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Dr. Martha Clare Morris is the creator of the MIND diet and has written a new book entitled Diet for the Mind that details what one should eat to prevent a decline in cognitive ability.
Dr. Morris explains that Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that affects one’s ability to function in life. It is a progressive disease that is characterized by memory loss plus the loss of one other cognitive function.
In creating the MIND diet, Dr. Morris evaluated scientific literature on the brain and nutrition and included core components of both the Mediterranean and DASH diets, as both have been shown to yield strong cardiovascular benefits.
Major components of the MIND diet include:
- Green leafy vegetables – consumed almost daily along with one other vegetable daily
- 2 to 5 servings of berries per week and other fruits to your liking
- At least 1 seafood meal per week
- Reduce fried food, sweets and pastries, and limit use of butter
Dr. Morris explains that diet and exercise are the primary driving forces for chronic diseases associated with aging. Apart from maintaining proper nutrition, there are other principles to incorporate into one’s lifestyle that can help to prevent or slow the progression of dementia. These include stimulating the brain by challenging one’s self cognitively to build the cognitive reserve and maintaining a positive outlook on life.
More randomized trials are needed to confirm the relation between sleep and a reduced risk. However, sleep appears to be a time of regeneration in the brain when bad proteins are removed.
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