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Nutrition Recommendations for Prevention or Delaying Onset of Dementia and Cognitive Decline

Nutrition Recommendations for Prevention or Delaying Onset of Dementia and Cognitive Decline

In 2015, researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Harvard School of Public Health in Boston published results of their prospective study of the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH [Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension] Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet score, demonstrating that greater adherence to an overall dietary pattern may be protective against the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Three dietary patterns were measured and scored including the MIND diet, DASH diet, and MedDiet (Mediterranean Diet). This study demonstrated statistically significant reduction in AD with both high and modest adherence to the MIND diet. Analysis of data found no statistical evidence that the association between the MIND diet and incident AD was modified by described variables.

As federal funding pours into the development of pharmaceuticals aimed at delaying progression and/or curing cognitive decline and AD, advanced practice providers now have solid research to back even modest nutritional recommendations to reduce the risk of developing AD.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), the MIND diet includes the following (

Food; Frequency; Specifics

  • Vegetables; 2 or more servings/day; at least one serving of leafy green vegetables/day
  • Berries; 2 or more servings/week; any type (blueberries may be more beneficial)
  • Whole grains; 3 or more servings/day; emphasis on minimally-processed grains
  • Nuts; 5 or more servings/week
  • Beans; 4 or more servings/week
  • Seafood; 1 or more serving/week; focus on fatty fish (eg, salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines)
  • Poultry; 2 or more servings/week
  • Morris MC, Tangney CC, Wang Y, Sacks FM, Bennett DA, Aggarwal NT. MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement. 2015;11:1007-1014.

Filed under: Preventive Medicine

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