New Study Says MIND Diet May Help Prevent Common Aging Problem
By now, if you want to live a long, healthy life, you probably have an idea of how different foods affect your body. You may have even noticed, for example, which breakfast foods leave you groggy all day versus which give you the energy you need in the morning.
Scientists continue to explore how what we eat affects not only our body, but our mind as well. This is why the MIND diet is particularly interesting: it combines elements of the Mediterranean diet with those of the DASH diet to create a diet designed to improve your cognitive health. New research reveals that this diet can help seniors fight dementia, even when they have physical markers related to Alzheimer’s disease.
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The study, published in the Alzheimer’s Disease Journal, examined the data of 569 deceased people. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center compared their performance on cognitive tests performed late in life to information about their diet as well as their post-death autopsy reports. Researchers found that people who followed the MIND diet performed better on cognitive tests, even when their brains showed the physical signs – plaques and tangles – that are so typical of Alzheimer’s disease.
This suggests that the MIND diet might play a role in helping older people keep their spirits sharp, even if their bodies are working against them.
“This study suggests that our food choices may build resilience against cognitive decline as we age, even when the physical signs of Alzheimer’s disease are present in the brain,” Maggie Moon, MS, RD, best-selling author of The ESPRIT diet, Recount Eat this, not that! in an interview. “This is especially important because the drugs aren’t working, at least not right now. Even when they remove some of the plaque from the brain, they haven’t been able to reduce or slow cognitive decline.”
The name MIND diet is not only a statement of the intended benefits of the diet, it is also an acronym. It stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The researchers propose that the more people stick to this diet, the lower their risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Foods recommended in this diet include “leafy greens, a variety of vegetables, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, beans, berries, poultry, fish and wine in moderation. », Explains Moon.
“There is also a set of recommendations for foods to limit in your diet,” says Julie Andrews, MS, RDN, CD, FAND, author of The Brain Health Cookbook: MIND Diet Recipes to Prevent Disease and Improve Cognitive Power. “These foods include fried foods, processed and red meat, whole dairy products, sweets and pastries. These foods can still be included in your diet, for example if cheese is your favorite food, but it is recommended to limit them and focus more on the superfoods of the MIND diet. “
The researchers behind this study also point to previous studies that suggest that foods on the MIND diet are high in antioxidants, have anti-inflammatory properties, and are associated with protecting people’s cognitive health.
To learn more about how to make food choices that will keep you alert, be sure to check out these 10 Best Foods to Boost Your Brain. So, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter!