MIND Diet Blueberry Muffins to Help Reduce the Risk of Dementia

The MIND Diet

Recently reported at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, results from four large population-based studies support a connection between good dietary practices and better cognition in old age.
A group of U.S. scientists found that, among nearly 6,000 older adults in the Health and Retirement Study, those who consistently followed diets long known to contribute to cardiovascular health were also more likely to maintain strong cognitive function in old age. They found that sticking to the specially designed MIND diet and Mediterranean diet was associated with 30 to 35 percent lower risk of cognitive impairment in healthy older adults. In fact, the investigators discovered that those with healthier diets exhibited meaningful preservation of cognitive function.
  • The Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets were originally developed or codified to help improve cardiovascular health.
  • A hybrid of these diets, called the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay,or MIND diet, is gaining attention for its potential positive effects on preserving cognitive function and reducing dementia risk in older individuals. A 2015 study found that individuals adhering to this diet exhibited less cognitive decline as they aged (Morris et al. Alzheimer’s Dement. 2015; 11:1015-22).

The MIND diet takes the Mediterranean diet as well as the DASH diet and creates an eating plan that has a significant impact in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. It emphasizes eating from 10 brain-healthy food groups, and avoiding eating from 5 unhealthy food groups.

Our Discovering Connections group (an early-stage engagement program at the Alzheimer’s Association Houston & Southeast Chapter) created a cookbook consisting of easy to follow recipes that they enjoyed in their personal lives. This activity provided individuals with early-stage Alzheimer’s who experience early memory loss with a greater sense of independence with meal preparation. The following recipe is inspired by their food memories from the cookbook:

Recipe

These simple, healthy Blueberry Muffins are a great way to start your day!

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup cashew (or almond) butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners for easy removal.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the 3 eggs with the cashew/almond butter until smooth, then whisk in the maple syrup and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, baking soda and salt. Stir this mixture into the egg mixture until you have a fully combined batter, then stir in the blueberries.
  4. After the blueberries are stirred in, spoon or pour the batter into the lined muffin pan to fill each cup about ¾ full to make 12 muffins
  5. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center of one comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Enjoy!

Other Recipes to Try

MIND_Diet_Breakfast

Check out our Pinterest to see other MIND Diet Breakfast ideas!

AlzTex Admin

The Alzheimer's Association Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter (www.alz.org/texas) consists of families, caregivers, scientists, health professionals, and concerned citizens who are committed to finding a cure for Alzheimer's Disease and to easing the burden of Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders on patients and their families and loved ones.