The DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) Diet morphed with the Mediterranean Diet, resulting in the popular MIND diet.
The MIND diet’s main objective is to reduce* the risk and prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia diseases, while boosting current brain health, nourishment and power.
The breakdown of the diet it quite simple, there is a list of foods to consume often and a list of foods to avoid. The diet is loaded with healthy fats and avoids processed sugar, flours, and trans fats.
MIND Dieters can Eat off the “Approved” Food List Below:
- At least a single serving of vegetables per day
- Antioxidants rich berries at least twice per week
- Fibrous beans and legumes at least three servings a week
- A variety of nuts most days per week
- Fish at least one time per week
- Poultry at least two times per week
- Olive oil used daily to cook with and dressing for salads and vegetables
- Three or more servings of whole grains per day
- One glass of wine daily
- 1 serving of dark leafy greens per day
Specific foods to limit: margarine, red meat, cheese, pastries, sweets and fried foods.
Impressive Research on the MIND Diet Specifically:
The research has been going on through the Rush Memory and Aging project since 1997. This project has been researching and observing seniors, almost 1000 people ranging in age from mid 50’s to almost 100 years of age.
These individuals were interviewed and assessed in regards to their nutrition and specific diet and their overall brain function and heath.
The powerful results of the study almost 20 years later revealed that those participants who followed the MIND diet closely and for the longest period of time reduced* their risk for Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia diseases by over 50% and their brain function was equal to someone over 7 years younger.
Even those individuals who were not rigidly adhering to the diet still reaped some of the benefits of reduced* risk for cognitive decline, about 30% reduced* risk compared to the 50% listed above.
How Does the Mind Diet Slow Cognitive Decline?
The most common answer to how the MIND diet improves* brain health is related to the high percentage of healthy fats consumed. The natural sources of anti-inflammatory fats nourish the brain and its ability to function at its best.
Our brain is comprised of primarily fatty tissue and when a person is on a diet that is low in fat it can hinder the brain’s ability to function at optimal level. Some integrative health practitioners contribute the low fat craze of the late 80’s and 90’s to the rise in Alzheimer’s cases and other dementia type diseases.
This population restricted all fat from their diet and it had a negative impact on their brain health and cognitive function.
Healthy fats including nuts, seeds, oils, avocados, coconut, etc. have numerous health benefits including chronic disease prevention, and weight loss*. An average of 50% or more of daily calories should be from healthy dietary fat sources, this is approximately 100 grams per day for the average person.
Remember fat is dense and has over twice the amount of calories as the other macronutrients carbohydrates and protein, so servings sizes are smaller and moderation is very important to avoid weight gain.
Elimination of processed chemically laden foods
Another huge health benefit of the MIND diet is the diet is free of all processed foods. There are no dyes, sweete ners, hydrogenated oils, preservatives, etc. These processed ingredients in high amount can be toxic and when toxins are consumed they settle into our cells including our neurological cells.
Eliminated processed foods and preservatives completely will improve* all metabolic functions including neurological and hormonal, while naturally reducing* inflammation.
This will reset the metabolism, improving* the immune system, making it easier to obtain optimal weight, reducing* risk for chronic disease and overall cognitive decline.
A Typical Day on the MIND Diet
This diet it not really a diet, it is a lifestyle with boundaries that are simple to obtain and make into lifestyle habits. Below is a regular day of eating on the MIND diet.
- Breakfast – Steel cut oats with mixed berries
- Lunch – Salad consisting of dark leafy spinach, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olive oil and vinegar
- Snack – Handful of Walnuts
- Dinner – Roasted wild caught salmon, steamed broccoli, wild rice, all foods seasoned with herbs and olive oil with a glass of red wine.
Read Next: Choose A Brain-Healthy Diet
The MIND diet is a non-pharmaceutical inexpensive way to improve* your overall health and prevent the onset of chronic disease specifically Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia diseases.
Making small lifestyle changes according to the guidelines listed above is a great way to improve* your health and risk for cognitive decline.
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In-Post Image: springchicken.co.uk, Shutterstock.com