This diet may help lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, researchers say
You may have heard about the Mediterranean or DASH diets that help reduce risk of heart disease. But, a team of researchers from Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago say a similar “hybrid” diet does even more to reduce risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet puts the most emphasis on foods that years of research suggest have good effects on brain function. These “brain-healthy” food groups include mostly plant-based foods like whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, and berries. But, fish and chicken are also included. Red meat is on the “unhealthy” list, but the diet allows for four servings a week. It’s also recommended to limit intake of butter, cheese, sweets, and fried food.
Mediterranean and DASH diets have also been shown to benefit the brain. However, when the Rush University researchers compare all three diets, they reported two key differences: People on the MIND diet had a much greater drop in risk of Alzheimer’s, and they saw significant results even if they followed the diet only “moderately well.”
The MIND diet could also be easier for many people to follow, says Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., who led the Rush University team. The Mediterranean diet, for example, calls for eating three to four fruit and vegetable servings every day and regular consumption of fish. The only fruit highlighted by the MIND researchers is berries, especially blueberries. “They’ve proven to be potent at protecting the brain,” Morris says.
An example of an ideal meal: bean or chicken burrito with brown rice, salad and a vegetable side dish. For snacks, nuts and berries.
Many factors may affect a person’s risk of getting Alzheimer’s. Scientists are still puzzling over dementia’s causes and cures, but many studies have produced evidence that what we eat may play a role. “We think that the longer people eat this diet consistently over time, the less risk they’ll have of Alzheimer’s disease,” Morris says.
A Week of Healthy Brain Foods
Eating this many servings of these foods will lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers who designed the MIND diet.
What to eat
Limit these foods