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March 2019 National Nutrition Month: Brain Health

Henry County Health Center | February 20th, 2019

Do you wish your memory was better, or dare I say it’s just not what is used to be when you were younger? Well, some food may promote brain health!

The MIND diet is based on the Mediterranean and DASH diets, but with additional emphasis on food to maintain cognitive function. The study findings were released in September 2015 that looked at 923 individuals age 58-98 and followed for an average of 4.5 years. Findings showed a 53% reduction is the development of Alzheimer’s even in those that moderately followed the diet during the study.

So what should we eat more of and how often?

-Green Leafy Vegetables Such as: every day

-Other Vegetables: at least once per day

-Nuts: every day (One ounce of nuts is about 24 almonds, 18 cashews, 48 pistachios or 14 walnut halves. Two tablespoons of nut butter is equivalent to one ounce.)

-Beans: every other day

-Whole grains: three times per day

-Fish: at least once per week

-Poultry: at least twice per week

-Olive oil

Berries were the only fruit specifically included in the MIND Diet study, because they are the most potent foods in terms of protecting the brain. Tufts’ research labs found blueberries and other blue and purple fruits packed with anthocyanins. This colorful plant chemical can cross the blood-brain barrier and directly affect the brain. Enjoy a handful of berries for a snack, mixed into cereal or baked into an antioxidant-rich dessert. You can reap these benefits from fresh, frozen or dried berries and cherries.

 

Berry Syrup Recipe

  1. Use a 2-cup, glass measuring cup or microwave-safe dish;
  2. Pour 1 cup of frozen blueberries into the cup or dish;
  3. Drizzle with honey;
  4. Warm in microwave—try 30 second pulses and stir now and then until the berries are warm;
  5. Pour or spoon over whole grain pancake or waffle.

Looking for more ideas to have your food work for you? Join Elise Klopfenstein, HCHC Clinical Dietitian the third Wednesday of the month at 11 am at The Fellowship Cup for Fresh Conversations. Or contact her by email: KlopfensteinE@hchc.org or phone 319-385-6143 to learn more.

Resource/Links from text:

MIND Study- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532650/

Green Leafy Vegetables: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/myplate/vegetables/gallery/Dark-Green%20Vegetables

Tuft’s Blueberries Study: https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/issues/10_16/current-articles/Blueberries-Good-for-Your-Blood-Pressure-and-Brain_1690-1.html