Various Mediterranean foods, Omega-3 foods

From Sharp Health News, a publication of Sharp HealthCare

Once again, experts have given us an additional reason to eat a plant-forward diet.

According to a recent study, a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, fish and healthy fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, can reduce a person’s chance of developing dementia by nearly 25%, even if they have a family history of the disease.

A Mediterranean-style diet has diverse micronutrient and anti-inflammatory properties that can help slow cognitive decline. The diet also promotes increased consumption of omega-3 monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Omega-3 fats are found in:

  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Tuna
  • Omega-3 eggs
  • Chia seeds, walnuts and flax seeds
  • Avocados

Foods that can increase your risk of dementia

When it comes to foods to avoid when trying to decrease your risk for dementia, studies show consuming a diet high in processed foods may contribute to chronic inflammation.

Ultra-processed foods to avoid include:

  • Prepackaged sweets and desserts
  • Processed meats
  • Fast food
  • Deep-fried food
  • Salty, packaged snacks

Lifestyle choices make a difference

To further help slow cognitive decline and reduce the risk of dementia, experts recommend additional lifestyle changes, including:

  • Get regular physical exercise.
  • Stay socially active.
  • Maintain daily cognitive activity.
  • Abstain from smoking and alcohol.

What you eat can have a significant impact on your brain function and memory. A Mediterranean diet is a great way to ensure you’re eating a healthy diet and may be essential for good brain function.

The VEBA Resource Center offers many Cooking & Nutrition Classes. Join us to learn how to blend the art of food and cooking with the science of medicine to optimize your overall health and wellness – all while having fun! Check out our calendar to sign up for an upcoming class.