Can the MIND Diet Help Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease? Studies Prove It Can!
Most diet plans are created with the primary goal of losing weight in mind, especially those that are all about fad cleanses and detoxes. However, not everyone that adopts a particular diet is trying to shed those kilos. It might come as a surprise to most people, but there are different diets out that work to bring different results. For example, if you’re looking to improve brain health in an attempt to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, the MIND diet is typically recommended, which works to slow down cognitive decline.
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and affects almost 6 million Americans. It is a crippling neurodegenerative disease that progresses over time, bringing with it confusion and memory loss. In America, dementia is also the sixth leading cause of death, taking the lives of one in every three seniors.
As of yet, no research exists to link the MIND diet and Alzheimer’s. However, dietitians and nutritional experts have found confirmation supporting the association between preventing the dreadful disease and adopting this dietary approach.
What is the MIND Diet?
According to Becky Kerkenbush, a clinical dietitian at the Watertown Regional Medical Center, the MIND diet is a hybrid form of the Mediterranean and the DASH diet, which is known to lower the decline in brain health that comes with age and can also reduce the risk of dementia in senior citizens.
The diet was created back in 2015 when nutritional epidemiologist Martha Claire Morris, alongside her colleagues, adopted concepts from the two plant-based diets to create a meal plan that contained brain-boosting benefits. Since then, the MIND diet has been used increasingly for patients with deteriorating cognitive health or those with increased risk of developing some form of dementia, including Alzheimer’s.
Benefits of the MIND Diet
The primary and most promising benefit of the diet is the possibility of reducing Alzheimer’s disease. To discover the link between the diet, and this claimed benefit, the “MIND Diet Study” was conducted at Rush University in Chicago, in which 923 patients were selected and monitored for 5 years. The conclusion of the study, which was reached only some time ago, found that through the MIND diet, the risk of Alzheimer’s was decreased by 53%.
The best part is that you don’t even have to follow the diet completely to relish its benefits as even following it moderately increases your chances of preventing the disease by 35%. Additionally, the MIND diet, according to a study conducted in 2018, was linked with the reduction of another progressive disease called Parkinson’s disease.
It has also been observed to reduce hypertension, which decreases the risk of heart attack and strokes and reduces the risk of other heart-related diseases, improving blood pressure, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
As far as studies claim, the MIND diet is highly beneficial for individuals at risk of developing cognitive diseases. Alongside that, it also works to make the body increasingly healthier, promising a longer life health-risk-free life to those who follow it strictly. Just be careful about following the diet according to its guidelines and be sure to enter into the journey to a healthier life with a lot of patience and the will to put in the effort.
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