Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive disease that destroys brains cells. Currently the cause of it is unknown, however researchers are beginning to understand the role of specific nutrients in a persons’ diet and how protective they can be in preventing or slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center and Harvard School of Public Health teamed up and published results of an observational study, wherein they found that strict adherence to the DASH or Mediterranean diet decreased risk for AD and those with a moderate adherence to the MIND diet showed the greatest reduction of risk. (1)
The evidence that the MIND diet reduces the occurrence of AD and slows cognitive decline is gaining quick traction. (2)(3)
The MIND diet was developed by Martha Clare Morris, PhD a nutritional epidemiologist and her colleagues. Essentially, it is a hybrid of the DASH and Mediterranean diets and is broken into brain healthy and brain un-healthy foods. (4)
The brain healthy foods include: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, wine.
The brain un-healthy foods include: red meat, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets, fast food, fried foods.
To implement the healthy foods, follow these daily guidelines. Include three servings of whole grains, one leafy green salad, one other vegetable serving, a glass of wine, snacking on nuts and eating berries twice per week.
The diet also includes eating beans every other day, poultry twice per week and fish once per week.
In regard to the “unhealthy” category, you should limit butter to less than 1 tablespoon per day and less than a serving per week of cheese, fried or fast food.
Researchers also found that participants who had been moderately adhering to the MIND eating plan for longer had an even greater reduction in developing AD. (4) So, start now! Begin by implementing one component of the MIND diet, commit it to memory and then move on to the next and in no time you will be a MIND diet master.
- Morris, M. C., Tangney, C. C., Wang, Y., Sacks, F. M., Barnes, L. L., Bennett, D. A., & Aggarwal, N. T. (2015, September). MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging. Retrieved June 23, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4581900/
- Morris, M. C., Tangney, C. C., Wang, Y., Sacks, F. M., Bennett, D. A., & Aggarwal, N. T. (2015, September). MIND Diet Associated with Reduced Incidence of Alzheimer’s Disease. Retrieved June 23, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532650/
- Marcason, Wendy. What Are the Components to the MIND Diet? Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics , Volume 115 , Issue 10 , 1744
- Diet May Help Prevent Alzheimer’s. (n.d.). Retrieved June 23, 2017, from https://www.rush.edu/news/diet-may-help-prevent-alzheimers