Does eating a specific food or following a certain diet prevent Alzheimer's disease-related dementia? The answer is yes! Numerous studies have indicated that the aging brain's ability to process thought and memory is influenced by the foods we eat. This blog contains all the information one needs to know about the MIND diet, including how to follow it. The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay Diet. 

As the name suggests, the MIND diet reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease while promoting cognitive and overall brain function. It combines elements of the two well-researched diets, the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet that have been linked to several health advantages. If you have a family history of Alzheimer's disease or other cognitive issues, the MIND diet is a well-balanced diet with efficient results.

Food that You Can Eat on the MIND Diet: Guide for Beginners 

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The MIND diet encompasses the benefits of both the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet. The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating as many natural foods as possible while restricting bad fats and red meat from the diet. On the other hand, the DASH diet aims to lower your blood pressure and limit your sodium intake.

Foods to eat on the MIND diet for optimal brain health:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fresh fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Berries, especially blueberries
  • Nuts
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Fish
  • Seafood
  • Poultry
  • One glass of red wine (optional) 
  • Olive oil (the primary oil used)

Foods to avoid on the MIND diet

  • Fried and fast food
  • Pastries and sweets
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cheese
  • Red meat

Know About The Diet Guidelines


The diet's guidelines are:

  • Consume three or more servings of whole grains each day. 
  • Consume a green salad and one other vegetable every day. 
  • Every day, have a glass of wine. 
  • Almost daily, have a one-ounce serving of nuts as a snack. 
  • Consume beans or legumes every other day. 
  • Eat berries and poultry at least twice a week. 
  • Eat fish at least once a week or more.
  • Drink one glass of red wine per day.
  • Fried/fast foods are permitted, but only up to one serving per week—butter is excluded.  
  • You can have no more than one tablespoon of butter every day.

7 Benefits of the MIND Diet That You Must Know

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Below are the seven tried and tested benefits of MIND DIET:

1. Reduces risk of dementia: A diet laden with sugar, processed carbs, and saturated fats tends to increase inflammation in our body, which is also linked to poorer cognitive performance. A specialized plant-based diet like MIND, reduces body inflammation, which in turn reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

2. Includes naturally low-carbohydrate brain-healthy food groups: Diets that are low in carbohydrates provide much fewer calories from carbohydrates than the 45% to 65% federal dietary recommendation.

3. Keeps chronic diseases in check: Helps in preventing and improving cardiovascular diseases and diabetes while supporting healthy aging.

4. Provides rich sources of dietary nutrients: Includes nutrients like vitamin E, folate, flavonoids, carotenoids, and omega-3 fatty acids.

5. Easy-to-follow diet: No precise guidelines or strict meal plans, no allotted timelines, and no calorie limits.

6. Provides diverse foods and flavors: You don't have to entirely give up meat and dairy; the diet suggests consuming them in moderation—less frequently than four times each week. The diet suggests replacing it with high-protein beans and legumes, which are crucial for maintaining brain health.

7. Aids in weight loss: By omitting sweets, fried food, and whole dairy products from the diet, one tends to easily lose weight. Also, being a high-fiber diet, keeps you fulfilled for a long time.

Conclusion


The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, with a specific focus on brain health. It offers an abundance of options, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and beans, nuts and seeds, lean protein, and healthy fats. The MIND diet not only helps to maintain your overall mental well-being but also lowers your chances of depression and preserves your cognitive function. Also, there are a plethora of delectable ways to enjoy this food that can be applied to any kind of food. Even modest adherence to the MIND diet for a long time will surely give you benefits. Consult your doctor to see if the MIND diet is suitable for you, or consult a dietitian or certified nutritionist for dietary advice if you're unsure about where to begin. They could assist you in creating a tailored meal plan that suits your needs the best. 

For further assistance related to diet in Alzheimer's disease-related dementia, connect with our specialized Dietician online at Ask a Doctor, available 24x7.


Recently Answered Questions Related to Alzheimer's Disease and Diet


Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes. 

About the Author

Dr. Shweta Khanna

Shweta Khanna is a dental surgeon who has experience in dentistry for more than 13 years. She has been writing innovative medical and healthcare content for the past eight years. She has authored various medical blogs/articles related to dentistry, orthopedics, dermatology, women's health, consumer health articles, and research articles (basic and clinical).


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