Mediterranean and DASH Diets May Lower Dementia Risk
A large new study, representing nearly a quarter million people, adds to a mountain of evidence showing that Mediterranean and DASH-style diets boost brain health. The analysis, published May 3 in JAMA Psychiatry, found that adults ages 45 and up who stuck to an eating plan high in green leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and fish had a lower risk of dementia than those who didn’t follow such an eating plan.
The MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH intervention for the neurodegenerative delay) is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) diets. Both have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular conditions like hypertension, heart attack, and stroke, as well as slower cognitive decline.
The prevention of all-cause dementia is important, as it poses substantial burdens on healthcare systems and threatens the well-being of older adults, and lack of effective treatments makes its prevention crucial,” says the study author Changzheng Yuan, ScD, who works within the school of public health at Zhejiang University School of Medicine in Hangzhou, China.
“The MIND diet emphasizes natural plant-based foods, limited intake of certain animal foods and foods high in saturated fat, and encourages consumption of berries and green leafy vegetables rich in vitamins and antioxidants. The MIND diet has previously been associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and slower cognitive decline.”