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MIND Diet Could Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

by Laura Beans

New studies show that the Mediterranean-base MIND diet could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 50 percent
Recent research out of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL, has developed a MIND Diet that can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by more than half. The study found that even adhering to the diet’s core principals moderately could cut the risk by 35 percent.
The MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) is a combination of Mediterranean and DASH diets.  It involves 10 brain-healthy food groups (beans, berries, fish, greens and other vegetables, nuts, olive oil, poultry and wine) and five food groups to avoid (animal fats, fast food, fried food, added sugar and red meat). Along with a few simple rules, such as limiting butter to less than one tablespoon per day, even indulgences are allowed, though the diet encourages restricting them as much as possible.
Berries are the only fruit to make the cut—blueberries especially contain flavonoid compounds thought to improve cognitive function, and can slow the progression of age-related, degenerative diseases. Kale, collards, spinach and other leafy green vegetables are chock full of brain-boosting nutrients like vitamin K and suggested by MIND in daily salads. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in fish and even the antioxidants in red wine have a positively vital effect on the hippocampus, a part of the limbic system that is essential to learning and memory.
Other factors—such as genetic disposition—do contribute to the risk of developing dementia, but the foundations of the diet are also attributed to decreasing the risk of cardiovascular conditions like heart attack, hypertension and stroke, which just means there’s nothing to lose!
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia, causing crippling memory loss and debilitating intellectual ineptitude, endured equally by surrounding family members and loved ones. The Alzheimer’s Association reports some sad national statistics: The disease affects more than 5 million people, and it ranks as the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.

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