A new study reveals that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, and whole grains could reduce your chances of developing dementia.
WASHINGTON,, DC, USA, May 3, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — Someone in the world develops dementia every three seconds. More than 55 million people are currently living with dementia.
Would you eat a green smoothie daily if you thought it would reduce your chances of getting dementia? A new study reveals that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds, and whole grains could do just that.
According to the Mayo Clinic, dementia is the umbrella term used to describe a wide range of symptoms, including memory loss, poor judgment, decreased focus, and changes in language and behavior. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, but there are many other types and causes of dementia.
A recent report published in the medical journal BMC Medicine indicates following a Mediterranean diet reduces a person’s risk of dementia by one-quarter, regardless of whether they carry the genes.
The study looked at a group of 60,289 people, over a span of nine years, who were part of the UK Biobank Study. Participants aged 40 through 69 used questionnaires to record how strictly they followed the Mediterranean diet, and afterward, only 882 were found to have dementia.
Those with higher adherence to the diet had less occurrence of dementia, underlining how important diet can be in dementia and Alzheimer’s prevention.
Alzheimer’s prevention is a global issue. Closer to home, more than six million Americans live with the disease, leading to significant social and economic burdens. As the size of the U.S. population over age 65 grows, so do the numbers of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that by 2050 that number may increase to 12.7 million.
What is the Mediterranean Diet?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, The Mediterranean diet is based on the eating patterns of countries that border the Mediterranean Sea, such as Greece, Spain, and Italy. This diet typically emphasizes whole, plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, healthy fats like olive oil and fatty fish, and moderate amounts of lean protein.
Key Components of the Mediterranean Diet:
Fruits and vegetables
Legumes and nuts
Whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat bread
Fish, shellfish, and poultry
Extra virgin olive oil as your healthy fat
Cheese and yogurt in moderation
Red wine with meals
Red meat and sweets only occasionally
Eating a wide variety of food ensures you get the nutrient blend you need to support your health. Additionally, fatty fish like herring and sardines can help fight inflammation and decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Tips for Eating the Mediterranean Way
Incorporating a few simple ingredients into your diet can be a great way to start eating the Mediterranean way, so start by thinking about what you can add instead of what you should take out.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Add in fresh vegetables whenever you can. Incorporate them into your breakfast with a green smoothie or a quiche cup loaded with broccoli. Have a salad for lunch, pack sliced peppers and carrots in your lunchbox, or have an apple with peanut butter in the afternoon.
Fruit is a great way to satisfy your cravings for sweets and berries. Serve fresh blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries as a dessert with a drizzle of melted chocolate. Add berries to your green smoothies in the morning for added sweetness. Try Greek yogurt with berries, nuts, and cinnamon for an afternoon snack.
Eat More Fish and Beans
Try to reduce your consumption of red meat by having fish or shellfish three times per week. Add beans, lentils, and legumes to replace some of the protein in red meat.
Alex Caspero MA, RD, Plant-Based Dietitian at Delish Knowledge, suggests, “Think beyond the lentil soup and black bean burger and lean into the many cultures around the world where beans and legumes play a starting role. Think lentil curry, beans and rice, dal, hummus, white bean salads, red beans, and rice; these are all examples of traditional recipes where pulses take a starring role and meat is either absent or present in very small amounts. Chickpeas tossed with olive oil and seasonings are a great stand-in for grilled chicken in salads, and cooked lentils make for a heart-healthy bolognese or stew.”
Eat Less Processed Food
Of course, there are items that we need to remove from our diets, and those are processed foods, sodas, and sweets. If you are addicted to soda, try switching to carbonated flavored water or adding fruit to still water. Find an alternative to salty processed snacks by making popcorn or eating whole-grain crackers with peanut butter. Try almonds, cashews, or pistachios in the shell for a satisfying crunchy snack.
No one diet can entirely prevent dementia, but the Mediterranean diet offers a promising approach to promoting cognitive health and reducing the risk of memory problems. Its focus on nutrient-dense foods, high-quality fats, fruits, and vegetables can improve brain function and overall well-being. Lucky for us, it is a relatively simple and enjoyable way to eat. Now grab an apple, and let’s do this!