Eat Your Way to Brain Health

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Dr. Quinn Arnaud
Dr. Quinn Arnaud

What you eat has a huge impact on your brain. The correct combination of certain foods can enhance memory, build new brain cells, and even help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. The M.I.N.D. diet, developed by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, can slash the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by up to 53 percent. M.I.N.D. stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. According to the study, people who ate one to two green leafy vegetables a day were cognitively 11 years younger than those who ate fewer greens. It also found that supplementing the already brain healthy Mediterranean diet with additional servings of olive oil and nuts—both of which boast inflammation fighting unsaturated fats—enhances memory and information processes.

 

Who wouldn’t want their mind to be sharper and clearer day in and day out? This diet could really take off given the recent increase of Alzheimer’s patients in the United States. The diet lists a few combinations of foods and explains why they can be beneficial. Olive oil and leafy greens, such as broccoli, spinach, and kale, are superfoods that help fight inflammation. Uncontrolled inflammation over time can damage the brain and cause neurons to die. Beets, tomatoes, and avocados help ensure that your brain receives the blood it needs to stay sharp. Studies show that increased blood flow to the brain promotes neuron growth in the hippocampus, the area of the brain associated with learning and memory. Nuts (especially walnuts), curcumin, and pomegranates work deep in the brain to fight off amyloid plaques. These plaques, in too great a quantity, kill neurons which creates inflammation, which kills even more neurons. Fish, blueberries, grapes, and dark chocolate increase the level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that supports the growth of new neurons. It is like Miracle-Grow for the brain!

 

At Alexandria Spine & Rehab Center, we want to be part of your health care team. We can coach you in diet changes, and we have other ways of reducing stress on your brain allowing it to function better. Give us a call today to see how we can help you at (318) 651-6250.