The MIND diet, standing for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, has shown promising preliminary results to reduce progression of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.
Alzheimer’s affects 1 in 3 of the elderly population, and is the 6th leading cause of death worldwide. It is important to explore new dietary and lifestyle options that can moderate your risk of developing such a debilitating disease.
The MIND diet includes specific food and food categories which has been proven to boost brain function.
- Green leafy vegetables: 6+ servings per week
- Other vegetables: 1+ serving per day
- Nuts: 5 servings per week
- Berries: 2+ servings per week
- Whole grains: 3+ servings per day
- Fish: 1 serving per week
- Poultry: 2 servings per week
- Olive Oil: Use as main cooking oil
Foods to Limit
- Red meat
- Butter and margarine
- Pastries and sweets
- Fried or fast foods
During their large study, the MIND trial assessed almost 1000 individuals’ diets in relation to the MIND diet. Researchers were able to show that sticking to the MIND diet guidelines reduced subject’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 54%! The good thing about a diet like this is that the guidelines are not too strict, there is room to eat the foods you love in moderation and lots of room to be creative. There is no daily calorie limit, elimination of major food groups or nutrients or specific meal timings. Moreover, these guidelines have also been shown to reduce heart disease progression and also lower blood pressure.
Foods recommended by the MIND diet are foods rich in a variety of brain health promoting nutrients, such as vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant which works primarily in the brain and skin tissues. Omega-3, on the other hand, is important for the structural integrity of the brain and transmission of brain signals between cells. The diet is rich in vitamin B complexes, which are the vitamins most responsible for controlling neuron signals.
The basics of the MIND diet are relatively easy to follow, which is why incorporating at least some of the brain-healthy foods and reducing our intake from the unhealthy foods list is something we should all be doing. This permanent lifestyle change represented by the MIND diet will do wonders for your brain, heart, skin, and just about everything in between!