The MIND Diet for Divas

Last updated on : October 07 2020

the mind diet

The MIND Diet Is Scientifically Proven To Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer's

For years, doctors have held the opinion that what a person eats on a regular basis affects their heart in both positive and negative ways. 

In more recent studies this idea has begun to convince doctors, fitness trainers, and athletes that one’s diet plays a fundamental role in the health of the brain.

A Chicago based nutrition study demonstrated that a diet plan called the MIND diet might help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by as much as 53 percent.

Typically, diets are created and embraced on the promise to shave off pounds, protect your waistline, or deliver glowing skin and stronger hair. 

Most diets and meal plans are not supported by science. The MIND diet does not promise to cleanse your body of all toxins, yet it is shown to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, and may even help you lose weight.

Let’s get into the details of what this diet plan is all about and how you can incorporate it into your contemporary lifestyle. 

Index To Article

What Is The MIND Diet

Foods Included In The Diet

Foods To Avoid On The Diet


What Is The MIND Diet

In February 2015, the Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association published a study that demonstrated the significant effect of The MIND Diet in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

The diet, developed by Martha Clare Morris (Ph.D.), a Rush University nutritional epidemiologist, along with her colleagues at the Rush University Medical Center

MIND is an acronym for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay and is a hybrid diet plan of the Mediterranean diet and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

The MIND diet emphasizes the consumption of plant-based foods, berries, and other brain-healthy edibles. It is comparatively easier to follow than most other diets because of its simplicity.

Although not around for long, it has already found recognition as being one of the best. The U.S. News & World Report ranked The MIND Diet as the most straightforward diet to follow and the second best overall diet (tying in both categories) in 2016. 

infographic on the mind diet


The MIND Diet Food List:

The MIND diet consists of 15 dietary components, which includes 10 “brain-healthy food groups” and 5 “unhealthy components.” 

We’ve compiled these food groups for you below as well as shared recommended servings and portions.

 

The 10 Healthy Dietary Components

1. Green leafy vegetables:

green leafy vegetables

The MIND diet stresses the consumption of green leafy vegetables and recommends at least two but preferably six servings of green leafy veggies per week. Because green veggies such as spinach, kale, collards, and broccoli are rich in vitamins A and C among other nutrients.

2. Other vegetables:

vegetables in all colors

Similar to other diet plans, the MIND diet focuses on the importance of plants, specifically for the health of your brain. Include at least one salad and another vegetable in your diet every day to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s.

3. Berries:

bowl of strawberries & blueberries

The MIND diet recommends blueberries and strawberries explicitly. These berries have performed particularly well during studies regarding protecting the brain. Consume berries at least twice a week for optimal brain health.

4. Nuts:

nuts of all types

The MIND diet involves snacking on various nuts at least five times a week. Nuts such as walnuts, peanuts, and almonds contain lots of fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants.

5. Whole grains:

bowl of whole grains

Whole grains constitute a vital part of the MIND diet, with a recommended consumption of at least three servings in a day. Whole grains include rice, barley, oats, and maize (corn).

6. Beans:

fresh bean pod

Beans are naturally high in fiber and protein and low in fat and calories. They also work to keep your mind sharp and support your thought processes. Consume beans at least three times a week.

7. Fish:

raw fish and ingredients

The researchers of the study found that eating fish reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, unlike the Mediterranean diet that recommends eating fish every day, the MIND diet says that consuming it once a week is satisfactory for the same results.

8. Poultry:

grilled chicken breast and couscous

Poultry is another non-vegetarian food that is deemed healthy for your brain. The recommended serving of bird such as chicken and turkey is at least two in a week.

9. Olive oil:

bottle of olive oil with unpressed olives

The study found that people who use olive oil as their primary cooking oil had a higher level of protection against cognitive decline. Olive oil is a healthier fat alternative than other oils. The MIND diet recommends that you use this oil to prepare your everyday dishes and salads.

10. Wine:

red wine being poured into a glass

Wine, when enjoyed in moderation, has proven to prevent cognitive decline in addition to keeping your heart healthy. The MIND diet recommends a glass of wine every day to keep dementia at bay, and it works. 

