Research: This new diet slows the brain’s aging

What you eat may do more than reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.

New research suggests that your diet could also slow your brain’s aging and keep you sharper as you get older.

The idea that what you eat can influence cognitive health isn’t new – brain experts have been touting the brain benefits of the same diet that’s recommended for the heart for a while – but the newly designed MIND diet may work even better, wrote Kathleen Doheny of

Developed at Rush University Medical Center by Martha Clare Morris, PhD, an epidemiologist there, the MIND diet combines the best of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets.

Both of these have long been recommended to slash the risks of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke, and the research suggests that the new hybrid may go a long way guard brain health, as well.

Study participants who closely followed the MIND diet – all residents of retirement communities and senior public housing units in the Chicago area – showed much less mental decline over the years than those who didn’t.

What is the MIND Diet?

The MIND diet is fairly simple. It’s based on two lists – basically, eat these and avoid these.

The “eat these” list includes 10 healthy food groups for the brain:

  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Other vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Blueberries
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Olive oil
  • Wine

On the unhealthy for the brain list?

  • Red meats
  • Butter and stick margarine
  • Pastries and other sweets
  • Fried or fast foods
  • Cheese