Did you know that some diets have the power to preserve and protect the brain? The Kensington Falls Church and Chef Annie Fenn, MD and founder of Brain Health Kitchen, recently hosted an educational presentation on the powerful effects of the MIND Diet on the brain.
During the presentation, Dr. Annie Fenn performed a live cooking demonstration. She also shared how the MIND Diet — a combination of Mediterranean and DASH diets — can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
Read on to learn more about the event, and how the MIND Diet can improve cognitive function and reduce the rate of decline.
The Kensington Falls Church frequently partners with experts to share the latest senior health research, news, tips, and insights with our community.
We’re passionate about supporting the caregivers in our community. We want to offer them the resources and connections they need to be the happiest, healthiest versions of themselves. And we want to help their senior loved ones do the same.
As part of these ongoing efforts, we recently hosted an event with Dr. Annie Fenn to emphasize how the MIND Diet specifically targets brain health. Studies have shown it can prevent dementia and loss of brain function as we age.
Dr. Annie Fenn is a physician and chef focused on Alzheimer’s disease prevention.
She founded the Brain Health Kitchen in 2015 as an evidence-based online resource for what to eat and how to eat to resist cognitive decline.
During the event, she performed a live cooking demonstration with recipes from her new cookbook, The Brain Health Kitchen: Preventing Alzheimer’s Through Food.
At our community, we understand the importance of the highest quality, freshest ingredients as part of a balanced, healthy diet.
We offer our residents and their families flavorful, nutritious meals that nourish the mind and body.
Let’s take a look at the foods involved in the MIND Diet, and how they specifically target the brain.
The MIND Diet is based on two powerful diets designed to improve cardiovascular health: the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet.
Both diets have been found to contribute to better brain health through their effects on the cardiovascular system.
Studies on the MIND Diet, which stands for the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, have found that it slows the rate of cognitive decline, and produces stronger results than the Mediterranean and DASH diets on their own.
The MIND Diet includes the following foods:
- Whole grains
- Vegetables and leafy green vegetables
- Olive oil
It also limits sweets, red meats, fried foods, cheese, and butter.
Researchers have found that while the MIND Diet is flexible, it doesn’t offer any meal plans or specific portion suggestions.
Dr. Annie Fenn’s book offers nutritional tips and recipes to start incorporating the MIND Diet into your life, including how to make simple swaps in your cooking.
The MIND Diet offers suggestions for daily servings of each group of foods.
For example, three servings of whole grains per day, one serving of leafy green vegetables, one serving of another kind of vegetable, fish at least once per week, and poultry at least twice per week.
It also requests that olive oil be used as the primary oil for cooking.
With those guidelines in mind, consider the following suggestions for how to start incorporating the MIND Diet into your life:
- Preparing a salad for lunch every day
- Eating oatmeal for breakfast, whole-grain bread with lunch, and brown rice with dinner for three servings of whole grains
- Snacking on nuts throughout the day
Fortunately, there are cookbooks such as Dr. Annie Fenn’s available for purchase, or you can check at your local library.
The MIND Diet includes foods that are rich in the types of vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids that are connected to better brain health.
For example, berries and leafy green vegetables in particular are known to slow or reduce cognitive decline, as well as healthy sources of fat such as olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
A healthy diet has the power to not only prevent cognitive decline but to slow cognitive decline in those who already have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
While the MIND Diet supports your brain health and overall health, it should also be part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, good sleep, reduced stress levels, and an active social calendar.
The Kensington Falls Church assisted living and memory care communities can help your loved one find a healthy balance in all aspects of life, from nutrition to friendships.
Our Promise is to love and care for your family as we do our own. This Promise extends not only to the wonderful residents in our community but to their family caregivers.
Our community strives to keep family caregivers updated and informed on all the latest news regarding Alzheimer’s disease and dementia research and treatments through our full calendar of events and website resources, including our blog and Kensington Konnect.
- Full-time registered nurse to coordinate care
- Staff of licensed nurses onsite 24 hours a day
- On-site physician’s office with regular hours
- Two tiers of memory care for early, middle and late-stage dementia
- Rehabilitation services and fitness center
- Medication administration
- Full calendar of life enrichment activities
- Individualized care plans
- All-day dining with complimentary meals for friends and family
- Accommodation of special diets
We offer specialized memory care for our residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, including two “neighborhoods,” Connections and Haven, that are designed to accommodate specific levels of need.
As part of Our Promise to love and serve your family, we offer true “aging in place,” where no matter how our residents’ care needs advance over time, they have a home with us.
If you’re seeking resources for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, please contact our loving team to learn more about our community and how we can help your loved one achieve their highest quality of life.