Why the Mediterranean Diet and MIND Diet are SO Healthy for Your Brain

Brain Food, Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease, Prevent Memory Loss

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Chef Salad

Chef Salad: Excellent Way to Work in Several Servings of Brain-Healthy Food

We know how beneficial certain things are for the health of our brains and for prevention of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • physical activity
  • mental workouts
  • “brain foods” such as walnuts, blueberries, and fish
  • reading
  • taking on new hobbies

A growing body of research shows that eating one of the most delicious “diets” in the world, the Mediterranean Diet is also greatly beneficial to our brains.

You already know how incredibly healthy eating “like a Greek” is for your heart – in fact, foods that fall under the heading “Mediterranean Diet” are foods your heart would request if it were able to fill out its own menu!  It just so happens, your brain would sign its name to the same menu.

From the May 2016 Issue of Cooking Light Magazine:

Martha Clare Morris, ScD, a nutritional epidemiologist at Rush University in Chicago…. (has) been researching the MIND diet – a hybrid of the Mediterranean Diet and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) – to reduce age-related cognitive decline and the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease among more than 1,000 volunteers in the Memory and Aging Project. Her findings: Those who adhered to the MIND diet showed significantly slower cognitive declines – the equivalent of being 7.5 years younger – than those who didn’t. Her team also found that following the MIND diet may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 54%.

54% is very impressive!  The MIND diet focuses on foods that are shown to benefit the health of the brain.  It’s very easy to implement these foods into your daily diet – simply add more of the following:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Other vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, zucchini, squash…)
  • Berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries..)
  • Beans (at least every other day)
  • Nuts (most days)
  • Whole grains (aim for 3 servings daily, at least)
  • Fish (at least twice a week, not fried)
  • Poultry (at least twice a week – again, not fried)
  • Olive Oil (most days)

Chef salads, smoothies, wedge salads, vegetable soup, stews… these are just a few ways to “sneak in” several helpings of brain-healthy food. Adding fish or poultry to a salad – and creating a “chef salad” is my husband’s favorite approach. You’d be amazed how delicious a well-done chef salad is.

And your brain will appreciate every bite!

Make each moment count double! ~ Joi

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