A new diet developed by researchers at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, as it turned out, can significantly reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, even for those patients who do not fully follow it.
In particular, strawberries and blueberries, according to the authors of an innovative diet, have a very beneficial effect on the brain. The results of the study were published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The Mediterranean-DASH Inervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet was developed by dietetic epidemiologist Dr. Marta Claire Morris and her colleagues at the Medical Center at the University of Rush in Chicago. This diet uses the dietary approach to managing hypertension, known as DASH, and is a diet based on research supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Mediterranean diet.
Separately, both diets, Mediterranean and DASH, have shown that they can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular problems, for example, heart attack, stroke, or high blood pressure; however, according to the results of some studies, it has also been suggested that these diets are also capable of protecting against dementia.
According to Dr. Morris and her colleagues, the innovative MIND diet is easier to follow as compared to the Mediterranean and DASH diets; it consists of fifteen dietary components, which include ten groups of foods that are good for the brain, and five groups of non-healthy foods. Healthy foods include vegetables with green leaves, any other vegetables, nuts, berries, legumes, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine, while harmful foods include red meat, butter, margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets, fried and fatty foods.
Unlike the Mediterranean and DASH diets, which recommend eating plenty of any fruit, the innovative MIND diet focuses more on eating berries. As Dr. Morris explains, strawberries and blueberries, in particular, have already shown that they can have a positive effect on brain health.
Diet Lowers Alzhemer’s Disease by 35%
For their study, scientists analyzed food intake among 923 residents of Chicago between the ages of 58 and 98, who were also participants in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, which continues to this day and is dedicated to identifying factors that may have a protective effect on an individual. cognitive health.
Researchers obtained dietary information by filling in participants specialized food intake questionnaires that were completed between 2004 and 2013. Scientists evaluated the study participants as to how close their diet was to the developed MIND diet, the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet, and the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease on average over a period of four and a half years was also estimated.
Some interesting facts about Alzheimer’s
- More than five million US residents have diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease, experts estimate that by 2050 their number will increase to 16 million;
- Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States;
- More than two-thirds of American Alzheimer’s patients are women.
Researchers also found that participants whose diet was fairly close to one of the three diets studied also had a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Participants who adhered to the medium-sea diet had a 54% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, followers of the MIND diet – by 53%, followers of the DASH diet – by 39%.
However, it was found that participants whose diet was less close to the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet did not have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while even minimal coincidence with the MIND diet reduced this risk by 35%. According to Dr. Morris, one of the most interesting results was that even moderate adherence to the new MIND diet still indicates a significant protective effect regarding the development of Alzheimer’s disease, which, in turn, can be an excellent motivation for people.
However, scientists also note that in order to get the real benefit from the newly developed MIND diet, it is nevertheless desirable to limit the use of junk foods, in particular butter, cheese and fried foods. It was also revealed that a longer follow-up to this diet leads to a more serious protective effect. However, researchers report that further research is needed to confirm their previous findings.