Men's & Mental Health Resource Center (MHRC)

A Clinically-Proven Diet to Prevent Alzheimer's? Gotta Try

Alzheimer's is one of the most alarming words you never want to hear from your doctor, and apparently if you make improvement to your daily diet you may never have to.

A group of researchers at Rush University Medical Center developed a diet plan from a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, which they called the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, or MIND, diet.

The study involved 960 participants who followed the MIND diet for more than 4 years. At the end of the study, a significant improvement in cognitive decline with age was noticed.

It was concluded that participants who strictly followed the MIND diet had a 53% lower risk for Alzheimer's Disease, while those who followed the diet partially lowered their risk by 35%.

So, what is the MIND diet?

It is a diet plan that includes various categories of foods with proven brain-enhancing benefits. It does not restrict you to a specific food item, but rather you are required to have the following food groups in your diet:

  • Berries: Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and other berry fruits. (2+ servings/week)
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and others. (daily snacking)
  • Green leafy vegetables/salads: Spinach, broccoli, collard greens. (1+ serving/day)
  • A variety of other vegetables (1+ serving/day)
  • Beans (3+ days/week)
  • Whole grains (3+ servings/day)
  • Fish (1+ serving/week)
  • Poultry meat (2+ servings/week)
  • Olive oil (use for dressing and cooking)
  • Wine (1 glass/day) (optional)

You should also avoid or limit the following foods as much as possible:

  • Butter and margarine (less than 1 tablespoon/day)
  • Cheese (less than 1 serving/week)
  • Fried food (less than 1 serving/week)
  • Fast food (less than 1 serving/week)
  • Red meats (less than 3 servings/week)
  • Pastries and sweets (less than 4 servings/week)

Whether you have Alzheimer's, at risk for developing it, or neither, following this diet plan will help you improve your cognitive function and brain health. You have a lot of healthy and tasty choices, so you'd better start making some adjustments to your diet starting today!