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chef annie fenn with her cookbook cover

The Kensington Redondo Beach Presents: Brain Healthy Diet With Chef Annie Fenn, MD

The Kensington Redondo Beach is pleased to have hosted guest Chef Annie Fenn (MD) at our latest event featuring the MIND diet.

This event explored how a more beneficial diet designed by two of America’s most acclaimed academic institutions—Harvard and Rush University—can help reduce the odds of developing dementia like Alzheimer’s.

This online event featured a wide range of topics relating to the growing awareness of the connection between food and brain health. Let’s review what was covered.

Details of the MIND event

Dr. Annie Fenn, MD and originator of Brain Health Kitchen, presented the advantages of the MIND Diet. This new approach to cuisine has demonstrated results that can reduce the danger of developing Alzheimer’s and other mental illnesses.

Dr. Fenn performed a live cooking session of dishes from her new cookbook, “The Brain Health Kitchen: Preventing Alzheimer’s Through Food”, distributed by Artisan Books in 2023.

The MIND diet is an exciting new fusion of the Mediterranean and DASH diets to form an eating routine especially intended for brain well-being.

This diet is designed to combat dementia and psychological deterioration as you age.

To help you explore the MIND Diet, Chef Annie offers dietary suggestions and recipes from her book, which she calls “a manual for taking care of the brain.”

Other topics discussed include:

  • Discover ten brain-healthy food groups that are also delicious.
  • Six food groups that are a good idea to limit or avoid for a healthier brain.
  • Find out some simple swaps at mealtime to improve thinking skills and reduce the risk of dementia like Alzheimer’s.

Who is Chef Fenn?

Annie Fenn, MD. is a former board-certified ob-gyn who created The Brain Health Kitchen, a unique cooking school devoted to brain health. This new approach for a cookbook looks into how food and lifestyle can help protect someone against cognitive decline.

Her mother’s dementia diagnosis inspired Fenn to combine her talents in the culinary arts and medical knowledge to help make an essential difference for dementia patients and their caregivers. Fenn resides in Jackson, Wyoming, and can be found on Instagram at @brainhealthkitchen.

A quick summary of the MIND diet

An article recently released in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association discussed the MIND diet and its potential to reduce Alzheimer’s disease risk. 

Dr. Martha Clare Morris and her team of nutritional epidemiologists formulated the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet.

The MIND diet was found to have the capability to reduce the probability of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53 percent in those who adhere to it strictly. Furthermore, even those who follow it moderately found a 35 percent capacity to reduce cognitive decline.

The MIND diet is based on a wealth of research indicating the effects of food and nutrition on the brain over time, both positive and negative.

Morris expressed that she was delighted when she saw the results obtained from the new diet—a combination of Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets.

Both diets have also been demonstrated to diminish the danger of cardiometabolic disorders like hypertension, heart attack, and stroke. Other researchers have also found that the two diets can protect against dementia.

In a recent study, the effects of following the MIND diet were compared with the results from two other diets.

Of the people who strictly followed the DASH and Mediterranean diets, those folks had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD)—39% for the DASH diet and 54% for the Mediterranean diet.

As an additional bonus, they also found that the MIND diet was simpler to follow than the Mediterranean diet, which requires daily consumption of fish and three to four servings of fruits and vegetables.

Studies of diet and dementia connection

According to the National Institute on Aging, observational research that did not involve treatment showed that the Mediterranean diet was linked to a lesser chance of developing dementia.

The Mediterranean diet differs significantly from the Western-style diet, which contains more red meat, saturated fat, and sugar.

Although not all studies have shown a connection between proper nutrition and improved thinking, the balance of evidence indicates that following the Mediterranean diet (or a similar regimen) may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, and dementia, or slow down the rate of cognitive decline.

Newer studies advocate that consuming fish may be the most influential element regarding higher cognitive ability and slower cognitive deterioration.

Furthermore, the Mediterranean diet could raise specific nutrients that safeguard the brain due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

It may also hinder beta-amyloid deposits, which are present in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, or enhance cellular metabolism in ways that safeguard against the illness.

The Kensington Redondo Beach: caring for caregivers and their families

Caregiving is not an easy job. Often there are challenging days that might match or overwhelm the good days that we cherish so much.

The Kensington Redondo Beach knows about caring for our older loved ones. We’ve seen how families come together to help some of our most vulnerable members daily.

We also know why having the proper resources can make a large and significant difference in the lives and well-being of our residents.

From our rehabilitation facilities to our memory care community that deals with dementia issues all the time, we strive every day to find the right ways to help everyone live their best lives.

If you’re looking for more information, resources, connections, or all of the above to help with your caregiving needs, reach out to one of our staff members. See how The Kensington Redondo Beach can be a partner for your caregiving.

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