Healthy Aging 101: Boosting Brain Health through Diet

Healthy Aging 101: Boosting Brain Health through Diet

As people age, it is not uncommon to worry about cognitive decline. Although some risk factors, such as family history, are unavoidable, studies suggest that following a hybrid of two well-established healthy diets can reduce a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent.

Devon Peart

Devon Peart

Devon Peart, a Registered Dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Rehab and Wellbeing Centre, recently shared the benefits of the MIND diet – a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

“The great news is that the diet isn’t all or nothing – it has been shown to be incrementally effective based on how closely people follow it,” she said. In other words, the more closely people adhere to it, the smaller their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and achieving better overall brain health; one study showed high compliance led to a 53% reduction, while mid-range compliance led to a 35% reduction.

MIND’s main focus is on maximizing 10 brain-healthy foods and on minimizing five unhealthy foods.

EAT

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Other vegetables
  • Berries, especially blueberries & strawberries
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Legumes (kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.)
  • Nuts
  • 100% whole grains
  • Olive Oil
  • Wine
AVOID

  • Deep-fried or fast foods
  • Pastries/sweets
  • Butter
  • Red Meat (beef, lamb, pork, ham, etc.)
  • Cheese

Curious about how well you already follow the principles of the MIND diet? Take this quiz, adapted by Devon Peart.

Click on the image to download the quiz as a PDF.

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