Dash stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop High Blood Pressure. The foods in the Dash diet are rich in potassium, calcium and magnesium.
The Dash diet focuses on vegetables, fruits and whole grains and includes fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, poultry, beans and nuts.
Limit foods high in salt, added sugars, and saturated fats, such as fatty meats and full-fat dairy products.
The Mediterranean diet emphasizes plant-based foods and healthy fats. Eat mostly vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Olive oil is the main source of fat.
Dr Oliver Shannon is a lecturer in nutrition and aging at the University of Newcastle in the UK. His recent research found that greater adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with 23 percent. reduced risk of dementia.
About 17 of 1,000 participants eating a Mediterranean diet developed dementia during a nine-year follow-up period. For those who had the highest level of adherence to the Mediterranean diet, only about 12 in 1,000 developed dementia.
In many Western countries, he says, including the UK, people typically have little commitment to eating this way.
There are cardiovascular benefits of the Mediterranean diet that could contribute to the brain health benefits, Shannon says; what is good for the heart tends to be good for the brain as well.
Holland says there are additional benefits, especially when you consider the Dash element of the Mind diet and know that high blood pressure is a risk factor for dementia listed in The Lancet medical journal.
But there’s something else, he says: Biochemical processes in our bodies cause cellular and eventually organ-level damage.
We call this cell damage oxidative stress. When we ingest foods that contain antioxidants (such as vitamins A, C, E and flavonoids), especially those found in the Mind diet, the antioxidants act as reducing agents and essentially destroy those free radicals and prevent further cellular damage.
Furthermore, the nutrients contained in Mind diet foods also have anti-inflammatory properties.
While inflammation is a natural process in our bodies, necessary for multiple immune responses, prolonged or excessive activation of our immune systems can also cause damage to our brains as well, says Holland.
Eating foods that contain nutrients with anti-inflammatory properties can potentially prevent excessive activation or continued response of inflammatory cells and prevent cell damage.
Ideal foods include dark green leafy and other greens, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, and extra virgin olive oil or oil equivalent.
Within Mediterranean countries, people who follow the traditional Mediterranean diet most closely tend to have lower rates of dementia
Foods to avoid and certainly to avoid overeating are red and processed meats, butter or margarine, high-fat cheeses, fried foods and fast foods, desserts and sweets.
It’s not just about eating the right things, it’s also about avoiding the wrong foods.
An important component of this way of eating, says Holland, is reducing your intake of trans fatty acids which can ultimately lead to fat streaks and, more worryingly, fatty plaques which can decrease blood flow and, at worst in cases, rupture and cause heart problems. attacks or hits. Any cardiovascular event is also a threat to brain health.
Holland’s advice is to do your best to avoid bad foods by optimizing your intake of the good ones. That’s because a good diet, such as the Mind Diet, slows the rate of cognitive decline, the incidence of Alzheimer’s dementia, and the burden of Alzheimer’s-type neuropathology.
A poor diet, like many Western-style diets that rely heavily on fast food, can lead to the opposite: greater cognitive decline, more Alzheimer’s dementia, and more neuropathological burden.
While it is better to adopt positive health changes early in life, Shannon adds that it’s never too late to make changes.
Healthy change shouldn’t be viewed as some sort of punishment, she says. A Mediterranean diet is highly palatable and enjoyable, so there may be the double benefit of both health benefits and health benefits enjoy trying new foods.
The good news, she says, is that even small changes, like using olive oil as a cooking fat or adding a few extra vegetables to a meal, could make a big difference to someone’s Mediterranean diet score.
But remember, Holland says, that while diet is definitely a key factor, it’s only one component of a healthy lifestyle.
Lifestyle modifications that have been shown to have an association with delayed cognitive decline or a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s dementia include moderate to vigorous physical activity, an active social life, cognitively stimulating activities such as visiting museums, reading books or start a new hobby, good quality and quantity of sleepand stress reduction, she says.
Proper control of blood sugars and blood pressure is also important for brain health, as well as going to the primary care doctor once a year for a medical evaluation.
Of her attitude to brain health, Holland says: I work hard to practice what I prescribe, exercising four to six times a week and eating right, although I admit I can do a little more cardio and eat a wider range. of vegetables.
Do do people in the Mediterranean have a lower incidence of cognitive decline with age?
It can be difficult to make comparisons of dementia prevalence between countries, Shannon says. But she points out that in Mediterranean countries, people who follow the traditional Mediterranean diet more closely tend to have lower rates of dementia.
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