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Protect Your Brain with the MIND Diet

Welcome GMW viewers and Cultivate Healthy friends!

As you may know, November is Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness month. This disease devastates families with over 5 million people dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease in the US.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center investigated the diets of older Americans and developed an eating pattern that can cut Alzheimer’s risk in half! This diet is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet with a few additional foods that have been shown to protect brain function. Enter, the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet.

The coolest thing about the MIND Diet is that, unlike the Mediterranean or DASH diets, even part-time adherence to the MIND Diet can still reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by 35%!

Protecting your brain with the MIND Diet involves eating 10 types of food and limiting 5 other types of food.

First, the good news:

1. Have a salad every day- the MIND Diet is based on daily consumption of leafy greens

Kale-2

2. Add other vegetables at least once a day

3. Add in 3 servings of whole grains a day for cardiovascular benefits that help keep the brain healthy

4. Try a variety of beans 3 at least every other day for a healthy, fiber-rich protein source

5. Munch of nuts most days for a healthy dose of vitamin E, which protects against cognitive decline

6. Olive oil should be your go-to oil for mono-unsaturated fats, the healthy kind

7. Fruit in general hasn’t been shown to improve brain function, but berries, specifically blueberries are potent brain super-foods. Aim for 3-4 servings per week.

Blueberries-2

8. Fish is often found on healthy diet lists, including this one. Eating fish, like salmon, at least once a week provides omega-3s that are beneficial for brain development and can reduce inflammation.

9. Poultry gets to share the lime-light too- add this lean protein source at least twice a week

10. And the cherry on top, is a glass of wine each day!

Ingredients to Limit

1. Stick with red meat less than 4 times a week

2. Use butter and stick margarine less than 1 tbsp a day

3. Limit pastries and sweets to less than 5 serving a week

Sweets-2

4. Cheese can be enjoyed once a week

5. Fried and fast foods should be limited to once a week

Think about the meals that you can make with these ingredients! Imagine a salmon stir-fry with brown rice and fresh green beans, or a red leaf lettuce salad with chicken, quinoa, chick peas, walnuts and blueberries. The possibilities are endless!

What do you think? Could you follow the MIND Diet? What would you make?

 

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