Jan 31: Scientists have created a hybrid eating plan that combines components of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet as a way to boost brainpower and slow cognitive decline and thus the chance of your getting Alzheimer’s Disease. Called hybrid diet MIND (Mediterranean Intervention (Dash) for Neurodegenerative Delay), it involves pastries and wine, as well as leafy greens, fish, poultry and berries
Researchers analyzed the diets of 106 people, from the well-known Rush Memory and Aging Project, who had suffered a stroke or cognitive decline that had reduced their ability to think, remember and reason over a 13- year period. The scientists found those who followed the MIND diet closely had significantly slower rates of mental deterioration - regardless of their education or activity levels.
Boost Brain Power with Augmented Mediterranean Diet
“The Mediterranean and DASH diets have been shown to be protective against coronary artery disease and stroke, but it seems the nutrients emphasized in the MIND diet may be better suited to overall brain health and preserving cognition,” says study author Dr Laurel Cherian from Rush University. "I like to think of the MIND diet as a way to supercharge the nutritional content of what we eat. The goal is to emphasize foods that will not only lower our risk of heart attacks and stroke, but make our brains as resilient as possible to cognitive decline,” he adds.
The MIND diet followers include:
· Green leafy vegetables (like spinach and salad greens): At least six servings a week
· Other vegetables: At least one a day
· Nuts: Five servings a week
· Berries: Two or more servings a week
· Beans: At least three servings a week
· Whole Greens: Three or more servings a day
· Fish: Once a week
· Poultry (like chicken or turkey): Two times a week
· Olive oil: Use it as your main cooking oil.
· Wine: One glass a day
The diet recommends avoiding :
- Red meat: Less than four servings a week
- Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon daily
- Cheese: Less than one serving a week
- Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week
- Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week
The Benefits of MIND Diet
One study showed that people who stuck to the MIND diet lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 54%. More importantly, researchers also found that adults who followed the diet only part of the time still cut their risk of the disease by about 35%. On the other hand, people who followed the DASH and Mediterranean diets moderately had almost no drop in their Alzheimer’s risk, the scientists have observed.
Scientists need to do more research on the MIND approach, “but it’s a very promising start. It shows that what you eat can make an impact on whether you develop late-onset of Alzheimer’s,” which is the most common form of the disease, reportedly says Cecilia Rokusek, a registered dietitian at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, USA.
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