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Food for thought (literally): the MIND diet

At this point, it’s well-established that what you eat doesn’t just affect your body—the right combination of foods can improve memory, form new brain cells and help prevent Alzheimer’s.  The Mediterranean diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet have been popular, scientifically-backed options for years, so it’s only logical that scientists have found that a hybrid of those two regimens, coined the MIND diet, could be extra effective in preventing cognitive decline and protecting the brain against disease. Developed by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, the MIND diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 53 percent.

The following are a list of MIND foods to incorporate into your diet:

  • Green leafy vegetables (like spinach, broccoli and salad greens), olive oil and green tea are full of antioxidants to help fight neuron-killing inflammation.

  • Nuts (particularly walnuts) fight amyloid plaques in the brain, which kill neurons and create more inflammation.

  • Avocados, tomatoes and beets increase blood flow to the brain, which promotes neuron growth in the hippocampus, the brain’s hub for memory and learning.

  • Dark chocolate, blueberries, grapes, coffee and fish boost the amount of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that encourages the growth of new neurons.

At Waterstone at Wellesley, our talented chefs prepare delicious and nutrition-packed meals for our residents to promote healthy bodies and brains. We encourage you to keep the MIND diet in mind during your next trip to the grocery store or cafeteria! Find more information here