Eating well is good for your mental as well as your physical health. The brain requires nutrients just like your heart, lungs or muscles do. But which foods are particularly important to keep our grey matter happy? According to research, these diets provide the best brain-boosting benefits thanks to the foods they’re made up of.
#1: The Mediterranean Diet
With plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, lean poultry, olive oil, pulses, nuts and seeds, the Mediterranean diet is great for brain health. A 2006 study found links between this diet and a lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease. Few have examined its direct effects on brain function, but a PREDIMED study showed that a Mediterranean diet – with extra olive oil and nuts – had distinct brain benefits compared to a low-fat diet.
#2: The Japanese Diet
A 2011 study that tracked 1000 Japanese people over 15 years, found that those who ate the most soya (tofu, miso edamame, soya sauce and milk), vegetables, dairy and seaweed lowered their dementia risk.
#3: The DASH Diet
This stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Originally designed to lower blood pressure, the DASH diet has been linked to slower cognitive decline in the Rush Memory and Ageing Project. The key ingredients? Fruit, vegetables, whole grains, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts, vegetable oils and low-fat dairy, as well as a limited intake of salt, sugar and red meat.
#4: The MIND Diet
Researchers from Rush University Medical Center developed a new combination diet called MIND (the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay). Studies have shown it may help lower Alzheimer’s risk by up to 53%.
Are you following any of these great diets?