30 Sep The MIND diet
The diets named in the previous sub-post are chosen for a variety of reasons, but chief among them is health. The Your Self Series team is all about keeping your mind and brain healthy. As such, we would like to share another diet with you as, for us, the nutrition section would not be complete without sharing with you the best foods you can eat for your brain.
Why? Well, you kind of need your brain forever. And when we age, we are more prone to diseases of dementia (the withering away of brain function) like Alzheimer’s disease. Yes, we all get forgetful, but if you’ve seen the movies, The Notebook or Still Alice, you’re familiar with how awful Alzheimer’s can be.
Here is a proven recipe for brain health. It’s called the MIND diet. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Okay, now that we have that out of the way….
The MIND diet basically says, “Eat this, not that.” So here’s the list of what to eat pretty much everyday except where indicated:
Green leafy veggies
Beans – every other day
Wine – yes, wine is on the list, but if you are under 21 it is against the law! The MIND diet specifically states that a glass for a woman and two for a man is recommended and that more than that is actually not indicated. And only if you are over 21!
Okay, and here are the five food categories to avoid:
Butter and margarine
Pastries and sweets
Fried and fast foods
The MIND diet prevents and even slows brain decline. In one study it reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53% for those who adhered to the diet and by 35% for those who loosely followed the diet.
Diet is essential to brain health. People with high blood pressure have a 40% greater risk of dementia. And diabetes and cholesterol are also linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Basically, you can see why the diet is so essential to brain health— the unhealthy foods that cause these diseases also affect the brain!
Your sleep and exercise routines affect brain health as well. So, while we’re on the topic….
Beta-amyloid is a toxic buildup within the brain that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Part of your brain’s active job while you sleep is to clear out this toxin. So if you don’t get a good night’s sleep, the toxin can build up.
Additionally, exercise is incredibly beneficial to your brain. Copious (meaning large or plentiful) amounts of research, data and reliable websites will tell you all day long the many, many health benefits of exercise, especially for your brain. So just do it!
What did you do or eat today this is good for your brain?