What is the MIND Diet?
A healthier brain means a better and longer life, which is something we all desire. Yet, Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the US, and 7 million Americans will have Alzheimer’s by 2025 . Indeed, 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s. Alongside seeking cures for age-related conditions, prevention is a vital approach.
Researchers have found that the MIND diet slows aging in your brain by 7-1/2 years and reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and cognitive decline significantly.
The MIND diet is a mash-up of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, and that’s where the name comes from: Mediterranean-DASH intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
What Foods Should I Avoid or Limit on the MIND diet?
- Butter or margarine. Instead, opt for olive oil.
- Cheese. Ideally, only eat once a week at most.
- Red meat. While it may be a toughie, limit your red meat intake to 3 times a week or less.
- Fried foods. Just don’t.
- Pastries/sweets. Cut down to just 4 times a week, at most.
What Foods Make Up the MIND diet?
Focusing on these 10 foods goes a long way towards protecting longevity and quality of life. No counting calories here, just keep track of how often you eat servings of these foods each week.
- 1. Green leafy veggies (kale, spinach, collard greens and lettuces) are specifically linked to lowered dementia and cognitive decline risks. Recommended servings: 6 weekly. Serving size: 2 cups raw/1 cup cooked.
- 2. Berries, particularly strawberries and blueberries have been studied, but all berries are good choices. Recommended servings: 5 plus servings weekly. Serving size: 1/2 to 1 cup.
- 3. Olive oil replaces all other oils. Recommended servings: daily. Serving size: 2 tablespoons.
- 4. Whole grains like whole-grain bread, oats, faro, quinoa, wild rice, whole-grain pasta, brown rice and the like are key MIND diet components. Recommended servings: 3 daily servings. Serving size: 1/2 cup cooked or 1 slice.
- 5. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and other types are great options in this eating style.
Recommended servings: 5 ounces weekly. Serving size: 1 ounce or a handful.
- 6. Vegetables besides green, leafy ones should encompass a rainbow of variety. Recommended servings: 1 serving daily. Serving size: 1/2 cup.
- 7. Beans and legumes from black, kidney, cannellini to lentils, edamame and tofu are terrific to include. Recommended servings: 3-4 times weekly. Serving size: 1/2 cup.
- 8. Fish like salmon, tuna, cod, tilapia, halibut or mahi-mahi, are elements of the MIND diet. Just make sure they aren’t fried. Recommended servings: 1 time weekly. Serving size: 1/2 cup.
- 9. Poultry like chicken or turkey; skinless and not fried are best. Recommended servings: at least twice weekly. Serving size: 3-5 ounces, cooked.
- 10. Wine is considered a healthy option, according to some studies. However, if you don’t already drink, keep abstaining. Recommended servings: Once daily. Serving size: 1 glass.