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Simple tweaks in your diet that could cut your Alzheimer's risk

Updated: Mar 4, 2020

Researchers from Rush University in Chicago have 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 diet (but was later shortened to the MIND diet).

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

The MIND diet focuses on eating from healthy brain-defending foods on a regular basis. The food groups are from the following categories:

  1. Green leafy vegetables: six or more servings per week. All other vegetables: at least one serving a day, particularly non-starchy veggies.

  2. Nuts: five servings or more weekly.

  3. Berries: at least two servings a week.

  4. Beans: a minimum of four servings per week.

  5. Olive oil: to be used as your main prep and cooking oil.

  6. Whole grains: at least three servings per day.

  7. Fish: at least once a week, particularly fatty fish high in omega-3s, like salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout, and tuna.

  8. Poultry: chicken or turkey twice a week or more. Not to be fried.

The MIND diet can decrease your risk for heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and cancer. You will also see a return to normal blood pressure levels and improved digestive health. Published research studies also show that this diet can reduce inflammation and those who followed the MIND diet most closely had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. If you are unable to consume the targeted amount of servings, don’t quit the MIND diet altogether. Research has shown that following the MIND diet even a moderate amount is associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

If you're considering a neuropsychological evaluation for memory concerns please contact our office at 201-577-8286 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Burchette at the New Jersey Memory Center.

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