Your MIND on healthy foods...
There are currently more than 5 million people in the U.S. living with Alzheimer’s disease, and this number is expected to triple by 2050. Alzheimer’s disease affects not only patients but their caregivers. Right now, there is no cure for the disease, and it’s the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.
While genetics certainly play a role, lifestyle and environment likely also contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s. There has been a lot of research on the part of healthy diet in the prevention of the disease and other types of age-related cognitive decline, most recently in the development of the MIND diet. The MIND diet is an acronym for
Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay
Both the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) have received accolades for their approaches to good health, and both were recently mentioned in the 2015 US Dietary Guidelines The MIND diet combines these approaches into one plan.
Research backs the MIND diet up. A study of 923 older adults in Chicago found that those who adhered strictly to the diet reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s dementia by 53%. Most interestingly, was that those who followed it even just some of the time still saw a reduction in risk of 35%.
So what’s on the MIND diet? The Infographic is a great place to start. You’ll notice that it’s high in plant foods like leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts), berries, beans, and nuts. It also emphasizes fish, poultry, olive oil and even moderate servings of wine! While you can still occasionally indulge in sweets, meats, butter, and cheese, these are limited to just a few times a week as they are high in saturated fat, which has been shown to be detrimental to the brain.
In the next few blogs, we’ll break down the WHY each of these foods benefit your brain!