A new study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago suggest that there are certain foods that can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. The researchers developed a diet program called the MIND diet. They said it may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by 53 percent.
The MIND diet seemed to work even for people who weren’t extremely strict about it, but instead followed it "moderately well". For these people, their risk of Alzheimer's was decreased by about one-third.
The lead author of the study, nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, PhD, said diet is just one of many factors that contribute to developing Alzheimer’s disease. Other factors include smoking, exercise, genetics, and education. Regardless of these other factors, the MIND diet helped reduce the rate of cognitive decline and protect against Alzheimer's disease.
Researchers analyzed more than 900 people between the ages of 58 and 98. The participants were given food questionnaires and underwent multiple neurological tests. They found that for those who most closely followed the MIND diet had a higher level of cognitive function and was in fact equivalent to the cognitive function of a person 7.5 years younger.
MIND diet foods to prevent and fight Alzheimer’s disease:
· Beans. Beans are high in protein and fiber. They are also low in fat and calories. Aim to eat beans at least three times a week.
· Olive oil. Olive oil, compared all other types of cooking oil, provides the most protection for brain health.
· Whole grains. Rich in fiber. Get at least three servings a day.
· Vegetables. Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, and collards are rich in vitamins A and C. Aim for at least two servings a week, but if you can, get six or more servings a week as this many gives the most optimal benefits for brain health. You should also try to eating a salad and at least one other veggie every day.
· Fish. Eating fish at least once a week can help protect brain function.
· Nuts. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants, which are all excellent for brain health. Nuts can also help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim to eat a handful of nuts about five times a week. Be careful though, nuts are often high in calories.
· Wine. One glass of wine each day may be good for protecting cognitive function.
· Berries. Blueberries and strawberries are a great for brain health. Both are beneficial in regards to improving cognitive function. Aim to eat berries at least twice a week.
· Poultry. Try to get at least two or more servings a week.
Foods to avoid to prevent Alzheimer’s disease:
· Butter and margarine. Limit to less than a tablespoon each day.
· Fried food. Limit eating fried foods and fast food to no more than once a week.
· Cheese. Limit eating cheese to no more than once a week.
· Red meat. Limit eating red meat to no more than four servings a week.
· Sweets. Limit eating sweets to no more than five each week.