People are always looking for diets which will ensure a healthy lifestyle. But who would have thought that scientists have got as far as to create a special diet to help with the protection against Alzheimer’s. A team of researchers at Rush University (Chicago) have developed the MIND diet, which can noticeably decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s. The study was published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The lead author of the study, Professor Martha Clare Morris, created the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neuro-degenerative Delay) diet combining elements from the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension diet).
DASH concentrates on lowering blood pressure and it’s heavy in fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy foods. MIND diet has vegetables, fish, whole grains and healthy fats as main foods. It is based on two categories: 10 brain-healthy food groups and five groups to be avoided. The healthy food groups include green vegetables, beans, nuts, berries, whole grains, poultry, fish, olive oil and wine. On the other hand, what should people avoid is fried and fast food, sugary foods, animal fats, red meat, cheese, butter, margarine, pastries and sweets. Vegetables and nuts are recommended to be consumed daily, whereas berries and poultry should be consumed twice a week. The foods from the group which should be avoided are not entirely prohibited, but their consumption should be reduced, for example no more than 1 tablespoon of butter per day is recommended.
In order to test how effective this diet can be the researchers designed food surveys which checked how close the diets of the participants were to the MIND, DASH or Mediterranean diets. The study was conducted on 923 participants with ages between 58 and 98.
After a 10-year-long study (2004 to 2013) the result was that people who followed this diet not necessarily all the time, but also occasionally, had an Alzheimer’s disease risk reduced by 53% compared to the ones who did not follow it. The ones who did not follow the diet very strictly had a 35% reduction in the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Indeed, there are many factors which influence a person’s predisposition to get Alzheimer’s, but nutrition has an important role on how the body responds to the treats. People who follow this diet consistently over the years will be better protected against this disease, according to Professor Morris.
Image Source: Mitch Fournier
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