Food is essential fuel for the body, but it also has the power to boost, preserve, and protect our brain health.
Kensington Park Senior Living recently partnered with Chef Annie Fenn, MD and founder of Brain Health Kitchen, to present how the powerful group of foods that make up the MIND Diet can decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Dr. Annie Fenn also shared nutritional tips and recipes from her new cookbook to illustrate how to incorporate the MIND Diet into everyday life.
Read on to learn more about the event, and how the MIND Diet can improve brain function and reduce the rate of cognitive decline.
Our services are designed to improve and enhance the quality of life—for both our residents and those who love and care for them.
The partnerships are a source of connection and support for the caregivers in our community.
Our recent partnership with Dr. Annie Fenn was an exploration of the MIND Diet.
The MIND Diet combines two trusted cardiovascular diets—the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet—and creates a new diet that takes the best from both to boost brain health.
Dr. Annie Fenn created the Brain Health Kitchen in 2015 to be an evidence-based online resource about how and what to eat to resist cognitive decline.
In her presentation to the Kensington Park community, she highlighted the benefits of the MIND Diet and performed a live cooking demonstration of recipes from her new cookbook, “The Brain Health Kitchen: Preventing Alzheimer’s Through Food.”
Kensington Park Senior Living’s chef, Chef Morissa, ensures residents have access to flavorful, nutritious, high-quality foods that meet their dietary requirements — including the MIND Diet.
Let’s take a look at how the MIND Diet works, and what makes the foods in this diet so powerful to our brain health.
The MIND Diet stands for the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
The Mediterranean and DASH diets are both known to improve overall health and cardiovascular health in particular.
The MIND Diet contains the most powerful brain-health ingredients from each of these diets and creates a dietary pattern that focuses specifically on brain health.
It’s designed to prevent dementia and the loss of brain function as we age.
The MIND Diet contains the following foods:
- Whole grains
- Leafy green vegetables
- Olive oil
It also limits sweets, red meats, fried foods, cheese, and butter.
Researchers say that because the MIND Diet doesn’t have structured meal plans to follow, seniors have more flexibility in the dishes they create and the ingredients they use.
However, this also means the diet can be difficult to follow for those who don’t cook.
Fortunately, Dr. Annie Fenn’s cookbook contains suggestions for simple swaps in your cooking, as well as foods to include, foods to limit, and foods to avoid.
General serving suggestions for the MIND Diet include three daily servings of whole grains, a daily serving of leafy green vegetables, a daily serving of nuts, two weekly servings of poultry, and one weekly serving of fish.
You could begin incorporating these foods with a daily salad for lunch, a whole-grain food item with each meal, and snacking on nuts during the day.
The MIND Diet also recommends using olive oil as the preferred oil.
The MIND Diet is rich in vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids that are connected to strong brain health.
Foods such as berries and leafy green vegetables are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which can help protect the brain from cell damage.
According to one study, those who ate one serving of leafy green vegetables per day slowed their rate of cognitive decline by 32%.
A healthy diet such as MIND can not only slow cognitive decline in those who already have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but prevent cognitive decline.
The MIND Diet should be part of a balanced, healthy lifestyle that includes quality sleep, exercise, and an active social calendar for the best results.
Kensington Park Senior Living offers a full range of services to help your loved one find a healthy balance and the highest quality of life — including gourmet dining and a full calendar of life enrichment activities.
The Kensington Park Senior Living team understands what it means to be a caregiver. After all, we are a community of caregivers.
This deep understanding drives Our Promise to love and care for your family as we do our own — a Promise that extends to the families of our residents.
Whether your senior parent is seeking independent living, or you are seeking assisted living or memory care for a senior parent or family member, we are here to offer our resources and support every step of the way.
Our recent event with Dr. Annie Fenn is one of many ways we connect our expert partners with our community caregivers, to help families get the support they need to be successful.
We offer a full spectrum of support for our assisted living and memory care residents, including medication administration from licensed nurses, a full calendar of life enrichment activities, and rehabilitation services.
We also offer specialized memory care, with three “neighborhoods,” Kensington Club, Connections, and Haven, to address specific needs and levels of care.
Contact us today to learn more about how our community can meet your and your loved one’s unique needs.
Feel free to also check out our upcoming calendar of events, our informative blog, and our virtual tour to help you make a plan for your or your senior loved one’s current health goals as well as long-term care needs.
We look forward to welcoming you into the Kensington Park Senior Living community!