It’s no secret that what people eat affects their health. But, did you know that there is a diet that may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of cognitive decline? Research indicates that eating certain foods and avoiding others may actually reduce a person’s risk for cognitive decline. It’s called the MIND diet, and it could be the key to slowing cognitive decline in your elderly parent.
What is the MIND Diet?
The acronym MIND means: Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It uses components of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, both diets that are meant to improve cardiovascular health, to create a new meal plan aimed at reducing the risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The difference between the MIND diet and the other two diets is that it contains foods and nutrients that support brain health.
Research surrounding the diet shows great promise. In one study, participants reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s by a whopping 54 percent. The study also showed that even if the person didn’t adhere to the diet full-time, they still reduced their risks by 35 percent. Researchers also discovered that people who followed the diet closely had a brain health of up to 7.5 years younger than their actual age, suggesting that it slows cognitive decline.
What Foods are Included?
The MIND diet includes foods from ten different food groups. The food groups are:
- Beans: A minimum of three servings weekly.
- Fish: Once per week.
- Poultry: Twice per week.
- Green leafy vegetables (spinach, kale, etc.): A minimum of six servings each week.
- Other vegetables: One or more per day.
- Berries: Two servings or more each week.
- Nuts: Five servings per week.
- Wine: One glass daily.
- Olive oil: Used as the main cooking oil.
- Whole grains: At least three servings daily.
What Foods Should Seniors Avoid?
The foods a person on the MIND diet should avoid are:
- Butter and Margarine: Lees than a tablespoon daily.
- Red meat: Fewer than four servings weekly.
- Fast food: Lower than one serving per week.
- Cheese: Less than a serving per week.
- Sweets: Fewer than five servings weekly.
Even if the older adult in your life doesn’t have risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, it may still be a good idea to follow the MIND diet. Not only does the diet protect against Alzheimer’s, it is also a balanced diet that reduces risks for heart disease and improves general health. An elder care provider can help seniors who want to follow the diet. Elder care providers can help them to plan menus that stick to the meal plan and create grocery lists. Elder care providers can even drive to the store and help with grocery shopping.
If You Or An Aging Loved One Are Considering Hiring Professional Elder Care in Lake Worth, FL, Please Contact The Caring Staff at Assisting Hands Home Care at 561-829-3080 Today.