The MIND diet is a scientifically approved nutritional plan well-known for triggering memory and healthy functioning of the brain. Formulated by Prof.Morris, Rush University Medical Centre, it particularly aims at averting dementia and preventing the loss of brain function as you age. As per the studies, it was disclosed that the MIND diet lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s by 35%-50% of subjects who adhered to it. This shows that there is a direct relationship between food and brain health.
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What Is MIND Diet?
The MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. The main approach of the MIND diet is lowering the risk of dementia and the degeneration in brain health that often develops as people age. This diet basically is a combination of the Mediterranean and the DASH diets, a food pattern that mainly pays attention to improve brain health. It is a therapeutic strategy that delays and averts neurodegeneration. Also Read: DASH diet to control Hypertension
Researchers strongly recommend the Mediterranean and DASH diets as the healthiest and have proven that these diets can control blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic diseases. It mainly includes food groups that confer to boosting brain health, preventing memory loss and controlling blood pressure. Also Read: Mediterranean Diet: Know Why This Is Not Just Another Food Fad To Follow in 2020
Read through this article to get a better understanding of the MIND diet, foods to eat and avoid.
How Does The MIND Diet Work?
This diet mainly emphasizes on reducing the intake of unhealthy foods and increasing intake of wholesome foods that exhibit amazing healing properties. Food rich in trans-fat, salt and sugar causes inflammation in the body, while it also damages cellular function, DNA and brain cells. The MIND diet works to lower inflammation thereby revamping DNA structure and brain and cellular function. The MIND diet reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. The foods in this diet contain nutrients that prevent beta-amyloid plaque formation, which possibly leads to Alzheimer’s disease.
10 Foods Included In The MIND Diet:
Green Leafy Vegetables
Consume at least six or more servings of green leafy vegetables per week, which include kale, spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard, radish greens, bok choy, and lettuce.
It is also important to add other vegetables in addition to the green leafy vegetables at least one serving per day. It is best to go for non-starchy vegetables as they are bestowed with dense nutrient profile with minimal calories.
Include berries in the regimen at least twice a week. Consume berries like strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries as they are a storehouse of antioxidants.
Nuts are a healthy snack option. They contain a rich array of nutrients including healthy fatty acids, protein, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and dietary fibre. Try to have five servings of nuts or more in a week such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, macadamia, and pine.
Olive oil is the main source of cooking oil and a vital part of the Mediterranean diet. It contains ample amounts of healthy omega -3 fatty acids and powerful antioxidants that are well-known to combat inflammation and lowers the risk of chronic diseases. Always use olive oil as the major cooking oil or as a salad dressing.
Have at least three servings of brown rice, quinoa, oatmeal, whole wheat bread and pasta per day. Whole grain cereals come with impressive nutrients and lower the risk of chronic inflammation.
Try consuming fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardine, tuna and trout rich in omega -3 fatty acids, which are beneficial in lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. Aside from this, omega fatty acids in fish are actively involved in neuronal plasticity which supports the brain's ability to change continuously.
Adding lean meat like steamed or poached chicken and eggs at least twice a week boost the protein levels and uplift brain health. Avoid having fried chicken or egg yolk if the cholesterol levels are high.
Include beans, lentils and legumes about four servings per week such as soybeans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, and black-eyed peas to name a few.
It is suggested to take red wine, as it is packed with resveratrol which may benefit brain health and lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Half a glass of red wine can be taken in a day.
Even though if you are not able to meet the recommended servings of food, don’t quit the MIND diet, as evidence has revealed that following the MIND diet in a moderate amount is linked with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. For better results, it is best to stick to these 10 foods and avoid some foods to improve brain function.
Foods To Be Avoided
The MIND diet recommends restricting the following five foods:
Cut down on butter and margarine intake to less than one tablespoon per day.
Food like fries, fried chicken and other fast foods are packed with unhealthy fats and may increase oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.
Restrict cheese intake to less than one serving per week.
Reduce red meat intake to less than 1-2 servings per week. The high content of saturated fat in red meat may increase the risk of heart disease and hamper brain health.
High Sugary /Salty Foods
Avoid salty and sugary foods like canned, processed, frozen meats, salted nuts and candies, ice cream, brownie, cakes and more.
Scientist suggests restricting the intake of these foods as they are loaded with saturated and trans fats. Several pieces of evidence have shown that trans fats are linked to increased risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
The MIND diet was formulated to prevent dementia and slow down the loss of brain function that occurs with age. The diet emphasis eating plenty of fresh produce including green leafy vegetables, berries, whole grain cereals, nuts, olive oil, fish bean, poultry and wine. These foods are well-known to stimulate brain health by lowering oxidative stress, inflammation and formation of beta-amyloid plaques. The MIND diet is an incredible and simple approach to follow if you want to keep up the healthy functioning of the brain as you age.