MIND diet, a combination of Mediterranean and DASH diets, associated with cardiac and cognitive benefits

The MIND diet, a hybrid of the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, is associated with significant improvements to the hearts’ left ventricular function, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Nutrition.

The Mediterranean diet prioritizes eating fruits and vegetables and limiting fatty foods and animal products. The DASH diet, meanwhile, was developed specifically to help lower or control high blood pressure. Combining the two has been associated with improving a person’s risk of cognitive decline or dementia—and now, it seems, it can also be linked to some substantial cardiac benefits.

This latest analysis was based on data from more than 2,500 adults who participated in the Framingham Heart Study. While 55% of participants were women, the group’s mean age was 66 years old. Researchers explored both imaging findings and the self-reported dietary patterns of each participant, identifying “favorable associations” between following a MIND-like diet and left ventricular function.

“Our findings highlight the importance of adherence to the MIND diet for a better cardiovascular health and further reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease in the community,” corresponding author Vanessa Xanthakis, PhD, an assistant professor at Boston University School of Medicine and an investigator for the Framingham Heart Study, said in a statement.

The full analysis from Xanthakis et al. is available here.

To learn more about the MIND diet, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website here.

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