By now, you’ve probably heard of all sorts of diets. The Paleo Diet, the Atkins Diet, the Cookie Diet—the inspiration never seems to end. But unlike the diets you’ve already heard of, which focus on benefiting the body, researchers have now engineered a new one that benefits the brain.
Called the MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay), it combines two already-existing diets and relies on two food categories. One consists of 10 brain-healthy food groups (green vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish poultry, olive oil and wine) while the other is made up of foods to avoid (red meat, sugary foods, cheeses, fried foods and animal fats). If you can stick to those groups, it’s actually pretty easy to follow. Under the diet, you require three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable every day, along with a glass of wine. But you can also snack on nuts and beans every other day or so, and must consume chicken or berries at least twice a week.
The harmful foods, meanwhile, need to be restricted as much as possible, but they aren’t entirely off limits.
So what’s the result of all this hard work? The diet was developed by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, and they say those who follow it regularly can see as much as a 53 per cent reduction in their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s the best part though: even those who adhered to it more moderately still saw a reduction of 35 per cent.
The researchers had recruited 923 participants aged 58 to 98 and followed them for nine years as they responded to food questionnaires in order to develop the MIND diet. So this wasn’t just some quick and dirty “study“.
Now get out there and flex those brain muscles.