The MIND diet could significantly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A study from Rush University in Chicago has found that the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by as much as 50 percent. It has found that even when not followed rigorously it still has protective powers.

Researchers from Rush University combined elements from both the Mediterranean Diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets to create the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diet.

A Mediterranean diet is high in healthy fats, omega 3s and whole grains, and has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. The DASH diet focuses on fruit, vegetables and low-fat dairy, and reduces the risk of heart attack, hypertension and stroke.

Researchers evaluated more than 900 older persons who were participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project (MAP) that studies the aging process.

They evaluated the nutritional information of participants that were already following basic MIND diet principles as well as those who ate a Mediterranean diet and a DASH diet. They then recorded the incidences of Alzheimer’s of those seniors over a five-year period. They found that those participants who followed the MIND diet reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by as much as 53 percent and when it was not followed rigorously it still reduced the disease by as much as 35 percent.

This may be because the diet was designed according to the latest research on how nutrition affects the brain. Researchers believe that following the diet for years will provide the best protection against Alzheimer’s.

Components of the MIND Diet


The MIND diet is comprised of fifteen elements – ten brain-healthy food groups and five unhealthy groups.

The 10 brain-healthy food groups include:

  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Fish
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Poultry
  • Olive oil
  • Other vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Wine

The five unhealthy food groups include:

  • Butter and stick margarine
  • Cheese
  • Fast or fried foods
  • Pastries and sweets
  • Red meat

WATCH: The MIND diet explained

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