What you should eat to prevent Alzheimer’s

What you should eat to prevent Alzheimer's

If someone in your family has or had Alzheimer’s disease, you know firsthand how devastating it can be for her and the entire family. You also can’t help but wonder if you might be in line to be the next victim.

You’ve probably done some research to discover preventive measures you might take, and generally found very little practical advice. But now, and disbelieve this at your own peril, there is a new diet that can significantly improve your chances of skirting the disaster.

In fact, for those of you unwilling to go all-in, even if you adopt some of the dietary advice, you can still improve your chances of avoiding Alzheimer’s.

In a new study, the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 53% for those who adhered to it strictly. The better news is for you diet dilettantes, who can still lower your risk by up to 35% just by adopting a few tenets of its strategy.

The "Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay" (MIND) diet combines the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets. Both of these diets reduce the risk of hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

Strict adherence to either of these diets alone can help prevent Alzheimer’s, but a lukewarm commitment has virtually no benefits. With the MIND diet, however, a little effort can go a long way.

These are the food groups in the MIND diet that are deemed "brain-healthy" and "brain-unhealthy," and the frequency with which you should consume them:

The 10 food groups that are good for your brain:

  • green leafy vegetables (a salad every day)
  • other vegetables (one a day)
  • nuts (every day)
  • berries (at least twice a week, especially blueberries and strawberries). Notice that berries are the only fruit on the diet.
  • beans (every other day)
  • whole grains (three servings a day)
  • fish (at least once a week)
  • poultry (at least twice a week)
  • olive oil (make this the primary oil used in your home)
  • a glass of wine (every day)

The 5 food groups that are bad for your brain:

  • red meats (hardly ever)
  • butter (less than one tablespoon a day) and stick margarine (never)
  • cheese (less than a serving a week)
  • pastries and sweets (you know)
  • fried or fast food (less than a serving a week)

Eating just the brain-healthy foods will help; avoiding the bad foods, too, will provide the most anti-Alzheimer’s benefits.

And…the longer you stay on the diet, the better your chances are of avoiding Alzheimer’s altogether.


Alzheimer's & Dementia: Journal of the Alzheimer's Association.