Did you know eating a Mediterranean diet stops Alzheimer’s disease and brain shrinkage? The Los Angeles Time reported on Oct. 21 that the brain shrinks in old age (that’s why the elderly slow down and suffer memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s). But happily, you can slow aging by eating more fish, less meat and other brain food swaps on the Mediterranean diet. Following the Mediterranean diet helps with weight loss, heart health and a bunch of other condition, too. Here are more brain food swaps to slow aging, lose weight and improve health.
One thing that deters people from starting new diets is that they are afraid they’ll have to eat weird things or buy expensive “diet” food. That’s what’s cool about the Mediterranean diet: it features common, simple foods, sourced locally and simply prepared. Senior citizens aren’t known for liking new foods. They like foods they ate it as kids. And that’s what the Mediterranean diet is: lots of vegetables, legumes (think soup beans), whole grain cereals (oatmeal), fish and monounsaturated fatty acids like olive oil (instead of transfat or saturated fats). And the old folks love it because it isn’t processed junk food. It’s homemade like mama used to make. And those elderly people tested who ate a brain food Mediterranean diet had larger brain volumes than those who didn’t.
Here are other Alzheimer’s busting Mediterranean diet food swaps. Eat light, whole grain 35-calorie per slice bread over regular bread. Regular bread has a shocking 2-3 times as many calories as diet bread. Diet bread loses calories, high fructose corn syrup, transfat and sodium, but retains fiber and fatty acids (essential brain food to lose weight and slow aging). Eat flaxseed, chia seed, almonds and oatmeal instead of cereal or toast for breakfast. Drink lowfat milk, not skim (too little good fat) or whole milk (too much fat). Trade butter and mayo for olive oil margarine and mayonnaise. Use avocados instead of spreads, milk, eggs, oil and fats, even in baking.
Greek yogurt doesn’t just slow aging, it can stop Alzheimer’s in its tracks! Greek yogurt is super healthy, with antioxidants, probiotics and acidophilous, plus it has double protein. Make Greek yogurt smoothies. Add fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit, apples, melon or bananas. Walmart’s 4-pound frozen blend of strawberries, peaches, mangoes and pineapple has only 70 calories per cup. Add an Emergen-C packet (for metabolism boosting, antioxidant vitamin C) and light almond, cashew or coconut milk and blend. Swap sour cream and cream cheese for Greek yogurt or avocados.
Slow aging and increase brain health by reducing salt. The highly-rated DASH diet advocates cutting sodium to lose weight, too. Eat low sodium vegetable soups. Make homemade veggie soup by dicing summer squash, zucchini, tomato, celery, purple cabbage, peppers, mushrooms and onions. Simmer in a broth made salt-free Spike, salt-free Mrs. Dash, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. Add a little liquid smoke or chipotle for a bite.
Swap hot dogs, lunch meat, sausage and bacon for light turkey and chicken deli meat. Serve fresh chicken sausages and turkey hot dogs. Skip meat altogether and try a nut and seed vegan burger. Roast a big portabello mushroom or sweet potato and serve instead of meat. Eat more fish. Broil salmon, swordfish, pollock, cod or tuna steaks. Season with lemon juice, dill and Greek yogurt. How’s that for yummy brain food swaps to slow aging and beat Alzheimer’s