MIND diet linked to sharper brain and it includes wine every day

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Researchers have found that older adults may benefit from a specific diet called the MIND diet, which includes a glass of wine, even when they develop these protein deposits, known as amyloid plaques and tangles.

Researchers at Rush University Medical Centre have found that older adults may benefit from a specific diet called the MIND diet even when they develop these protein deposits, known as amyloid plaques and tangles. Plaques and tangles are a pathology found in the brain that build up in between nerve cells and typically interfere with thinking and problem-solving skills.

“Some people have enough plaques and tangles in their brains to have a postmortem diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, but they do not develop clinical dementia in their lifetime,” said Klodian Dhana, lead author of the paper and an assistant professor in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine.

To adhere to and benefit from the MIND diet, a person would need to eat at least three servings of whole grains, a green leafy vegetable and one other vegetable every day — along with a glass of wine — snack most days on nuts, have beans every other day or so, eat poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week. A person also must limit intake of the designated unhealthy foods, limiting butter to less than 1 1/2 teaspoons a day and eating less than a serving a week of sweets and pastries, whole fat cheese, and fried or fast food.

Based on the frequency of intake reported for the healthy and unhealthy food groups, the researchers calculated the MIND diet score for each participant across the study period. An average of the MIND diet score from the start of the study until the participant’s death was used in the analysis to limit measurement error. Seven sensitivity measures were calculated to confirm accuracy of the findings.

“We found that a higher MIND diet score was associated with better memory and thinking skills independently of Alzheimer’s disease pathology and other common age-related brain pathologies. The diet seemed to have a protective capacity and may contribute to cognitive resilience in the elderly,” Dhana said.

“Diet changes can impact cognitive functioning and risk of dementia, for better or worse,” he addded. “There are fairly simple diet and lifestyle changes a person could make that may help to slow cognitive decline with aging, and contribute to brain health.”


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Deirdre Tynan

Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.

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