You are what you eat is a common cliché, yet medical science continues to prove what a true statement it is.
The Mediterranean diet was introduced in the mid 90’s to promote and support heart health. Eating according to this plan would include a high consumption of legumes (beans), whole grains, olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, and a moderate consumption of wine. One should limit dining on non-fish meat items, butter, cheese, and pastries.
The DASH diet was developed to assist patients in controlling hypertension. It too promotes a diet that calls for eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy foods while curbing the amount of salt, red meat, fats, and sugar sweetened beverages and food.
Now medical scientists say that a DASH diet with a few changes can also reduce one’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. It was researchers at the Rush University Medical School that named this diet appropriately—MIND. MIND is Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Their diet is a blend of the Mediterranean and DASH diet, thus again suggesting that good health is a diet of legumes, fruits, vegetables, and fish. This healthy way to eat, according to the scientists at Rush University, has reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease as much as 53% of those volunteers that participated in the research.
What then are the foods that make up the MIND diet? Like all the diets for good health, eat a generous portion of leafy vegetables daily. Supplement with other vegetables such as green beans, asparagus, broccoli, and cauliflower. Eat nuts as snacks daily. They have fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Berries are highly recommended, especially blueberries for their ability to protect the brain. Strawberries have been studied as well and their is strong evidence that it assists in brain function. All healthy diets recommend whole grain and MIND is no different, three servings daily. Eat beans. They help to keep one’s mind sharp while being high in fiber and protein. Enjoy fish and poultry to support a healthy brain. Olive oil should be the cooking oil used most often. Lastly, MIND recommends a glass of wine daily…just one glass.
What foods should be scratched from the dining plan? It is most likely no surprise that you limit your red meat. Mind suggests that you have only one serving per week. Limit butter and stick margarine and only eat cheese once a week to fend off Alzheimer’s chances of affecting you. These last two food groups won’t surprise you either. Fried foods and pastries as well as other sweets should be limited. A trip to your favorite fast food restaurant should only be once a week. Sweets consumption is a bit more lax, limit these to five treats a week.
Meals consisting of the healthy items listed above will promote and support a healthy body and a sharp mind.