Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 5 million Americans over age 65, and currently, there is no cure. Even though Alzheimer’s has a genetic predisposition, new studies show that what you eat can possibly prevent the disease. A new diet called the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) might lower your chances of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
The MIND Diet
Researchers have found that people who eat a diet rich in berries, leafy greens, and fish have a major decline in their risk for Alzheimer’s. The MIND diet consists of eating certain foods from 10 food groups:
- Green, leafy vegetables, like spinach and salad greens: at least six servings a week
- Other vegetables: at least one a day
- Nuts: five servings a week
- Berries: two or more servings a week
- Beans: at least three servings a week
- Whole Grains: three or more servings a day
- Fish: once a week
- Poultry (chicken or turkey): two times a week
- Olive Oil: use it as your main cooking oil
- Wine: one glass a day
You should avoid:
- Red meat: less than four servings a week
- Butter and margarine: less than a tablespoon daily
- Cheese: less than one serving a week
- Pastries and sweets: less than five servings a week
- Fried or fast food: less than one serving a week
Why it Works
One of the biggest findings from one study that was conducted was that people who strictly followed the MIND diet lowered their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 54%.
Researchers also found that adults who partially followed the diet still decreased their risk of the disease by about 35%. Conversely, people who only followed the diet moderately had almost no drop in their risk for Alzheimer’s. Even if you don’t have a genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, scientists and nutritionists believe that eating a diet rich in whole foods instead of processed and genetically modified foods is still highly beneficial for your overall health. The MIND diet is a great way to get on the road to better health and possibly reduce your Alzheimer’s risk. In addition to following the MIND diet, you should get regular exercise and manage your stress levels to lower your risk even more.