(WXYZ) - If you’re worried about dementia, you might want to embrace the Mediterranean diet as new research finds it could reduce your risk.
Following a healthy diet like the well-known Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet can have an impact on your mental health, lowering your risk of dementia by a third.
Researchers scrutinized the eating habits of nearly 6,000 Americans with an average age of 68. The people who stuck closely to the Mediterranean or MIND diet had a 30 percent to 35 percent lower risk of cognitive impairment.
The Mediterranean and MIND diet are not the same, but they have similarities. They both focus on plant-base cooking and include plenty of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and seeds. If you’d like to try these healthy eating styles, here are my prescriptions:
Avoid butter and stick margarine, and replace them with olive oil. It’s a healthier fat.
Avoid refined sugar, salt, fried food, fast food and sweets. Instead, use spices or herbs to flavor foods.
For protein, eat fish, chicken, eggs and legumes like beans and lentils. Red meats can be added to Mediterranean dishes but only in small portions for added flavor.
Eat plenty of vegetables like kale, spinach and broccoli. Aim for a variety of plant foods and have them make up the majority of your meals.
Yes, another study followed just over 7,000 women for over 10 years. The average age was 71. And those who stuck closely to the MIND diet had a 34 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's.
Another study involved MRI scans of 330 adults. Researchers found people who ate foods like sweets, fried and fatty foods had a higher risk of a shrinking brain and lower cognitive function. These studies show how important eating healthy is for your mind.