Can diet prevent or slow down Dementia?

By Siobhan Marnewick

Reduce your risk of Dementia by adopting a healthy diet.

I don’t know about you, but every day in the media I get informed on what I should or should not eat. One day blueberries are the new so-called ‘superfood’ that will reduce our risk of developing dementia, the next it is the humble plum.

But what information can we rely on to be accurate? Can the food we eat reduce our risk of developing dementia? 

The best way to reduce your risk of dementia is by not only adopting a healthy diet, but also to adapt various aspects of your lifestyle taking regular exercise, not smoking, and maintaining normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Healthy DietBy focusing on adopting a healthy diet, there is some evidence that eating a Mediterranean-style diet (one of many healthy diets) can reduce the risk of developing problems with memory and thinking and getting some forms of dementia.

The Mediterranean diet incorporates different principles of healthy eating that are typically found in the areas bordering the Mediterranean Sea:

  • Focus on fruit, vegetables, especially leafy green vegetables.
  • Nuts – aim to eat five or more servings of nuts each week.
  • Whole grains – aim for at least three servings daily. Choose whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta and 100% whole-wheat bread.
  • Replace butter with healthy fats, like olive oil.
  • Use herbs to flavour food rather than salt.
  • Limit red meat.
  • Fish – eat fish at least once a week. It is best to choose fatty fish like salmon, sardines, trout, tuna and mackerel for their high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Poultry – eat chicken at least twice a week.