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The MIND Diet for Brain Health

Render illustration of "MIND DIET" title on head silhouette with cloudy sky as a background.

It’s never too early or too late to start taking care of your brain health. In fact, diet is an important predictor of how well our brain ages.

The MIND diet stands for “Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay” and its goal is to prevent dementia and loss of brain function as we age. The MIND diet is a blend of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet.

The Mediterranean Diet is based on the traditional foods enjoyed by those living in Mediterranean countries including Italy and Greece. Researchers found that these people actually had a lower risk of diseases such as heart attack, stroke, type 2 diabetes and premature death. This diet focuses on eating vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

The DASH Diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Research shows that this diet is helpful in lowering high blood pressure. This diet also emphasizes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes as well as low fat dairy products and lean protein.

When followed rigorously, the MIND Diet results in a 53% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease. When the MIND Diet is followed modestly (i.e. not perfectly), it still results in a 35% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.

According to the MIND Diet, here are the 10 foods to eat for brain health:
– green leafy vegetables – at least 1 dark green salad every day
– other vegetables – at least 1 other vegetable every day
– whole grains – at least 3 servings every day
– nuts – at least 1 ounce (30 g) every day
– beans or legumes – at least every other day
– berries – at least twice a week
– fish – at least once a week
– poultry – at least twice a week
– olive oil – this is the oil of choice
– wine. If you don’t drink alcohol, purple grape juice provides many of the same benefits.

And here are the 5 foods to avoid/limit:
– red meat
– butter/margarine
– cheese
– pastries/sweets and
– fried fast food.

5 Things You Didn’t Know about Citrus

Citrus

From health to wellness, here are 7 fun facts about oranges & lemons.

1. Citrus contains flavonoids, a special type of plant chemical that can be beneficial against heart disease and cancer.

2. Just one orange supplies over 100% of your daily quota for vitamin C, not to mention other nutrients such as fibre and potassium.

3. A Meyer lemon is a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon. Meyer lemons have a bright, thin skin and are sweeter / less acidic than regular lemons.

4. Citrus peel is packed with an essential oil called linalool, which might help relieve stress.

5. Hot water can actually extract flavonoids from the citrus peel. So go ahead and enjoy a cup of hot water with lemon!

References:
Research from Master Chefs at Johnson Wales University, July 10, 2014.
Benavente-Garcia O and Castillo J. Update on uses and properties of citrus flavonoids: new findings in anticancer, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory activity. J Agric Food Chem 2008, Aug 13;56(15):6185-6205.
Xu GH1, Chen JC, Liu DH, Zhang YH, Jiang P, Ye XQ. Minerals, phenolic compounds, and antioxidant capacity of citrus peel extract by hot water. J Food Sci. 2008 Jan;73(1):C11-8.

Disclosure: I was invited to speak at an event featuring citrus fruit, however this is not a sponsored post.

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