Eating Plan for Brain & Heart Health

I hope you had a great Mother’s Day weekend.  I got to spend time with my sweet Grandmother who has Alzheimer’s disease.

With her in mind, I thought I’d share some info on the Mediterranean Diet. Research shows that following a Mediterranean Diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits and vegetables and wine with meals may protect brain function, reducing the likelihood of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease. And the Mediterranean diet is well known for its heart health benefits. It’s been shown to help lower the risk of stroke and heart attack by as much as 30%.

Now, you can reap the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet without actually living in Italy or Greece (though that sounds like a good option to me).  Here are some tips to get started:

  • Swap olive oil for margarine or butter when you saute or roast vegetables.
  • Focus on fish. Eat at least 2 servings of fish (of the non-fried variety) every week.
  • Make nuts, beans and whole grains part of your everyday diet.
  • Experiment with meatless meals.
  • Choose oatmeal or other whole grain cereal for breakfast instead of grits more often than not.
  • Skip the chips. Enjoy a handful of almonds, pistachios or other nuts instead. Nuts are more satisfying and help with blood sugar and weight control.

May is International Mediterranean Diet Month.  And what I’ve shared here is just the tip of the iceberg.

If you’re ready to get started, try my recipe for Smoky Spinach & Chickpeas pictured above.

 

 

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