The human brain takes up only 2% of our total body weight yet uses 20% of our daily energy intake! The food we eat day in and day out plays a very important role in our brain’s health. Food provides the energy our brain cells need to function on a daily basis.
Also read, New Study Links Internal Clock to What and When People Eat.
A balanced diet that reduces the risk for chronic conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases, is also important for brain function. Healthy blood vessels are needed for good blood flow to the brain, so following heart healthy recommendations is key for heart and brain health. We need to focus on keeping the whole body healthy!
Researchers are studying two specific dietary patterns for their role in brain health. At Rush University Medical Center and Harvard School of Public Health, researchers have created the MIND diet, a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diet. In a recent observational study, closely following the MIND diet was associated with 53% reduction of developing Alzheimer’s.
In Canada, Baycrest Health Sciences recently published the Brain Health Food Guide to help adults over age 50 with maintaining brain function. Following a dietary pattern similar to this guide has been associated with reducing risk for Alzheimer’s by 36%. More research is needed to confirm results for both dietary patterns.
How to follow a brain healthy diet? Here are five key nutrition tips that combine recommendations from the MIND and Canadian diet:
SOURCE Janice Tien, OSF Saint Francis Medical Center
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