With the semester now in full swing, school has taken over our brains. From keeping track of due dates to making sure you are in the right Zoom class, it’s all anyone can think about. That being said, it’s important to remember to take care of the organ that makes it all happen: your brain. September is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the Kendall Reagan Nutrition Center has some food for thought when it comes to preventing this disease.
First, let’s talk about what Alzheimer’s Disease is. Alzheimer’s affects the brain and causes inflammation, plaque build-up, and increased cell death. The outward expression of AD can present itself in many ways, including changes in thinking, memory, and motor abilities, as well as in behavior and personality.
Luckily, there are ways you can lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s through your diet! The KRNC has a whole blog dedicated to the “MIND” diet. The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet has been shown to slow down the process of cognitive decline by including foods that are known to be protective against this disease. The diet also warns against foods to limit and avoid, although dietitians say the MIND diet should be used as a guide to encourage the consumption of brain-boosting food groups.
Here are the KRNC’s tips for MINDful eating:
- Be bold with berries (2 or more servings per week)
- Load up on leafy green vegetables (at least 1 serving per day)
- Focus on healthy fats (1 or more servings of seafood per week)
- Build your plate around grains and beans (3 or more servings of whole grains per day, 4 or more servings of beans per week)
- Limit meats and sweets