How the Mediterranean Diet Lowers the Risk of Dementia
Healthy eating habits can boost memory and lower the risk of dementia. If your senior loved one follows the Mediterranean diet, he or she could protect the way his or her brain functions. Here are some of the ways the Mediterranean diet can preserve memory and help seniors slow the progression of cognitive decline.
Includes Leafy Greens
Kale, spinach, and collard or mustard greens are just a few of the plant-based foods your loved one can eat when following this diet. These leafy greens contain folate and carotenoids that lower the amino acid homocysteine, which is linked to cognitive impairment. The folate and vitamin B9 found in plant-based foods reduce the risk of depression and boost memory.
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Instead of salt, your loved one can use herbs and spices to season food when following the Mediterranean diet. Cinnamon, sage, and turmeric are just a few of the herbs and spices used in this diet that can stave off dementia. The natural components found in these herbs and spices break up brain plaques and reduce inflammation in the brain. As a result, your loved one’s risk of developing illnesses that make the brain age may be lower.
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Limits Red Meat Consumption
Red meat has been linked to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but the Mediterranean diet does not permit eating red meat more than two times per month. Instead, the diet calls for replacing red meat with fatty fish and poultry. Your loved one should eat these types of meats at least twice per week. Fatty fish contain the acids necessary to keep the brain in great shape and reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Includes Berries and Cherries
These fruits are emphasized in the Mediterranean diet. Fruits like blueberries, strawberries, cherries, and blackberries contain anthocyanin, which protects the brain from free radicals. The damage caused by free radicals prevents the brain from functioning normally and causes cognitive issues such as dementia. The vitamins C and E and antioxidants found in these fruits protect the brain by clearing out the toxins that cause dementia and other cognitive issues.
Replaces Butter with Olive Oil
Artificial flavoring can have a negative impact on the brain. Butter contains diacetyl, an artificial flavor that has been linked to dementia. Diacetyl can produce amyloid, a protein that speeds up cognitive decline, and it also disrupts the production of glyoxalase I, a protein that prevents amyloids from sticking together. By replacing butter with olive oil, your loved one’s body will get the omega-3 fatty acids necessary to clear the body of amyloids and other toxins that cause dementia and other serious health issues.
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