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Diet that protects against Alzheimer’s. The impact of the Mediterranean and MIND diets on health

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The Mediterranean diet and the MIND diet have been linked by researchers to a reduction in the amount of brain changes characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the researchers, both diets contributed to the rejuvenation of the brain by several years.

The new study was published March 8 in the journal Neurology. Researchers from Rush University in Chicago analyzed the brains of 581 deceased people who, before dying as part of the “Memory and Aging Project”, provided them with information about their diet and agreed to donate an organ for research.

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Diet may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s

The study found that people who were on the Mediterranean diet or the MIND diet (a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet) had a greater chance of developing enough brain lesions in the form of amyloid plaques (also called senile plaques) and tangles to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. neurofibrillary, were as much as 40 percent. smaller.

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“People who followed the Mediterranean diet … had plaque and tangle counts similar to those who were 18 years younger than them,” the authors of the study pointed out. They added that those who followed the MIND diet the most had brains 12 years younger than those who followed the MIND diet the least. Conversely, those who ate more sweets, fast food and fried foods had much higher levels of plaques and tangles in their brain tissue.

The researchers also calculated that adding just one category of food from either of the two diets – for example, eating the recommended amount of vegetables or fruit – reduced levels of amyloid (a harmful protein) in the brain, linked to, among other things, with Alzheimer’s disease, to a level corresponding to the age of about 4 years younger. “Previous research related to the risk of developing dementia has focused more on changes in cognitive performance scores, but our study shows what specific signs of the disease appeared in the brain,” said lead author Puja Agarwal, Prof. in internal medicine from Rush University Medical Center.

The Mediterranean diet chosen as the healthiestShutterstock

“Making simple dietary modifications, such as adding more greens, berries, grains, olive oil and fish, can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease or reduce the risk of aging dementia,” Prof. Agarwal, quoted by CNN. She added that greens, such as lettuce or spinach, bring the greatest benefits.

“While the study does not conclusively prove that brain aging can be slowed by dietary choices, I believe the data is compelling enough to add green vegetables to most meals and suggest my patients adopt a Mediterranean diet,” neurologist Dr. Isaacson, an Alzheimer’s disease researcher at the Institute of Neurodegenerative Diseases in Florida.

SEE ALSO: Your risk of dementia increases significantly if you eat these foods. New research results

Mediterranean diet and MIND diet – what are they?

The Mediterranean diet is based mainly on dishes of plant origin – most meals are centered around fruits and vegetables, but also whole grains, seeds, nuts and olive oil. Plain butter, sugar, eggs, dairy products, poultry and red meat are rarely eaten. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids are recommended.

In the ranking of the magazine “US News & World Report” this way of eating has already been named the best diet of the year six times in a row. The authors of the report noted that many studies have proven that the Mediterranean diet helps reduce the risk of diabetes, lowers the risk of high cholesterol, dementia, memory loss, depression and breast cancer. In addition, it helps maintain healthy bones, heart in good condition and can extend life.

The MIND diet was developed to support the work of the brain. It especially recommends green vegetables that should be eaten every day, including arugula, kale, lettuce and spinach. The best fruits are blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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