Friday, April 7, 2017

Feeding Your Aging Brain

It is commonly known that what we eat affects our risk of developing heart disease, obesity and diabetes.  But how about affecting the health of our brain as we get older?

A growing body of research suggests that finding a pattern of healthy eating can help us fight inflammation in the brain and may significantly reduce the risk of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Two versions of brain-healthy eating patterns incorporate many of the same mostly plant-based foods.  The Brain Health Food Guide and the MIND Diet differ a little as to how many servings should be eaten daily or weekly, but the patterns of eating are similar enough to summarize in the following list: 

2 to 5 servings daily, especially kale, spinach, romaine, cabbage and broccoli
Seafood and Beans
1 to 3 times weekly
Whole grains
3 servings daily
Whole fruit
1 to 4 servings fruit daily, especially berries
One serving daily
Olive oil is mentioned as a healthy fat

Both brain-healthy eating patterns agree that the following foods should be avoided or limited to once-a-week servings:

Fried Foods
Processed Foods
Red meat
Butter and Stick Margarine

The MIND Diet was rated in 2016 as the "Easiest to Follow" Diet.  Both patterns of eating also rate  heart-healthy. 

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