What you eat has a major impact on your overall health. It can, in fact, make or break your health. This is a fact that is proven by numerous studies. Now a new study from the Centre for Brain Health and the Division of Neurology in the UBC Faculty of Medicine says that there may be a strong association between the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet (MIND diet) and later onset of Parkinson's disease (PD). Many earlier studies had already established its positive association with Alzheimer's and dementia, and this is the first study to specifically look into the link between the MIND diet and brain health for Parkinson's disease.
While the MIND diet is the recommended diet for cognitive health, it is equally good for many other diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, digestive issues and even cancer.
WHAT EXACTLY IS THE MIND DIET?
The MIND diet is nothing but the combination of two popular diets - the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet. It was actually created specifically to improve brain function and prevent age-related dementia. But the benefits of this antioxidant-rich diet for patients of other chronic ailments cannot be ignored.
It advocates the addition of berries, nuts, green leafy veggies and other non-starchy vegetable, beans and whole grains in your diet. You are advised to switch to olive oil as a cooking medium and consume fish at least once a week and poultry at least twice a week. As for alcohol, you have to restrict yourself to not more than one glass of wine a day.
FOODS TO AVOID
Saturated fats and trans fats are a big 'no' in this diet. If you decide to go on the MIND diet, you will have to avoid butter and margarine or at least limit your intake to less than a tablespoon a day. Cheese is also considered a bad food and so is red meat. Other foods that you need to stay away from include fried and fast foods and as well as pastries and sweets.
DISEASES THAT YOU CAN KEEP AT BAY WITH THIS DIET
The MIND diet is an incredibly healthy diet and, though it was developed to boost cognitive health, it can help you prevent many chronic ailments. Here we list a few health benefits of this diet.
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It significantly brings down the risk of cardiovascular diseases
According to a study at Rush University Medical Center, the MIND, besides significantly lowering a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, can also keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. This diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean and DASH diets. Both these diets are capable of reducing the risk of cardiovascular conditions, like hypertension, heart attack and stroke.
It can benefit diabetes patients
Healthy eating is a must for patients of diabetes and the key to living a quality life and the MIND diet is all about healthy eating. The addition of whole grains, fruits and vegetables will improve blood sugar control and reduce the overall incidence of type 2 diabetes by almost 20 per cent, according to experts.
It may help prevent cancer
Eating more vegetables, legumes and whole grains can bring down your risk of cancer as has been proved by many studies. The MIND diet may bring down your risk of colon, breast, pancreas, stomach, prostate and liver cancers.
It keeps chronic inflammation at bay
Chronic inflammation is often the cause of many serious health conditions like Alzheimer's, heart disease and autoimmune diseases. But if you switch to a nutrient-dense, plant-based diet and eliminate fat and sugary foods from your diet, you can beat the effects of inflammation and also prevent inflammation from happening.