Foods that Positively Brain Health
Eating certain foods (and avoiding others) has been shown to slow brain aging by 7.5 years, and lessen the chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what that looks like:
Load up on vegetables – researchers found that green leafy ones like kale, collards, spinach or lettuce were specifically shown to lower the risk of dementia and cognitive decline. Greens are packed with nutrients linked to better brain health like folate, vitamin E, carotenoids and flavonoids.
Make berries your sweet treat – In a 20-year study of over 16,000 older adults, those who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had the slowest rates of cognitive decline.
Snack on nuts (and pass on the packaged stuff) – Nuts may be high in calories and fat, but they’re packed with fat-soluble vitamin E, known for its brain-protective qualities.
Cook with (mostly) olive oil – Another Mediterranean diet staple that has a home in the MIND diet is olive oil. Researchers recommend using it as your primary cooking oil, and avoiding butter and margarine.
Embrace meat-free meals – Brain-healthy eating encourages consuming meat sparingly Beans, lentils and soybeans, which pack protein and fiber, make a worthy substitute. They’ll keep you full and are rich in B vitamins, which are important for brain health.
Have fish once a week – Adults age 65 and older who ate fish once a week or more scored better on memory tests and tricky number games than those who had seafood less often.
Feel free to savor a glass of wine – Studies suggest that light to moderate drinking may lower the risk of dementia. Given the risks of alcohol, it’s probably not a good idea to start drinking it just for the possible brain benefit. But if you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner, you can continue the habit on the MIND diet