Professor Martha Clare Morris and her team combined elements of the Mediterranean diet with elements of DASH — a diet aimed at combating high blood pressure, to create MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neuro-degenerative Delay).
The study was published in journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
For the study, authors recruited 923 participants aged 58 to 98, who responded to food questionnaires that reflected how closely their diets followed the Mediterranean, DASH or MIND diets. The answers, researchers hoped, would test the effectiveness of various diets on preventing the appearance of Alzheimer’s disease.
Subject of the research were followed from 2004 to 2013, and the data collected led researchers to conclude that the MIND diet was associated with about 50% reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in those subjects who used the diet regularly, compared to a reduction of 54% and 39% for the Mediterranean and DASH plans respectively.
The new diet uses two main categories: 10 brain-healthy food groups (green vegetables and other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine), and five groups to avoid (red meat, animal fats, sugary foods, fried foods and fast food).
Researchers suggested simple rules to indicate the minimum amounts of each brain-healthy food group to be consumed throughout the week. Vegetables and nuts should be consumed daily, while poultry and berries should be eaten twice a week. While harmful foods are not entirely forbidden, their consumption should be restricted as much as possible.