Last week, I told you about a report that said you’re not destined for dementia. This week, I can confidently say that by putting your MIND to work, you can lower the chance for Alzheimer’s.
The MIND diet was birthed by researchers at Rush University and it’s shown an ability to substantially reduce the risk of dementia by protecting and restoring brain health. That’s right, I said restore. It appears that no matter your age, the MIND diet has the ability to produce positive benefits. Those benefits appear to grow the longer you’re on it, but even a shorter start date can yield positive results.
MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay and is a combination of a Mediterranean-style diet and the DASH diet. It’s a cross between these two heart-healthy eating styles than can lower the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack, and stroke. The diet has been ranked as highly effective, very easy to follow, and one of the best diets overall.
Early studies have shown this hybrid diet can lower the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53-percent in participants who followed it to a tee, and by about 35-percent of those who stuck to it in moderation. So even just adhering to the diet for a couple of meals/snacks per day can improve cognition and protect from Alzheimer’s, a disease that may affect more than 5.5 million Americans, many 65 and over.
Foods that make up the bulk of the MIND diet include:
- Leafy greens and other vegetables (try to have a serving with every meal)
- Nuts – Snack on them daily, trying to have at least a handful. They can also be added to salads, oatmeal, and more.
- Beans, try to include them in a meal every second or third day.
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Wine – in moderation, of course!
Red meat, butter, margarine, and cheese can fit in, albeit moderately. Once or twice a week is reasonable. Pastries, candies, fast food, and processed foods should also be limited to one serving per week (but none if you can do it).
As you can see, the MIND diet won’t bust your brain—it’s pretty easy to follow and allows for plenty of healthy options creativity.