According to a new study from the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the newly developed Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet may significantly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's. Moreover, it still has mental benefits even if it's not strictly followed, making it a more practical option than other diets for preventing Alzheimer's.
The MIND diet was created by Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., by combining the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean diet. Both of these diets have been shown to reduce Alzheimer's risk, but if they aren't followed strictly, they lose any benefits they may have had if followed to the letter. The MIND diet was created to be easier to follow than either the DASH or Mediterranean diets.
According to the study, this seemed to be the case. The MIND diet includes three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable, a glass of wine and a serving of nuts every day, beans every other day, poultry and berries twice a week and fish once a week. The researchers studied the food intake of 923 Chicago residents between the ages of 58 and 98, and found that those whose diets most closely mimicked the MIND diet had a 53 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer's than those on no diet. What's more, even if the subjects didn't strictly follow the diet, they still lowered their risk of Alzheimer's by 35 percent.
The researchers also found that the longer participants had followed the MIND diet for, the greater its benefits.