More researchers find links between diet and cognitive age.

Written By By Emily Miracle

More researchers find links between diet and cognitive age.

Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are both terrible, slowly progressive diseases. If a few diet changes may help prevent it, why not try it?

A study of some 6,000 older adults showed that those who followed certain diets had better cognitive function. They were the Mind Diet and the Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet has a large vegetable focus with vegetables, fruits and whole grains as the main food group. It contains olive oil instead of other oils or butter and includes beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices.

Other components are fish and seafood about twice a week to obtain healthy omega-3 fatty acids and moderate amounts of poultry, yogurt, cheese and eggs. Water is the key drink and red wine can even be enjoyed in moderation. Red meat and sweets should be minimal.

The Mind Diet is a mix of Mediterranean and dietary approaches to stopping hypertension or DASH dieting, with some other peculiarities for brain health. The most important brain health foods are leafy vegetables, vegetables, berries, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry and olive oil. One glass of red wine per day is also included. The foods that you should limit and usually avoid are red meat, butter, margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried foods.

Switching to one of these diets may be a difficult change for some, but there may be some cognitive benefits.

Emily Wunder is a dietitian and a certified nutritionist. She is from Berks County and is Regional Wellness Director at Eurest, Charlotte, N.C. Contact her:


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