A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society shows that eating foods from the Mediterranean and MIND diets translates to a lower risk of memory troubles in older adults. Examining nearly 6,000 volunteers in the Health and Retirements study, researchers tracked the responses of the participants regarding their eating habits and then measured their cognitive abilities relating to memory and attention.
It was concluded that older people who ate Mediterranean and MIND-style diets had a 35 percent lower risk of scoring poorly on cognitive tests. Even those that ate a moderate Mediterranean-style diet had a 15% lower risk of poor cognitive test results. And those that followed these healthy eating patterns were at lower risk of cognitive impairment later in life.
These results are consistent with findings from the Rush University Medical Center that show the MIND diet may help significantly slow down the cognitive decline of stroke survivors. According to researchers, stroke survivors are twice as likely to develop dementia as the population at-large.
The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets and stands for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It was developed by Martha Clare Morris, ScD, and her colleagues at Rush.
The Mediterranean diet is high in foods such as fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, olive oil and fish and low in processed foods, fried foods, snack foods and fast foods. The MIND diet is similar and includes 15 types of foods, 10 of which are considered “brain healthy.” Things such as green, leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, seafood, poultry and olive oil are considered good to eat, while margarine, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried/fast foods are to be avoided.