Shedding pounds is the primary goal of most diet plans, especially when it comes to fad detoxes and cleanses. But not everyone on a diet is looking to lose weight. Different diets can achieve different results. And if you’re hoping to improve your brain health and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, you may consider trying the MIND diet, which has been linked with slower cognitive decline.
Alzheimer’s disease — a progressive and devastating neurodegenerative disease causing memory loss and confusion — affects 6.5 million Americans and is the most common form of dementia, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. (1) As of 2021, it’s the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. (It lost its spot as the sixth due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.) (1)
Although there is no research linking the MIND diet with reversing Alzheimer’s, there’s plenty of evidence supporting the connection between this dietary approach and preventing the disease.
What Is the MIND Diet Plan, and How Does It Incorporate the DASH and Mediterranean Diets?
MIND (an acronym that stands for the Mediterranean-DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay) is a “hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet, and research suggests it may reduce the risk of developing dementia or slow the decline in brain health,” says Becky Kerkenbush, RD, a clinical dietitian with Watertown Regional Medical Center in Wisconsin.
In a study from 2015, the nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, ScD, and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago referenced past studies on the dietary connection between food and cognitive decline, and then borrowed concepts from the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet — two plant-based diets — to develop a meal plan with brain-boosting benefits. (2) Thus the MIND diet was born.
Although there are similarities among all three diets, the MIND diet is the only one that encourages the consumption of foods that have been found to promote cognitive health.
Source: Every Day Health