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The MIND Diet: A Detailed Guide for Beginners

The MIND Diet: A Detailed Guide for Beginners

  • March 08, 2021
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The current research on the MIND diet has not been able to show exactly how it works. However, the scientists who created the diet think it may work by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation.

Oxidative stress occurs when unstable molecules called free radicals accumulate in the body in large quantities. This often causes damage to cells. The brain is especially vulnerable to this type of damage.

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury and infection. But if it’s not properly regulated, inflammation can also be harmful and contribute to many chronic diseases (14).

Together, oxidative stress and inflammation can be quite detrimental to the brain. In recent years, they’ve been the focus of some interventions to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease (15).

Following the Mediterranean and DASH diets has been associated with lower levels of oxidative stress and inflammation (16, 17, 18, 19).

Because the MIND diet is a hybrid of these two diets, the foods that make up the MIND diet probably also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

The antioxidants in berries and the vitamin E in olive oil, green leafy vegetables and nuts are thought to benefit brain function by protecting the brain from oxidative stress (20).

Additionally, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish are well-known for their ability to lower inflammation in the brain, and have been associated with slower loss of brain function (21, 22).

Summary: Researchers believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of foods encouraged in the MIND diet may help lower the risk of dementia and slow the loss of brain function that can occur with aging.

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