Diet and Brain Health 

Diet and brain health have often been discussed in science.  The Mediterranean diet has been studied for its benefits on cardiovascular health, but it has also been shown to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties.   

Inflammation is a driver of progression in Alzheimer’s.  The reason we may have higher inflammation compared to those following the Mediterranean diet is because the average western diet contains more red meat, too much saturated fat and too much sugar. 

The MIND diet is an adaptation of the Mediterranean diet.  The diet aims to reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s.  Studies on the diet have been shown to significantly lower the rate of cognitive decline. 

The focus of the diet is: Heart Care Healthy Food

  • Leafy green vegetables—at least 6 servings/week 
  • Other vegetables—at least 1 serving/day 
  • Berries—at least 2 servings/week 
  • Whole grains—at least 3 servings/day 
  • Fish—1 serving/week 
  • Poultry—2 servings/week 
  • Beans—3 servings/week
  • Nuts—5 servings/week 
  • Olive oil 
  • Limited servings of red meat, sweets, cheese, butter/margarine, fast/fried food 

These foods help to reduce inflammation and are high in antioxidants.  Just by adding or replacing some of these foods will help to increase your Mediterranean diet score, which will give you some of the cognitive benefits of this diet. 

However, remember diet is just one part of brain health, it is also important to exercise regularly, stop smoking and keep control of your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. 

Ryan Hodgkinson