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Did you know that what your family eats and drinks has an impact on their brain health? Here’s how to improve their eating habits AND improve their brain health at the same time.

Eat to Protect Your Brain: The MIND Diet

Researchers have identified a healthy combination of foods — called the MIND diet — that can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. MIND diet foods are delicious and nutritious, and are good for heart health, too.

Benefits of the MIND diet

The MIND diet research was conducted with a group of older adults over a 4½-year period. The researchers showed that sticking to the MIND diet can reduce the rate of developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than 50 per cent. Even modest adherence to the diet can bring a 35 per cent reduction.

Adults who follow this diet also have a slower overall rate of cognitive decline, which researchers say is equivalent to taking 7½ years off their age. This is due to the nutritious combination of foods that help reduce inflammation and preserve white matter in the brain, which is related to stronger cognitive benefits.

The MIND diet is good for whole body health, but focuses on preventing cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. It includes these 10 essential components:

  1. Leafy green vegetables – daily
  2. Other vegetables – daily
  3. Berries – at least twice a week
  4. Nuts – daily
  5. Beans – every other day
  6. Whole grains – three times a day
  7. Seafood – at least once a week
  8. Poultry – at least twice a week
  9. Olive oil – as the main dietary fat
  10. Wine – a glass a day (if you drink alcohol).

What not to eat

Beyond what you eat, the MIND Diet also includes a list of foods to limit:

  1. Red meats – less than four times a week
  2. Butter and stick margarine – less than 1 tablespoon a day
  3. Cheese – less than one serving a week
  4. Pastries and sweets – less than five servings a week
  5. Fried or fast food – less than one serving a week.

Click here to learn more about the MIND Diet from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

Source: Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada

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