Let’s begin our six steps plan for boosting our cognitive fitness and talk about our favorite topic: Food. Food nourishes our body and brain alike. We eat a different range of food depending upon our culture The kind of food you eat every day can have an impact not only on your weight, heart health, cancer risks but also on your mood, attention, alertness, and the risk of developing dementia. Millions of neurons run between gut and brain. The gut-brain axis is a link between the central nervous system and the enteric nervous system. Cognitive and emotional centers in the brain are connected to the peripheral intestinal functions.
Research shows that a diet contains an abundance of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains with a limiting amount of animal proteins is best for cognitive fitness. So selecting a brain-healthy diet is the first and simple way for working towards cognitive fitness. Researches tell us that people who are overweight or underweight due to improper eating habits are unable to utilize 100 % potential of their brain.
LET FOOD BE THY MEDICINE AND MEDICINE BE THY FOOD- HIPPOCRATES
Nutritionists emphasize the most important strategy is to follow a healthy diet plan that includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole-grain, with limited animal protein.
What is the mind diet?
The aptly named MIND diet is a research-based eating approach that combines elements of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, which reduces hypertension, through a produce-rich diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, MIND stands for Mediterranean –DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. MIND emphasizes a plant-based diet with few animal products. Research shows that it may reduce Alzheimer’s risk by as much as 53% among those who followed it strictly for an average of four and a half years. Older adults who stuck with the diet experienced slower mental declines, making them equivalent of 7.5 years cognitively younger than their peers who were following other diets.
Following are the 10 brain healthy food groups to include in your daily meals and snacks as given by MIND:
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Other Vegetables
- Berries, esp. Blueberries
- Whole Grains
- Olive Oil/mustard oil/coconut oil
- Red wine.
MIND SPOTLIGHTS FIVE UNHEALTHY GROUPS TO LIMIT OR AVOID:
4. Pastries and Sweets
5. Fried or fast food.
My next unit will be based on Brain Draining food.