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The MIND Diet: Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

The MIND Diet: Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease (AD)

A new diet, known as the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), could significantly lower a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to a paper published online for subscribers in March in the journal Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association. Researchers found that people who followed the diet closely had a 53 percent lower chance of developing Alzheimer's, and those who only moderately adhered to the diet still lowered their risk of developing the devastating brain disease by 35 percent.

Alzheimer's disease is an incurable, progressive degenerative disease of the brain. It is the most common form of dementia, a broad term for the deterioration of brain function which results in loss of memory, reduced language skills and behavioral and emotional problems.

Morris, a Rush professor, assistant provost for Community Research, and director of Nutrition and Nutritional Epidemiology and her colleagues have developed the MIND diet based on information that has accrued from years' worth of past research about what foods and nutrients have good, and bad, effects on the functioning of the brain over time.


Blueberries are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain

The MIND diet has 15 dietary components, including 10 "brain-healthy food groups" -- green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine -- and five unhealthy groups that comprise red meats, butter and stick margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.

The MIND diet, advices a person to eat,

  • The MIND Diet: Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease (AD)Three servings of whole grains

  • A salad

  • One other vegetable every day

  • A glass of wine

  • Snack most days on nuts,

  • Have beans every other day

  • Eat poultry and berries at least twice a week

  • Fish at least once a week.

 One should limit  the intake of the designated unhealthy foods, especially butter (less than 1 tablespoon a day), cheese, and fried or fast food (less than a serving a week for any of the three), to have a real shot. The longer a person eats the MIND diet, the less risk that person will have of developing AD.

The DASH and Mediterranean diets also help to reduce a person's risk of AD - by 39 percent and 54 percent, respectively.


Dated 24 March 2015


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