2 Diets for a Healthy Brain: Mediterranean and MIND
Two healthy eating plans—the Mediterranean and MIND diets—pose a lower risk for memory loss and enhance cognitive functioning in older adults, finds a new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
The heart-healthy Mediterranean diet is high in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and other legumes, nuts, olive oil, and fish. The MIND diet, which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is a modified version of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diet. It includes 10 “brain-healthy” foods: green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, seafood, poultry, olive oil, and wine.
Researchers analyzed data on 5,907 older adults who participated in the Health and Retirement Study and completed questionnaires about their eating habits. They also measured cognitive function, focusing on memory and attention. According to the researchers, older people (average age 67.8 years) who followed a Mediterranean-style diet had a 35 percent lower risk of scoring poorly on cognitive function tests. Results were similar for those who followed a MIND-style diet.