Longevity Blog

The MIND Diet: A Diet to Remember - Longevity Blog

Aging is commonly associated with memory changes, forgetfulness, brain fog and Alzheimer’s.  Small memory lapses are considered normal and part of the aging process and are not necessarily a reason to be concerned, although failing memory is a symptom that typically characterizes Alzheimer’s disease.

Not all absentmindedness and memory loss are a result of aging, according to Harvard Medical School. Some medications and high blood pressure can also be the culprit. There are steps you can take to avoid the risk of dementia, such as:

  • learning techniques to organize and retain information better;
  • avoiding noise, distractions and multitasking so you can focus better;
  • paying attention and slowing down to enable the brain to create a more lasting memory;
  • obtaining proper sleep, resting and following a healthy diet.

The MIND diet is a brain health diet that was designed to prevent dementia and loss of brain function, by boosting overall cognitive and mental health. It stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It combines elements of two popular diets, the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). The general guideline for the MIND diet is to eat more foods on the groups that it recommends (10) and avoid certain foods from other categories (5), as listed below.

 

MIND 10 Recommended Foods:

  • Green leafy vegetables: At least six servings a week (e.g., spinach, kale, salad greens)
  • Other vegetables: At least one a day
  • Nuts: Five servings a week
  • Berries: Two or more servings a week
  • Beans: At least three servings a week (e.g., beans, lentils, soybeans)
  • Whole grains: Three or more servings a day
  • Fish: At least once a week
  • Poultry: Two times a week (e.g., chicken or turkey)
  • Olive oil: Use it as your main cooking oil
  • Wine: One glass a day

 

MIND 5 Foods to Avoid:

  • Red meat: No more than three servings a week
  • Butter and margarine: Less than a tablespoon a day
  • Cheese: Less than one serving a week
  • Pastries and sweets: Less than five servings a week (e.g., cookies, cakes, donuts, candy, ice cream, etc.)
  • Fried or fast food: Less than one serving a week

 

The MIND diet can be combined with other diets simply by incorporating the above guidelines. For example, you can add other fruits to your daily diet although the MIND diet encourages consumption of berries as these have shown a correlation with brain function. Following the MIND diet can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 53%, and a partial diet can still lower the risk by 35%. Although the benefits look promising, amplify your results by ensuring good sleep, exercise, hydration, stress management and a healthy lifestyle.

 

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22535616

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4532650/

http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/features/mind-diet-alzheimers-disease#1 http://www.healthline.com/nutrition/mind-diet

 

 

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