How Diet Can Impact Memory Care For Seniors From an Indiana Assisted Home
How Food Can Support Seniors With Memory Challenges
We’ve all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat.” And the truth is, what we eat can have a significant impact on our physical and mental health. That is why at Heritage Point, a Mishawaka Assisted Living and Memory Care Community, we implement the MIND diet, which was created specifically to foster brain health. This evidence-backed diet is just part of how we support our residents both physically and mentally.
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have evidence that eating certain types of food and avoiding others may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent. These researchers based the MIND diet off of their studies, by sorting its “brain-healthy” food recommendations into ten food groups a person should eat and five unhealthy food groups to avoid. After testing this diet on almost a thousand seniors, the results were overwhelmingly positive. These results, which were published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, revealed that participants whose diets most closely followed the MIND recommendations had a level of cognitive function the equivalent of a person 7.5 years younger.
Follow along to learn more about the MIND diet and how it integrates with our memory care programs at Heritage Point!
What’s On The Menu?
You may be wondering at this point what exactly these magical food groups are that are so great for memory care! Here is a breakdown of the foods that appear frequently in our MIND diet recipes:
Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens) – at least six servings a week
Other vegetables – at least once a day
Nuts – five servings a week
Berries – two or more servings a week
Beans – at least three servings a week
Whole grains – three or more servings a day
Fish – once a week
Poultry (like chicken or turkey) – two times a week
Olive oil – used as our main cooking oil
These ingredients make it easy to combine great-tasting food and memory care! Craving a salmon dinner, or a refreshing salad? Love almonds as a snack? All of these dietary habits are actually great for your cognitive health and memory! However, there are some “unhealthy” food groups that are served less frequently at Heritage Point, in order to limit their effect on our residents’ brain health. The MIND diet recommends limiting the following foods:
Red meat – less than four servings a week
Butter and margarine – less than a tablespoon daily
Cheese–less than one serving a week
Pastries and sweets – less than five servings a week
Fried or fast food – less than one serving a week
Fill Your Stomach, Treat Your Mind!
The researchers of the MIND diet say that even “modest adherence” to these guidelines can make a significant impact on brain health. Plus, the longer you stick with it, the greater the benefits. This is why Heritage Point emphasizes that memory care, and care for one’s health in general, is so closely intertwined with diet. If you are what you eat, we are here to make sure that you are eating the best ingredients for a happy, healthy individual!
At Heritage Point, diet is just one way we support the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of our residents. We’re always happy to share more about memory care programs, residency benefits, and all of the other things that make our community amazing!
To learn more about residency or to schedule a tour of Heritage Point, contact our friendly team today.