Notably, whereas the Mediterranean and DASH diets both emphasize fruit consumption in general, MIND encourages berry intake in particular, especially cognitive-boosting blueberries and strawberries.
In the study, the longer men and women followed the MIND diet, the greater their protection against cognitive decline. “As is the case with many health-related habits, including physical exercise, you’ll be healthier if you’ve been doing the right thing for a long time,” says Morris.
Past studies have also shown the DASH and Mediterranean diet plans to be tied to a lower risk of dementia, which, as the current study indicates, seems to be true. The results of the MIND diet study also offer strong preliminary evidence that a combination of facets of the two regimens hold cognitive benefits — and luckily, it’s also easier to follow than the Mediterranean or DASH plans.
Five million people in the United States currently suffer from Alzheimer’s, and that number is expected to jump to 16 million by 2050 — which is even more reason to adopt these dietary practices now.
Although more studies are needed to confirm the brain-boosting benefits of the MIND diet, science has already shown us the health benefits of the brain-boosting foods, even beyond cognition. “It is hard to come up with a potential downside to adopting these dietary habits,” Morris says.