Alzheimer’s disease is relentless in its attacks on an individual and can have a devastating effect on the entire family. Not only is there heartbreak about the loss of connection and communication, but family members may worry that the disease may affect other loved ones. Although there is still no cure for Alzheimer’s, there is some potentially good news. A diet used to fight heart issues shows promise in having the ability to significantly lower your chances of experiencing Alzheimer’s as well. The best results are seen in those individuals who embrace these guidelines fully. However, it can be difficult for seniors to drastically modify their diet, especially if they no longer shop or cook for themselves. Still, researchers believe that making even small changes in your diet can make a difference in your overall health. If you are a caregiver for a senior loved one, take heed of this information – it could help prevent conditions including heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Let’s take a look at this purported anti- Alzheimer’s diet.
Studies have reported that the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by 53% in study participants. That is something to get hopeful about!
Did You Know? The MIND diet combines the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. On their own, each of these diets is effective at minimizing the risk of hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. Together, they are a powerful new weapon against these health issues.
The MIND diet classifies foods into two groups – those that are “brain-healthy” and “brain-unhealthy.” Let’s look at each of these foods and how often you should strive to consume them.
Top 9 Brain Healthy Foods
- Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale – once per day.
- Vegetables – additional serving once per day.
- Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts, also sunflower or pumpkin seeds – consume every day
- Berries, most notably blueberries and strawberries – consume twice per week. (No other fruits on the diet)
- Beans, such as black beans, garbanzo beans, or kidney beans – eat every other day.
- Whole gluten-free grains, such as oats and quinoa – consume three servings a day.
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, bluefin tuna, and sardines – eat at least one serving per week.
- Olive oil – use as your primary cooking oil as well as for condiments such as salad dressing
- Wine – While drinking in excess can be problematic, studies show that a glass of wine each day may delay Alzheimer’s onset for up to three years. Experts say not to start drinking if you do not currently. However, if you enjoy wine with dinner, you can continue to do so on this diet.
Top 5 Harmful Foods (for Your Brain)
- Red meats – It is believed that red meat allows iron to build up in the brain, contributing to Alzheimer’s disease – eat rarely.
- Butter and margarine – Limit butter to one teaspoon per day, and never use stick margarine. Substitute olive oil instead.
- Cheese – limit consumption to less than one serving a week
- Pastries and sweets – Refined sugar should be cut out of the diet wherever possible.
- Fried or fast food – less than one serving per week is recommended.
As stated, any step towards brain health will be advantageous; but the more of these foods that you can incorporate (or avoid) will provide incremental benefit against Alzheimer’s onset. The earlier an individual begins to follow these anti – Alzheimer’s diet guidelines, the more chance to avoid Alzheimer’s disease altogether. Therefore no matter your age now is the time to get healthy!
A Banyan Residence provides compassionate and professional assisted living and memory care services in the Venice, Florida area. Do you live further north? Be sure to consider a Banyan Residence’s location in The Villages as well.