Ensure that you do not go overboard and stick to just one drink to protect your health.  

Foods to Avoid on the MIND Diet

The MIND diet is a purely natural diet that emphasizes the consumption of fresh vegetables, fish, berries, and nuts. It is scientifically proven to be effective in reducing your risk for Alzheimer's disease. 

It demonstrates that what you eat is crucial to brain health as well as overall well-being. But what you decide to eliminate or reduce in your diet also plays an important role.

  

Here are the five food groups that the MIND diet identifies as unhealthy:

1. Red meat:

raw red meat steaks

Although the MIND diet does not ask you to stop eating red meats completely, it recommends that you limit the servings to no more than four times a week. Restricting your red meat consumption to under four times a week may promote brain health.

2. Butter and stick margarine:

margarine in a tub

If you are used to the taste of butter in your cooking, there are brain-healthy substitutes like olive oil that you can adopt. The MIND diet recommends that you limit your intake of butter and stick margarine to less than one tablespoon per day.

3. Cheese:

block of cheese

According to the MIND diet study, cheese doesn’t do any good for your brain. To lower your risk of Alzheimer’s, limit eating cheese to once a week.

4. Sweets and pastries:

homemade doughnuts

Desserts such as cookies, cakes, and pies are foods that may hurt your brain in addition to contributing to weight gain and other health issues. It is acceptable to indulge in sweet treats every so often but recommended that you limit your intake to no more than five servings each week.

5. Fried or fast food:

french fries and fried chicken meal

Resist eating fast foods and fried stuff to once a week to boost your brain health.

Summary

One of the most attractive elements to the MIND diet is that it is an eating plan that is relatively flexible compared to other nutrition plans. So it enables you to benefit from it even with the occasional cheat day.

The participants who followed the diet only “moderately well” still had a reduced risk of Alzheimer's by approximately 35 percent. Alzheimer's disease affects more than five million Americans. Choosing to adopt the MIND diet is a wise and fashionable lifestyle choice. 

Another great benefit of the MIND diet is that it helps you shed extra pounds and lose weight. Dietary choices like cutting down the trans fat from fried food and sugar from sweets and pastries, and eating healthier and greener food all work to help you reduce weight naturally. Without having to embark on extreme diets that are hard to stick with for the long haul. 

The key to the MIND diet and all other diets is to ensure that you watch your portion sizes, and do not go overboard even with the listed healthy foods. 

Even though olive oil is healthy, remember one tablespoon of it equals to 119 calories. Lastly, ensure that you are consuming proteins along with the recommended carbs in this diet. Eating proteins ensure that you do not face any sugar crashes, feel fuller faster, and maintain your healthiest weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

These are the questions our readers ask most frequently about The MIND Diet.

Are eggs on the MIND Diet?

The MIND diet lists cheese and butter as unhealthy brain foods. It does not explicitly mention eggs. However, research independent of the diet links eggs to a reduced risk of dementia.

Is diary food allowed on the MIND Diet?

The diet does not encourage eating dairy products, including butter and cheese. 

Is peanut butter on the MIND Diet?

Both peanuts and peanut butter are excellent sources of niacin and good sources of vitamin E. The MIND diet recommends eating five or more servings of nuts (including peanuts) each week. However, go for natural peanut butter without added salt or sugars. 

Is the MIND Diet good for weight loss?

You can lose weight on the MIND diet. While the diet focusses on the benefits for the brain and not weight loss, the foods it recommends can contribute to weight loss, and the foods to avoid, such as whole dairy products, pastries, sweets, and fried foods – are tied to weight gain. 

The MIND Diet Recipe Books

If you're interested in this diet here are our recipe book recommendations to help.

The MIND Diet Cookbook

Quick and Delicious Recipes for Enhancing Brain Function and Helping Prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia.

The Feed Your Mind Diet Cookbook

85 Complete Meal Recipes Incorporating Brain-Healthy Foods Shown to Reduce the Risk of Cognitive Decline, Dementia, and Alzheimer's Disease.

The MIND Diet

A Scientific Approach to Enhancing Brain Function and Helping Prevent Alzheimer's and Dementia.

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