Most dieters have one of two primary objectives: weight gain or loss. However, there are many different diet regimens, and not all have a linear focus on weight gain or loss. For instance, keto is excellent for people who have diabetes, while people who want to improve their brain’s health can engage in what is known as the M.I.N.D. diet. This diet can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, -a disease generally linked to the degenerative decline of a human’s cognitive functions.
What the Mind Diet Does and How It Prevent Alzheimer’s
This diet was curated by Martha Clare Morris, ScD, and her colleagues in 2015 and has been indicated to lower the risk of A.D. by 53% in participants that strictly followed the diet, while the risk of A.D. was lowered by 35% in those that did not strictly follow the diet. According to research, the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay -or simply, MIND Diet can significantly lower your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (A.D.), even where you don’t strictly follow the diet.
With the understanding that dementia is the seventh leading cause of death as of 2021, the MIND Diet aims to improve the aging brain. However, you should note that no research currently proves the reversal of A.D. through this diet.
Featuring a higher consumption of berries and green vegetables, the MIND Diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet -two plant-based diets. The MIND diet targets plant-based foods, simultaneously limiting the intake of animal-based products and concentrated saturated fat. Research corroborates this high intake of berry-based supplements, as a 2022 review of about 11 studies indicates a strong link between berry-based supplements and cognitive functions. Further, studies have shown a link between eating leafy vegetables, such as spinach and collard greens, and a slower decline in cognitive abilities. This could result from the link between eating green vegetables and reduced inflammation and oxidative stress -the two factors that, per a 2010 study, are associated with A.D.
You can eat other things when you’re on the MIND Diet. These include:
- Vegetables that are green and leafy;
- Nuts, like almonds, cashews, etc. You should serve these nuts at a minimum of 5 per week;
- Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries, are served at a minimum of two per week.
- Beans, whether kidney beans, black beans, or pinto beans, with a minimum serving of three per week.
Finally, there are foods you should avoid on this diet. These include:
- Red meat;
- You should eat no more than one tablespoon of butter and margarine daily.
- Cheese; and
- Fried or fast food.