Diet that can prevent Alzheimer’s, we and our elders need

376th original article

Just past September 21, 2022 is the 29th World Alzheimer’s Day. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common type of Alzheimer’s disease, is known as the “memory eraser”. It is mainly manifested as memory loss, unintelligible words, confusion of thinking, decreased judgment and other brain function abnormalities and changes in personality and behavior, which will seriously affect daily life. The older you are, the greater your risk.

Every 3 seconds on average, there is a new person with Alzheimer’s disease in the world. According to 2017 statistics, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are the fifth leading cause of death in our country. At present, the prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease in my country’s population aged 60 and above is as high as 5.7%, and the number of patients is close to 10 million, making it the country with the largest number of patients in the world.

Currently, there is a lack of effective medical treatments for this disease. Therefore, the principles of treating Alzheimer’s disease are: early screening, early detection, and early intervention. Active prevention and intervention can effectively delay the occurrence and development of diseases, improve the quality of life of the elderly, and reduce the burden on families and society.

Diet and lifestyle play a role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease. For example, people with diabetes have a 3-fold increased risk of developing the disease. Elevated homocysteine ​​and cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, low folic acid levels, low dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, and lack of exercise are also potential risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. Early dietary and lifestyle changes have been shown to help prevent and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and delay/reduce cognitive decline.

In recent decades, there has been a great deal of research into how diet and nutrients “strengthen the brain.” The currently recognized three dietary patterns that help prevent and improve symptoms are the Mediterranean diet, the Deshu diet (also known as the Stop Hypertension Diet, abbreviated as DASH), and the MIND diet (Mediterranean- Acronym for DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, a dietary pattern derived from both the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet). Among them, the MIND diet is the most helpful for Alzheimer’s disease. Let’s take a look at it with you today.

Sources of the MIND diet

MIND diet, first discovered and researched by Professor Martha Clare Morris of Rush University Medical Center, was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & Dementia in March 2015. The clinical study recruited 960 seniors, with an average age of 80 and older, who were participants in the Rush University Memory and Aging Program, which began in 1997. It found that after 5 years, participants who strictly adhered to the MIND diet had a 53 percent lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, while those who largely adhered to the diet had a 35 percent lower risk.

Follow-up studies also found that the MIND diet was superior to the Desho and Mediterranean diets in preventing cognitive decline and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. And the MIND diet may also have a protective effect on Parkinson’s disease: in a comparative study of subjects around the age of 65, those who adhered to the MIND diet had a later onset of Parkinson’s disease — 17 years later in women. , men can be 8 years later.

MIND diet components

Core foods of the MIND diet:

Green leafy vegetables ≥ 6 servings/week

Other vegetables ≥ 1 serving/day

berries* ≥ 2 servings/week,

Nuts ≥ 5 servings/week

Whole grains ≥ 3 servings/day

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Daily

Fish/Seafood ≥ 1 meal/week

Beans ≥ 3 meals/week

Poultry ≥ 2 meals/week

One ​​glass of wine per day (optional)

Foods to avoid or limit on the MIND diet:

Red meat and products ≤4 servings/week (including pork, beef, mutton and its products, such as sausage, bacon, etc.)

Dessert ≤5/week

Full-fat cheese ≤1 serving/week (1 serving is about 28 grams per 1 ounce)

Butter/margarine ≤1 tablespoon/week (15ml)

Fried food ≤1 serving/week


*1 cup is 250ml volume cup

*Berry including strawberry, grape, blueberry, raspberry, mulberry, pomegranate, kiwi, etc.

1 serving of vegetables: 1 cup in a 240-ml capacity

1 serving of fruit: about the size of a tennis ball

1 serving of nuts: 28 grams (about 4 whole walnuts, or 45 pistachios, or 25-28 bataam, or 20 hazelnuts, or 14 cashews, or 2 tbsp (30 ml) nut butter/peanut butter type

1 whole grain serving: 1/2 cup cooked rice/cooked oatmeal/pasta/noodles, or 1 sliced ​​whole-wheat sliced ​​bread, or 3-4 whole-wheat crackers

1 serving of fish: 115 grams cooked or 100 grams raw

1 serving of beans: 1/2 cup cooked beans

1 serving of poultry: 100 grams raw or 80 grams cooked (peeled)

1 serving of red meat: 90-100 grams raw, or 65 grams cooked

Brain Strength Nutrients in the MIND Diet

The recommended food groups in the MIND diet are rich sources of fiber and contain several dietary nutrients that help promote brain health. They include:

Vitamin E

Folic acid

Omega-3 fatty acids



Dietary Fiber

Summary of nutritional characteristics of the MIND diet

A dietary pattern based on plant-based foods

Lower carbohydrates for energy and higher protein

Rich in unsaturated fatty acids and dietary fiber

Rich in antioxidant nutrients and rich in phytochemicals

Strictly limit added sugars and saturated fatty acids

Additional benefits of the MIND diet

Budget friendly, common and inexpensive ingredients

Environmentally friendly, relatively low carbon emissions

Vegetarian friendly, recipe can be adjusted to vegan

Gluten-free friendly, can be adapted to a gluten-free diet

Halal friendly, Jewish friendly, both can respect belief adjustment

In the 2021 Best Diets List released by U.S. News & World Report earlier this year, the MIND diet ranked fourth overall and fifth best diabetes diet , and Best Heart-Healthy Diet No. 7.

This diet is not without its flaws. The current gap is: no requirement for physical activity. However, Sui Qian personally believes that no matter what dietary pattern is followed, the amount of physical activity of the elderly should follow the recommendations in the “Guidelines for Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior” issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2020:

Seniors 65+: No less than 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week, or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of the two .Include: ≥ 2 days per week of moderate or higher intensity muscle strength training including all major muscle groups, and ≥ 3 days per week of balance and strength training to enhance physical performance and prevent falls.

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(The picture used in the text comes from the Internet)

So humble and broken thoughts

Food is good medicine~

Brief Introduction

Liu Suiqian: Australian DAA Certified Registered Practical Dietitian (APD), Chinese Nutrition Society Certified Registered Dietitian, Australian DAA and China Nutrition Member of the Society, Master of Clinical Nutrition (MND) at the University of Sydney, and holds a postgraduate certificate in Pediatric Nutrition at Boston University School of Medicine, clinical nutritionist, science worker, and member of the China Health Promotion Foundation’s expert group for maternal health care activities , Member of the Nutrition Management Expert Committee of Beijing Health Management Association, and Expert Member of the Infant Complementary Food Professional Committee of China Nutrition and Health Food Association. He is a translation committee member of translations such as “Krause Nutritional Diagnosis and Treatment”, and a nutrition columnist for many magazines and media. He has edited five sets of maternal and infant books, and authored the book “7 Lessons of Baby Feeding, Say Goodbye to Anxiety and Start with Food Education”. In the past ten years, in the face of clinical elderly, young and pregnant patients, we have determined that disease prevention and psychological support are the direction for doctors to help and heal – the road to popular science, we work together.

Personal WeChat Official Account Platform: Liu_suiqian


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