A study published in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association in June 2015 suggests that a glass of wine a day for elderly patients may help reduce cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers tout the MIND diet — a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet — that advocates the consumption of three servings of whole grains, at least two servings of vegetables and a glass of wine every day, according to VinePair.
The Mediterranean diet includes fish, healthy oils and whole grains. DASH, or Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, lowers blood pressure through food consumption. The DASH diet include lots of vegetables, nuts, fruits and legumes. Both diets help slow cognitive decline, but the hybrid MIND diet showed the most promise among 960 of the study’s participants.
The MIND diet is easier to follow than the DASH diet. Proponents consume nuts on most days of the week. Followers of this diet should eat beans and legumes every other day, while people should eat berries and poultry at least two times a week. The MIND diet advocates fish once per week, while patients should avoid full-fat cheese, greasy food and sweet foods. Each day, the MIND diet recommends drinking one glass of wine.
Researchers followed 960 dementia-free patients with an average age of 81.4 for 4.7 years. Those who followed the MIND diet showed their cognitive levels to be that of someone 7.5 years younger compared to those who did not follow the diet. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago noted the MIND diet “substantially slows cognitive decline with age.” Other studies must be done to verify the results with this preliminary finding.
This new type of diet gives hope to older people who may worry about cognitive decline into their 70s and 80s. The healthy foods found in the MIND diet, combined with a daily glass of wine, may ward off cognitive decline for several years. Patients should discuss this type of diet with their doctor before embarking on any nutritional changes. Agencies, health care advocates and health care companies should look into this diet further with a second, more comprehensive look at the MIND diet in terms of slowing cognitive decline.
Visit The Alzheimer’s Site to learn more about new findings in research on Alzheimer’s disease.