The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet, or more commonly, the MIND diet, combines the portions of the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet and the Mediterranean diet. Both the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet have been shown to improve cognition; however, neither were developed to slow neurodegeneration (e.g. Alzheimer's disease). Therefore, a team at Rush University Medical Center, headed by Martha Clare Morris (a nutritional epidemiologist), worked to create the MIND diet. Like the DASH and Mediterranean diets, the MIND diet emphasizes the intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, and legumes. The MIND diet also includes recommendations for specific foods, like leafy greens and berries, that have been scientifically shown to slow cognitive decline. Recent research has shown that the MIND diet is more effective at reducing cognitive decline than either the Mediterranean or DASH diets alone. Additional testing has shown that the level of adherence to the MIND diet also impacts the diet's neuro-protective effects.
The MIND diet is fairly new; the first article describing the diet and its efficacy was published in 2015. This initial study sampled from the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center Memory and Aging Project and followed 960 participants over the age of 50 across a time span of five years. Changes in cognitive ability were correlated with specific nutritional components of the MIND diet. The inclusion of higher numbers of MIND diet recommended foods in one’s daily diet was associated with less cognitive decline than when these foods were not included or were included in lesser quantities. A follow-up study compared the effectiveness of the MIND diet to that of the Mediterranean and DASH diets within the same study population. The study showed that all the diets can be protective against the development of Alzheimer’s disease when they are strictly followed. The MIND diet also was effective at moderate adherence levels. The study also found that the MIND diet adherence was more accurate at predicting cognitive decline than either Mediterranean or DASH diet adherence. Although the MIND diet shows promising results, the findings must be replicated in other population based studies to confirm these conclusions. A drawback of the two studies discussed here is that cause and effect relationships could not be determined. A controlled, diet intervention study would be necessary to determine cause and effect.
When designing diets for the prevention of certain diseases, it is necessary to know the impacts of individual nutrients on the human body. The MIND diet could be improved by future research which investigates the impacts of individual nutrients or foods on neuronal physiology and anatomy. It is also beneficial to use dietary measurements that are culturally appropriate to enable researchers, dietitians, and the general public to draw accurate conclusions from the data.
# What is the MIND diet
# Foods to eat
# Foods to avoid
# How MIND diet work
# May reduce harmful Beta - Amyloid proteins
# Research on the MIND diet
# Best foods to boost your brain and memory
# Home message
# Weekly a sample meal plan
# MIND diet goal tracker
# BMI calculator
# Calorie calculator
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