is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.  The Mediterranean Diet is a good diet for overall health and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was designed to lower blood pressure. 

What is your MIND score?   To score your MIND Diet, assign one point for each of the following components (adapted from the MIND Diet and Keep Active to Protect Your Brain ) .  Those with the highest MIND score are 53% less likely to develop Alzheimer’s and have been shown to have a slower rate of decline in cognitive health. 
Foods to Eat More of:
 How often?
Score one point for each item
Whole grains
at least 3 servings/day

Green Leafy Vegetables
at least 6 servings/week

Other vegetables
at least 1 serving/day

at least 2 servings/week

at least 1 serving/week

at least 2 servings/week

at least 3 servings/week

At least 5 servings/week

Olive Oil
Your primary oil

Foods to Eat Less of:

Red Meats
Fewer than 4 servings/week

Fast/Fried food
Less than 1 serving/week

Less than 1 T. per day

Less than 1 serving/week

Less than 5 servings/week

1 serving/day (not excess)

Your Total Points =

I agree with most of the list, except the cheese.  I consume cheese every day but aim for cheese lower in saturated fat such as cheese made with 2% milk or 1% milk.  Cheese is a good contributor of calcium, protein and other nutrients.  So how did you do?  Was your score near 15?  If not, what small changes could you make in your weekly diet?  Pack a lunch and skip the Fast Food for a few days a week?  Pack some nuts as a snack.  Put some Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your cupboard for cooking.  Now that summer is here, go to your local Farmer’s Market for berries, green leafy vegetables.  Read more about the MIND Diet here. 

Sources:   MIND Diet,  Keep Active to Protect Your Brain,  Image Source:  Fresh Greens
Fresh Greens

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