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10 foods that help prevent cognitive decline, according to study

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Scientists reveal the benefits of so-called MIND diet to prevent dementia symptoms and other risk factors for Alzheimer’s, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease

A new study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease revealed that the MIND diet is associated with slower cognitive decline and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease in older adults. It is a type of diet that combines elements of the classic Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet, with dietary approaches that specifically aim to stop hypertension.

For the research, they studied 569 cases of dead people, with data on their type of diet, cognitive tests near death and autopsies; and analyzed the associations of the MIND diet with different factors such as brain pathologies and global cognition close to their death, taking into account age, sex, education level, cognitive activities and daily intake, among other factors.

A previous investigation from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, had long ago revealed that older adults can benefit from the MIND diet, even when protein deposits have already developed, known as amyloid plaques and tangles: Plaques and tangles are a pathology found in the brain that accumulates between nerve cells and generally interferes with the thinking and problem-solving skills.

What the new study says is that this diet would be extremely useful not only for people with symptoms but could also help to prevent symptoms itself, for the general population. According to the researchers, the MIND diet is associated with better cognitive functioning regardless of common brain pathology, suggesting that the MIND diet may contribute to cognitive resilience in the elderly globally.

According to research, The MIND diet is a modifiable lifestyle factor, designed for brain health and rich in nutrients that are known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pro-cognitive properties.

Does food affect our brain?

Not only physical activity, lowering blood pressure, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s, and direct exercise of the brain have an effect on cognitive status and aging, but also what we consume.

For decades, scientists focused on developing drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, but according to neuropsychiatrist and epidemiologist Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, the climate has really changed to focus on prevention. 

“We are aware of some of the actions that must be taken for society to make a difference,” said psychiatrist Gill Livingston of University College London, who heads the Lancet Commission.

According to an international committee of scientists and psychiatrists, known as the Lancet Commission on Dementia Prevention, Intervention and Care, estimated that 40% of the risk of dementia is given by what is known as “modifiable factors”.

Thus, beyond specific medications and different types of interventions, Adequate nutrition may help prevent or delay symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

According to an article by the National Institute of Aging (NIA) in the United States, it is possible that eating a certain diet affects the biological mechanisms, such as oxidative stress and inflammation, that underlie Alzheimer’s or perhaps the effect of diet is generated due to its impact on other risk factors for Alzheimer’s, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease.

In this sense, NIA assures that the Mediterranean diet could be promising in these aspects, which focuses on foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, shellfish, unsaturated fats such as olive oils, and low amounts of red meat. eggs and sweets. But it could be even more so in its variation called MIND.

What is the MIND Diet?

The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets(Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension).

What foods the MIND Diet includes?

According to NIA, limit portions of red meat, candy, cheese, butter, margarine, and fast or fried food; and increases plant-based foods that are related to the prevention of dementia.

The MIND Diet includes 10 food groups

1. Green leafy vegetables, at least 6 servings per week

2. Other vegetables, at least 1 serving a day

3. Berries, at least 2 servings per week

4. Whole grains, at least 3 servings per day

5. Fish, 1 serving per week

6. Poultry, 2 servings per week

7. Beans, 3 servings per week

8. Walnuts, 5 servings per week

9. Wine, 1 glass per day

10. Olive oil

Image Credit: Getty

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