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How the Nordic diet could keep dementia at bay

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A Nordic diet may be the way to stave off dementia, a new study has found. It's previously been hailed as an 'it diet', but new research has discovered that eating meals high in fish, non-root vegetables, fruit, rice and chicken, plus lots of water and tea, can help keep the brain healthy as we age.

Wine also makes the cut, with a moderate amount of the alcohol, as well as eating pasta and rice, helping to protect the brain too. A team from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden carried out the study, looking at whether the Nordic diet had any impact on brain function in 2,223 people.

nordic diet

Eating a Nordic diet may help stave off dementia

It was found that those who stuck to the diet, either well or very well, were 80 per cent less likely to experience a significant decline in memory and thinking skills. "We found that some more specific foods within Swedish general eating habits may exert a significant effect on cognition that had seldom been considered by previous studies," lead researcher Dr. Behnaz Shakersain said. Their results were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in London.

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Other papers submitted at the conference showed that the Mind diet, which limits red meat and pastries and favours nuts, berries, beans, leafy greens and olive oil, and the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables and olive oil and low in meat and dairy, are also beneficial for staving off dementia. "The shared characteristic of all these healthy eating patterns was the emphasis on higher intake of plant-based food," Dr. Shakersain added. "Yet we believe specific food items might be the main players in brain health."

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