Scientists developed a diet that helps stop cognitive decline in stroke survivors.
The food choices we make can have a significant impact on our health. Numerous studies have proved, time and time again, that people who have a wholesome, well-balanced diet have better health. Now, it seems that eating particular foods can actually help your brain cope with the aftermath of a stroke.
Aptly named MIND, which is short for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, this diet is designed to preserve cognitive functions and prevent Alzheimer disease. This is particularly important for stroke survivors, who are two times more likely to develop dementia.
As a bonus, this brain-improving eating plan reduces the risk of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, or hypertension, which means it can be considered as a preventative, as well.
So, what types of food are a part of MIND diet? The team of scientists who developed it borrowed heavily from the diets considered to be the healthiest, Mediterranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, but focused primarily on foods that have a proven benefit to brain health.
The main ten foods this eating plan includes are:
- Green, leafy vegetables: At least six servings per week.
- All other vegetables: In addition to leafy veggies, you should have at least one serving of other vegetables per day.
- Berries: At least twice per week.
- Nuts: Minimum five serving per week.
- Olive oil: The only oil recommended- both for cooking and salads.
- Whole grain: At least three servings daily.
- Beans: Includes all types of beans and lentils- served circa four times a week.
- Fish: Preferably fatty types of fish, once a week.
- Poultry: Twice a week.
- Wine: Drinking a glass of wine each day is encouraged.
Ideally, people should also steer clear from guilty pleasures such as sugar, fried foods, or pastries, and keep their intake of red meat, butter, and cheese to the minimum.
The research included 106 participants, whose eating habits were monitored from 2004 to 2017, as well as their cognitive function. Even though this study was only preliminary, the results were encouraging: the more people suck to MIND diet, the slower the rate of their cognitive decline was. The findings indicate that this healthy eating plan could be what’s responsible for improving brain’s resiliency to loss of function, whether as a consequence of a person’s age or health history.
Although eating the recommended amounts of allowed foods is what guarantees the best results, it doesn’t mean that you can reap the benefits even if you’re not following everything to the letter. The study has shown that even in people who followed the eating plan only moderately had seen some improvement in their cognitive function and had reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
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