People are constantly asking what the “best” diet is for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and what foods might prevent memory loss. Doctors and nutritionists typically recommend a healthy, balanced diet full of antioxidants (which are found in fruits and vegetables) to those with PD.
Recent research suggests that the “MIND” diet —which draws on those familiar principles — may decrease the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This plan is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets.
Researchers at Rush University in Chicago compared the MIND diet to the Mediterranean and the DASH diets each used alone. According to their paper in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association:
While strict adherence to all three of these diets seemed to help stave off memory disturbances, only the MIND diet seemed to work when it was only “moderately” followed. This group of moderate dieters showed a decrease of 35% in the risk of Alzheimer’s; more rigid MIND dieters lowered these chances by just over 50%.
The Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet lists 15 dietary components. Ten of these are “brain-healthy” and should be consumed regularly: vegetables (especially green leafy ones), berries, nuts, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil and wine. The other five elements — red meat, butter/margarine, cheese, sweets and anything fried — are to be limited or avoided.
While there has been no research on the MIND diet for Parkinson’s, following a well-balanced meal plan can improve health and wellness overall.
You can read more about MIND and these recent study results on the Rush University website.
Learn more about diet and Parkinson’s.