MIND Diet

sharpen your brain with the MIND Diet

Most of the diets that I’ve reviewed on this site are geared towards losing weight. That’s the common goal, right? However, there are diets that are designed for other health purposes. For instance, the DASH Diet aims to lower high blood pressure. The MIND Diet is another that serves an alternate purpose, which I’ll go into detail below.

What is the MIND Diet?

This diet was created to prevent diseases that affect the mind, if you couldn’t guess by the name, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. “MIND” isn’t just a clever name, it’s also an acronym, standing for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. Obviously, it incorporates elements from the Mediterranean Diet (reviewed here) and the DASH Diet (more information here). These two diets are regarded as some of the healthiest options, reducing your blood pressure and lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues.

What Does It Entail?

While those benefits mentioned above are nice, what does it have to do with the brain? Well, the researchers that put together this diet identified the foods that are most beneficial to brain health. These foods include:

  • Vegetables: try to get six or more servings per week, with a focus on leafy green veggies.
  • Berries: Not all fruit has been linked to improved brain health, but berries have been. Eat these at least twice per week.
  • Nuts: While the creators of this diet don’t specify exactly what nuts are best, you should aim for at least five servings of these each week.
  • Fish: Consume fish at least once per week, focusing on fatty fish like salmon and tuna that are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Whole Grains: Get at least three servings daily through brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and similar foods.
  • Poultry: Consume turkey or chicken at least twice per week.
  • Beans: Eat beans as part of your meal at least four times each week.
  • Wine: This part is definitely taken from the Mediterranean Diet. Have one, but not more than one, glass daily – particularly red wine because of its resveratrol content.

If you are not able to get each of these foods in the recommended amounts each week, it is said that it is not particularly strict to these guidelines. Even loosely following these principles is more beneficial to the mind than otherwise making unhealthy diet choices. It goes without saying, however, that the more closely you follow it, you’ll experience better results.

What Not to Eat

While there are plenty of different foods and drinks that you should be consuming while on this diet, there are very few that you should be avoiding. In particular, this diet recommends limiting your intake of butter and margarine, cheese, red meats, pastries and other sweets, and fried food. The reasoning behind this is because of their level of saturated and trans fats. These fats contribute to risk factors of disease, including brain health.

My Thoughts

I took a deeper dive on this book on Amazon and this diet can definitely help those who are at risk of mental issues as they reach an older age. The foods in this diet are beneficial to the mind as they are full of nutrients. These vitamins and minerals fight oxidative stress, inflammation, and the creation of beta-amyloid plaques (proteins that build up in the brain that clog neurotransmitters and slow down brain communication).

If this is something you are at risk of, or already experiencing, definitely give this diet a try. You can find more literature on the MIND Diet in this book here.

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About 

T.J. LaPanta is a Florida based aspiring comedian and health nut.
When he's not trying to hack his way through a post-graduate degree, he's slaving away in the kitchen, working out, or trying to score a date.

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