Slower aging: With this diet you can go back in time

Slower aging: With this diet you can go back in time

As we age, cognitive performance declines. Researchers have developed a diet that supposedly slows down the aging process.

Vital, fit, full of energy – this is how we would all like to feel as we age. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. As the years go by, the risk of diseases such as dementia, cardiovascular diseases and cancer increases. However, a conscious diet can protect our health to a certain extent: a balanced lifestyle reduces the risk of diseases and is the best prerequisite for a long and healthy life. In this context, the so-called MIND diet is especially interesting. Its main goal is to promote mental health and slow down the aging process.

Eating against your age: that’s what’s hidden behind the MIND diet

The abbreviation MIND stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay”. This is because the MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean diet and the so-called DASH diet. The latter was from National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Developed in the USA to lower blood pressure. The Mediterranean diet also has a positive effect on blood pressure and cholesterol.

Both the MIND and DASH diets are not diets in the classic sense, but rather a change in diet. Therefore, nutritional recommendations should be implemented over the long term, and not just for a short period of time. The MIND diet was developed by Rush University in Chicago under the direction of nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris.

This is what’s on the menu with the MIND diet

The basic principles of the MIND diet are easy to understand and implement: the focus is on nutrient-dense foods that protect the brain while reducing the risk of dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases.

The most important foods in the MIND diet are:

  • Green vegetables: Spinach, kale, broccoli, and chard are rich in antioxidants and vitamins that protect brain cells from damage. Due to their high micronutrient content, they should be consumed at least six times a week.
  • Mixed vegetables: Vegetables such as carrots, peppers, tomatoes and eggplants provide important vitamins and fiber. Its phytochemicals help eliminate free radicals.
  • Nuts and seeds: Walnuts, flax seeds, and chia seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids that protect against inflammation.
  • Berry: They are rich in antioxidants and flavonoids, which improve memory performance and reduce inflammatory processes.
  • Integral products: Carbohydrates are not taboo on the MIND diet. Oatmeal and whole wheat bread provide fiber, which stabilizes blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Fish: Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain health.
  • Poultry: Since red meat can cause inflammation, lean chicken or turkey is a better choice. The ideal is two servings per week.
  • Legumes: They are rich in protein, fiber and minerals, stabilize blood sugar levels and promote intestinal health.
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is essential in Mediterranean cuisine. Its monounsaturated fatty acids help improve heart health and reduce inflammatory processes.
  • Red wine: Due to the resveratrol it contains, the MIND diet allows the consumption of small amounts of wine. However, it should be no more than one small glass (100 milliliters) per day.

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What is taboo on the MIND diet?

Consumption of red meat and processed meat products should be kept to a minimum. Sugary foods and refined carbohydrates, such as those found in white bread, pastries and sweets, should also be avoided. However, the MIND diet allows four servings of sweets per week. Fried foods such as French fries are also allowed on the table once a week. Cheese is also only scheduled once a week. Margarine should be avoided; Butter is allowed in very small quantities.

Study: How effective is the MIND diet?

The effectiveness of the MIND diet has recently been proven in a study. Data were collected from 1,644 subjects over 14 years of age, all of them over 60 years of age. Researchers at Columbia University in New York then evaluated the data. The result: 471 participants died and 140 developed dementia. On the other hand, test subjects who adhered more closely to the basic concept of the MIND diet had a lower risk of dementia and death.

For their analysis, the scientists used the so-called DunedinPACE clock. This epigenetic clock indicates the pace of the biological aging process. The more closely the study participants followed the MIND diet, the more the aging clock slowed down. The results were published in the specialized journal. Annals of neurology.

This article only contains general information on the respective health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. In no case does it replace a visit to the doctor. Our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about medical conditions.


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