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Mind over matter: can your diet help prevent Dementia?

The human brain is made of food, so what we choose to eat and drink affects our ability to keep a healthy mind. We tend to focus most of our diet around physical appearance and the way we look rather than the way we think. Considering certain diets, nutritional benefits and making small lifestyle changes can be the first step to making a massive difference to your cognitive health and memory.

Research undertaken by Alzheimer’s Society has shown that eating a Mediterranean diet can reduce the risk of developing problems with memory, thinking and some forms of Dementia. This has prompted continual investigation into the higher health benefit of the diet. This research shows that a diet rich in fruit, vegetables and cereals, and low in red meat and sugar could help reduce the risks.

In 2015, a new diet called MIND (Mediterranean–DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) came to light as it appeared to slow down ageing of the brain. Based on information that has accrued from years’ worth of past research about what foods and nutrients have good and bad effects on the functioning of the brain over time, this diet has been developed to specifically help improve brain function and reduce Dementia and Alzheimer’s. This incorporates many elements of the Mediterranean diet combined with the blood pressure-lowering DASH diet.

A study undertaken by the NHS revealed that participants of the MIND diet who stuck correctly to plan were 52% less likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

 

The MIND diet requires 10 main foods:

  • Green, leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale
  • Other vegetables, such as red peppers, squash, carrots and broccoli
  • Nuts
  • Berries, including blueberries and strawberries
  • Beans, lentils and soybeans
  • Olive Oil (as the main oil or fat you use)
  • Wholegrains, such as brown rice, buckwheat and barley
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • Wine (in moderation)

 

This diet has been developed by brain researchers and has been referred to as a ‘diet of the mind’ that can prevent the type of memory loss, focus and judgement attributes that define Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

From this, we know that this type of diet can help protect your overall health, but the MIND diet focuses on fruits and vegetables and lack of high fat dairy which is also been shown to reduce the risk of many other health issues such as heart attack, high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension and stroke.

 

This is a preventative lifestyle change as sadly, no diet can reverse or cure Dementia. Glasgow Memory Clinic remains at the forefront of Alzheimer’s research globally and will continue to strive to find better treatments for those with memory impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.

There are many different factors involved in whether you will get Alzheimer’s or not, which include factors we have no control over. Glasgow Memory Clinic are currently looking for people to take part in our Genes and Alzheimer’s Clinical Study to better understand the relationship and bring us closer to finding a cure.

If you are interested in taking part, register here: https://glasgowmemoryclinic.com/news/current-studies/genes-alzheimers/

If you have a general enquiry or would like to know more about what we do, please call us on 0141 948 0206.

 

Posted 29th November 2018

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