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An Easy-To-Follow Diet That Could Slow Alzheimer’s And Cognitive Decline

A new diet proposed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center appears to slow the effect of aging on the brain. The MIND diet not only appears to slow the natural weakening of cognitive abilities, but it also reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

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MIND is an acronym for Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The diet takes elements from the well-known DASH diet, which stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, and the Mediterranean Diet, combining them to promote cognitive health.

The MIND diet focuses on 10 healthy food groups and warns dieters to stay away from five unhealthy food groups. Those on the diet should consume three servings of whole grains, two servings of vegetables, and a glass of wine every day. They should eat green, leafy veggies every day and snack on nuts frequently. The diet also calls for beans three times a week, berries and poultry twice a week, and fish once a week. In addition, dieters should cook primarily with olive oil.

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Foods to stay away from include red meat, with only four servings a week allowed, and sweets, with a maximum of five servings a week. Dieters should limit cheese and fried foods to once a week, and should use no more than a tablespoon of butter each day.

Studies show that the longer a person follows the MIND diet, the lower his chances are of developing Alzheimer's disease. In addition, the minds of those who are not at risk for Alzheimer's show a cognitive improvement of 7.5 years when following the diet.

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The MIND diet isn't the only set of eating recommendations for those who want to protect their cognitive health. Check out these memory-boosting foods that are good for your brain–and here's something to make you smile: one of them is dark chocolate.

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