If you’re looking for a diet fad that can help you or your older loved ones keep a sharper mind, consider the MIND diet. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It was developed by experts at the Rush University Medical Center who wanted to create a diet to improve cognitive function. It is best described as a combination of the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.
Image credit: flickr/dorenawm
This diet plan divides foods into fifteen groups, 10 that are healthy for the brain and 5 that are to be avoided completely. Those which are considered unhealthy are no surprise and include red meats, butter, margarine, sugary treats, fried foods, and fast food. The healthy foods include whole grains, beans, nuts, leafy greens, and other vegetables. Only berries make the list from the fruit family, and meats like chicken and fish are occasionally allowed.
To wash all that down, followers are encouraged to do so with a glass of red wine. Proponents of this diet claim that elderly adults that are strict followers of it have tested a full seven and a half years younger cognitively when compared to others their age who are not following the MIND diet.
In their most recent study, researchers at Rush University looked at 960 adults with an average age of around 80 over the course of about five years. What they found is that those that followed the diet most closely had slower mental decline than those who were the furthest away from the diet’s recommendations. “The study findings suggest that the MIND diet substantially slows cognitive decline with age,” wrote Rush’s Martha Clare Morris, in her team’s report published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia.
So bring your favorite bottle of wine over to the retirement center and tell grandma it’s time to work on her mental functioning.
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