Mercy's Leigh Tracy, RD, LDN, CDE, Explores Foods Best for the Brain
Leigh Tracy, RD, LDN, CDE, a dietitian at The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy Medical Center, focuses on helping patients with various chronic conditions make healthy and manageable diet choices. In this recent email interview with Woman’s World, Leigh explores the importance of certain foods for facilitating brain health…
Any thoughts on why berries are particularly healthful for the brain?
Berries – full of antioxidants called anthocyanins, which help protect our cells against damage from free radicals.
Are there other brain-benefiting foods you encourage women over 40 to add to their diets? If so, which ones, why (what are the properties that make them particularly beneficial?) and how much should readers incorporate into their diets?
In addition to berries, include dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, red wine, fish, poultry, and olive oil.
Dark leafy greens – the darker the color the better because there are more nutrients. Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and collards to name a few. Dark leafy greens contain fiber, folate, and carotenoids, which act like antioxidants and help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Nuts and fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and walnuts are healthy fats that have anti-inflammatory properties.
It is recommended that people who following the MIND diet should aim to consume at least three servings of whole grains, a salad, or another vegetable daily as well as a glass of red wine.
Snack on a ¼ cup of unsalted nuts every other day. Consume beans 3-4x/week. Fish once a week, and berries and poultry about twice a week.
Limit butter (less than 1 tablespoon per day), cheese, fried foods, and fast foods.
--Leigh Tracey, RD, LDN, CDE
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.