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What To Eat When You Have A Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Mild cognitive impairment is a condition in which one’s memory and ability to think gradually reduces. These changes are harmless and get resolved easily. It is not a serious condition. Mild cognitive impairment leads to impairments of one’s memory, language, thinking and judgment more than age-related changes.[1] These changes are noticed by the affected person himself, his family and close friends. These changes are not strong enough to influence one’s daily routine and usual activities. It is not a serious condition. In 5 to 20% of cases of mild cognitive impairment may progress to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and other neurological ailments.[2]

What To Eat When You Have A Mild Cognitive Impairment?

Diet cannot treat mild cognitive impairment still it plays a significant role in the control and even prevention of mild cognitive impairment. After the age of 60 years, one should stick to a Mediterranean diet to enjoy health benefits.[3] The progress of mild cognitive impairment can also be slowed down with diet modification and other lifestyle modifications.

Mediterranean diet is considered the healthiest diet among others as it provides several health advantages. It comprises of lots of fish, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat, whole grains, legumes, and unsaturated fatty acids. It promotes low consumption of dairy products and saturated fatty acids. The food items that should be consumed if you have mild cognitive impairment are-

Fish Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids– one should eat a high amount of food containing omega-3 fatty acids to manage mild cognitive impairment. Fishes like salmon, tuna, etc. are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can slow down the damage of brain cells provoked by aging and provide good health to both brain and heart.[4]

Fresh Fruits And Vegetables– fresh fruits especially berries and vegetables like legumes, leafy stuff, etc. can enrich you with essential nutrients like vitamins especially vitamin B 12 (its deficiency can cause mild cognitive impairment) and minerals for good brain health and keep you energized always.[5]

Whole Grains And Cereals– the introduction of whole grains and legumes supply you healthy carbohydrate and is good for brain and heart health. However, carbohydrate content in the diet should be low with less sugary kind of stuff.

Unsaturated Fatty Acids– unsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil should be present in the diet as a replacement of saturated fat and trans-fat for brain health. Trans fat and saturated fat may elevate the levels of lewy bodies and beta-amyloid bodies in the brain.[6]

Lean Protein– lean protein is found in fishes like salmon, tuna, etc., chicken breast and egg whites. These help in the normal functioning of brain cells.

The food that should be avoided in mild cognitive impairment are-

  • Saturated fat and trans fat
  • Red meat
  • Sugar-rich food like soda, desserts, etc.
  • Fast food like butter, whole cheese
  • Dairy products that are high in fat
  • Gluten rich diet

Regular and moderate consumption of alcohol is also allowed in mild cognitive impairment; however, it does not possess significant health benefits.[7]

Other lifestyle changes-

  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid smoking
  • Participate in mental and social activities regularly

Mild cognitive impairment is a condition marked by a slow deterioration of one’s cognitive abilities that include memory, language, judgment, and thinking. It is common in old age above 65 years, but it is not a serious condition to interrupt one’ daily routine and independent function. Mild cognitive impairment causes are basically damage of brain cells due to aging. Its symptoms include forgetfulness of important events, dates, location, names, etc. According to Alzheimer’s Association, diet and lifestyle management can effectively slow down and even reverse the changes brought by mild cognitive impairment.[8]


Mild cognitive impairment is a condition happening in old age which is characterized by gradual loss of one’s cognitive abilities such as memory and thinking. One can delay the progress of this condition by diet modification discussed above. Mediterranean diet is considered the best diet for people who have mild cognitive impairment.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:June 23, 2022

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