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MIND Diet May Help Boost Brain Function

Here’s some food for thought: Research has found that a new diet, aptly named the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, may slow the rate of age-related cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. A recent, large observational study, published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia, found that participants following the MIND diet had a slower rate of cognitive decline than participants following other diets. And those who adhered most strictly to the MIND diet had the cognitive function of a person who was 7.5 years younger when compared with participants on other diets.

Another large observational study published in the same journal found that participants who adhered rigorously to the MIND diet reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53% compared with participants who only followed it moderately. In addition, even moderate followers had a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease compared with those not following the MIND diet, and compared with those only moderately following other diets with brain-healthy reputations, such as the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet.

While taking up this diet may seem like a no-brainer, more clinical research is needed to confirm the results in more populations and to understand the MIND diet’s link to brain health. In the meantime, if you’re interested in trying it out, here are two good things to keep in mind:

  • Eat brain-boosting foods. The MIND diet is comprised of ten brain-healthy food groups: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and wine. It includes at least three servings of whole grains, a salad, and one other vegetable every day. It also includes at least two servings of berries and poultry and one serving of fish per week, and a serving of beans every other day or so. The diet also advises snacking on nuts and drinking a daily glass of red wine.
  • Avoid brain-bummer foods. On the flip side, the MIND diet designates five food groups as unhealthy—red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food. According to the diet, one should eat less than a single tablespoon of butter per day and no more than a serving a week of butter, cheese, and fried or fast food.

Source: Alzheimer’s & Dementia

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