Our diet is one of the greatest factor affecting our health and well-being. It has been widely known that certain diet can slow down or even prevent deadly heart disease. Medical professionals are certain that the same can be said about our brain. What a dementia diet should look like?
Diet and dementia prevention
There is plenty of means to reduce your risk and slow down dementia. It includes abstaining from alcohol consumption, exercising regularly and healthy eating. Fortunately dementia patients don’t have to stick to a strict and unfulfilling diet. Even a little change your lifestyle and eating habits slightly will positively affect the heath of your brain and reduce dementia.
Diet developed in order to keep up mental strength in old age is appropriately called the MIND diet (that stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay). It is a combination of two nutrition programs considered to be the healthiest in the world – Mediterranean and DASH diets.
It focuses on providing the nutrients that helps upkeep brains cognitive functions – folic acid, omega 3, B6, B12, E and K. It is also rich in antioxidants from great amounts of fruit and vegetables. It is recommended to limit salt, sugar and complex fats.
Best foods for dementia patients to eat
The MIND diet recommends 10 foods for dementia patients with a various weekly intake. At the same time elderly suffering from dementia should limit the intake of red meat, pastries, cheese, butter and fried food.
- Green leafy vegetables – kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, arugula, watercress there is a lot to choose from in this healthy category. Elderly should eat at least six servings of these superfoods per week. Rich in vitamin K, A and C they provide great brain benefits.
- Other vegetables – focus on non-starchy vegetables as they are lower in calories. Aim to eat at least one serving of various vegetable per day.
- Berries – they are a superheroes. High in antioxidants (which prevent the brain cells damage), delicious strawberries and blueberries are a favourite amongst dementia patients.
- Beans – another food for dementia prevention are beans (lentils and soy as well). They should be a part of a well-balanced healthy diet as they help maintain sharpness of mind.
- Nuts – try to eat nuts at least five times a week. They contain beneficial fats and fibre.
- Whole grains – you can choose what you like from porridge, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat bread and pasta. The MIND diet recommends 3 servings per day.
- Fish – eating fish once a week will provide dementia brain with crucial omega 3 oils, that help protect from cognitive decline.
- Poultry – it is recommended to eat meat (mainly chicken and turkey). Remember to not go overboard with frying.
- Olive oil – this kind of oil is regarded as the best food for dementia patients to eat.
- Wine – quite controversial, but MIND diet recommends one glass of red wine daily as the research shows, that compound resveratrol (found in wine) may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
While implementing the MIND diet always remember to follow GP’s dietary recommendations and take into account senior’s allergies.