In Focus:

Mind diet may cut your Alzheimer's risk

Have you heard of the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet for high blood pressure or the Mediterranean diet for heart health? When it comes to protecting your brain health, a hybrid of the two eating styles may be best.

Dubbed the "MIND" diet, short for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, this eating pattern goes big on natural plant-based foods while limiting red meat, saturated fat and sweets. And observational studies suggest the diet can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 53 percent as well as slow cognitive decline and improve verbal memory.

 

Researchers developed the diet by looking at the Mediterranean and DASH diets, then focusing on the foods with the most compelling findings in dementia prevention. Vegetables, especially leafy greens, rose to the top. In general, fruit didn't, though berries made the list.

Then researchers tracked detailed eating logs in an older adult population for an average of 4.5 years to uncover trends among the diets of those who developed dementia versus those who didn't. Their discovery: Older adults whose diets most closely resembled the pattern laid out in the MIND diet had brains as sharp as people 7.5 years younger. That's a substantial difference, since delaying dementia by just five years has been suggested to cut the cost and prevalence of the disease in half. Read the whole article

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