Alzheimer's disease is nowadays one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases. It results in loss of nerve cells in the brain, leading to memory impairment and orientation disorders. The disease most often affects people over the age of 65.
A New Hope in the MIND diet
However, a recent study published in The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association brings new hope. They suggest that a properly composed diet may reduce the risk of certain neurological diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. Although researchers are still waiting for confirmation of their thesis, the first observations are promising. The study showed that in 923 people between the ages of 59 and 98 who rigorously followed a MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), the risk of developing the disease during a 54-month (4.5-year) follow-up was 53% lower than in those who did not follow the diet.
Ten principles for a healthy brain
The MIND diet is fairly simple. It consists of 10 food groups rich in vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and fats that positively affect our brain.
1) The diet recommends the introduction of large amounts of green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, different varieties of lettuce, spinach, and kohlrabi, which are rich in vitamin C and A. These products should be eaten at least twice a week, and the best effect gives eating them 6 times a week.
2) As in most diets, MIND also emphasizes the importance of eating vegetables for the health of the body. The second group of recommended products, therefore, includes all other vegetables. The authors recommend eating one salad and at least one additional vegetable per day.
3) The ideal snack for the brain are almonds and nuts, eaten at least 5 times a week Reason? They are a source of healthy fats and antioxidants. They also have a positive effect on bad cholesterol levels.
4) Experts also recommend that you enrich your menu with berries (including strawberries). We should eat them at least 2 times a week. They support not only the work of the brain, but also the circulatory system, and at the same time provide a lot of antioxidants, slowing down the aging of the body.
5) It is also recommended to reach for beans - white or red. According to experts, it is best to eat them about 3 times a week. It contains valuable fiber and protein.
6) The diet should also be enriched with wholemeal products. According to the authors of the diet, we should eat at least three meals with them every day.
7) Fish are recommended for dinner, and we should eat them at least once a week (as opposed to the Mediterranean diet, which recommends eating them almost every day). According to the originators of the diet, the components contained in fish, especially the good fats, protect and improve brain function.
8) In addition to fish, you can also reach for poultry. Experts recommend eating poultry meat at least twice a week.
9) Traditional oil and fats should be replaced with olive oil, just like in the Mediterranean diet.
10) Finally, the most controversial component of the MIND diet. According to experts, a glass of red wine once a week can be beneficial for our health.
The MIND diet is nothing but a rationally balanced diet, convenient to use every day. In addition, it also has a positive effect on brain function, mainly due to antioxidants, B vitamins, and unsaturated fatty acids, which can be found in the ingredients of the menu