Heart-healthy diets may also be brain boosting

April 26, 2022—Evidence suggests that certain foods or diets may help stave off dementia. The Mediterranean and MIND diets—both of which emphasize healthy fats and leafy greens and limit red meat and sugar—have been associated with reduced cognitive decline. Researchers quoted in an April 21, 2022 New York Times article noted that people with conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease are more likely to experience age-related cognitive decline, suggesting that dietary changes that reduce the risk of developing chronic illness may have added benefits for the brain.

“Pretty much anything that will help keep arteries healthy will reduce risk of dementia,” Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in the article. Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at Harvard Chan School, is one of the researchers who developed the MIND diet, and is a principal investigator on a trial looking at its effectiveness for both weight loss and brain health.

The Times article also highlighted the Green Mediterranean diet, which may be protective against age-related brain atrophy, according to a recent study co-authored Harvard Chan School researchers. This diet includes daily consumption of green tea, walnuts, and an aquatic plant called Mankai—all of which contain beneficial compounds known as polyphenols.

Read the New York Times article: Can Certain Foods Really Stave Off Dementia?