Simple Dietary Changes for a Healthy Brain

Simple Dietary Changes for a Healthy Brain

Researchers from the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging have found that making simple changes to our diet can have significant effects on the health of our brains. It’s been proven that what is good for our bodies is also good for our grey matter!

The Brain-Healthy Eating Guide, developed by Team 5 (nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle) of the consortium, is based on evidence specifically focused on cognition in old age. According to Guylaine Ferland, a professor in the Department of Nutrition at the University of Montreal and co-director of the guide, studies have shown that a healthy diet promotes better memory, faster reasoning abilities, and overall brain function improvement, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

While the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide aligns with the Canadian Food Guide and recommended diets for conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension, it distinguishes itself by the emphasis it places on the following foods: small fruits (fresh or frozen) which are rich in polyphenols; walnuts and fatty fish (such as salmon, trout, and sardines) as sources of plant-based omega-3s; cruciferous and leafy green vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach, mesclun, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and kale) as sources of vitamin K.

The guide also provides additional tips and advice for a healthy brain, such as varying food choices and opting for colorful options, choosing whole grains (such as oats, brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, and barley) over refined grains (such as white rice, white pasta, and white bread), consuming low-fat dairy products, using extra-virgin olive oil for cooking and in dressings, adding legumes to soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries, limiting consumption of red meat, processed meats, as well as foods high in added sugars and salt.

So, no revolutionary changes required in our plates. Just small steps to provide our brain with all the nutrients it needs to function at its best!

Download the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide and discover recipes from various cultural traditions that promote brain health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide?
The Brain-Healthy Eating Guide is a resource developed by the Canadian Consortium on Neurodegeneration in Aging. It provides evidence-based recommendations for a diet that promotes brain health and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

2. What is the basis of the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide?
The guide is based on research specifically focused on cognition in old age. It aligns with the Canadian Food Guide and recommended diets for conditions like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, and hypertension.

3. What are some key foods emphasized in the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide?
The guide emphasizes the consumption of small fruits rich in polyphenols, walnuts and fatty fish as sources of plant-based omega-3s, and cruciferous and leafy green vegetables as sources of vitamin K.

4. What other tips are provided in the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide?
In addition to specific food recommendations, the guide suggests varying food choices and opting for colorful options, choosing whole grains over refined grains, consuming low-fat dairy products, using extra-virgin olive oil for cooking, adding legumes to meals, and limiting consumption of red meat, processed meats, and foods high in added sugars and salt.

5. What are the benefits of following a brain-healthy diet?
Studies have shown that a healthy diet promotes better memory, faster reasoning abilities, and overall brain function improvement. It also reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

6. Where can I download the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide?
You can download the Brain-Healthy Eating Guide and discover recipes from various cultural traditions that promote brain health.

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