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Can You Fight Dementia With Food? Chef Paula Wolfert Battles The Disease With Special Diet

Fighting dementia with food is once again gaining traction as Paula Wolfert’s special diet to stave off the disease resurfaced in The New York Times. Wolfert, an early proponent of Mediterranean cuisine before it was cool, was widely regarded in elite foodie circles for her recipes that many believe were ahead of their time.

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As the Times writes, Wolfert is suffering from dementia and created a special diet that includes salmon and the recently popularized bulletproof coffee, which involves adding butter to your daily java. The concoction has become a trendy weight loss tool, but there isn't any evidence supporting its use for memory loss. 

salmon-518032_1920 Study shows that replacing red meat, sweets and fried food with green leafy vegetables and fish could reduce dementia risk. Pixabay

First diagnosed in 2013, Wolfert then told the Washington Post of her brain boosting diet, “My feeling is, accept that it is what it is, but stall it by trying to do as much as possible.”

Wolfert explained to the Post she tried cardiologist Alejandro Junger’s popular month-long anti-inflammatory Clean Gut diet after seeing him appear on “The Dr. Oz Show.” She began eating dark chocolate after lunch, a practice she still keeps, and cut back on carbs and gluten.

But is there any science in Wolfert’s approach? Yes. A study conducted at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois, showed that a specific eating plan, dubbed the MIND diet, lowered Alzheimer’s risk (a type of dementia) by 53 percent in strict followers. Those who adhered to it moderately, decreased their risk by 35 percent. More than 900 participants from 58 to 98 years old participated in the study.

MIND is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets and emphasizes green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish and olive oil. The eating plan also requires limiting red meat, butter, cheese, fried foods and sweets. Followers consume at least three servings of whole grains a day, plus salad and at least one other vegetable serving. And good news for wine lovers - a daily glass of vino is allowed.

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As for Wolfert, the former chef may not have cured her dementia, but the Times reports that she is more alert and healthy. An added benefit of her dementia-battling diet? A slimmer waistline as Wolfert told the paper she’s dropped 20 pounds since following the plan.

See Also:

Can I Prevent Dementia? Super Food Blueberries Help Preserve Brain Activity, Cognitive Function, According To Science

Alzheimer's Brain: Why Many Neurodegenerative Disease Patients Wander Around Lost

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