A new diet developed by Rush University, the “Mind”, could reduce brain aging by 7.5 years in the elderly.
The team of American researchers started from a double observation: several studies have shown the beneficial impact of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) on the slowing down of cognitive decline. What happens then if we combine the two food modes? This is the whole principle of MIND, Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
Foods that protect the brain
MIND specifically targets the quality of fatty acids, a recognized indicator of dementia risk. But it also associates foods or families of foods already identified as neuroprotective (green vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries and small red fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, red wine) and excludes categories with a high-risk nutritional profile (red meat, butter, cheese, pastries, fried foods, sweet products and fast food).
A 7.5 year younger brain
The study therefore evaluated, for 4 years, the influence of said diet on 960 seniors aged 81 on average. The results are dramatic: compared to the lowest MIND Diet Score tertile, the highest tertile shows a reduction in cognitive decline equivalent to a gain of 7.5 years of brain age.
For lead author Martha Clare Morris, this is further evidence of the crucial role of lifestyle as we age, when there is still no definitive treatment for dementia.
Morris MC et al., Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, June 15