Study participants who rigorously followed the MIND diet (which stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) were 53% less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease than those who did not. Even those who only moderately followed the diet reduced their risk by 35%.
The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets, both of which have been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular conditions, like hypertension, heart attack and stroke, as well as offering some protection against dementia.
Unlike the Mediterranean diet, which calls for the daily consumption of fish, the MIND diet is relatively easy to follow. Plus, the longer you follow the MIND diet, the more protection you will have against developing Alzheimer's disease.
Brain-healthy foods to eat
The foods you should be eating are: green leafy vegetables, other veggies, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine.
Each day, aim to eat at least three servings of whole grains, a salad and one other vegetable, along with a glass of wine. You should eat a handful of nuts most days and eat beans every other day or so, poultry and berries at least twice a week and fish at least once a week.
Berries are a key part of the MIND diet, especially blueberries, which are one of the more potent foods in terms of protecting the brain. Strawberries are also believed to have a protective effect.
Foods to cut back on
For the diet to have any chance of lowering your risk of Alzheimer's, you will need to cut back on certain foods, including: red meats, butter and margarine, cheese, pastries and sweets, and fried or fast food.
In particular, you should watch your consumption of butter (consume less than 1 tablespoon a day) and limit cheese, and fried or fast food to one serving per week.
Three brain-healthy foods to stock up on:
Tesco Blueberries 250G, £3.00
Tesco Half Salmon Side 500G, £6.00
Tesco Fresh Greens 500G, £0.70