What is the MIND Diet?

March 1, 2024 | Senior Health
the mind diet

It seems that every few months, there’s a new diet that promises drastic results. From juice cleanses to fasting periods, many of these diets promote false claims and unhealthy eating habits. 

So, what is the MIND diet? What does it entail, and what does it promise to do in terms of enhancing one’s wellness? The MIND diet combines the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet in order to create dietary patterns that improve and enhance brain function. 

While this might sound too good to be true, the MIND diet is actually an excellent way to develop healthier eating practices while focusing on different aspects of wellness outside of just brain health! 

Astral at Auburn provides purposeful senior living in Auburn, Indiana, that inspires residents to enhance their wellness every day. We’re sharing more information about the MIND diet to help you make informed decisions regarding your nutrition and health. 

The MIND Diet

The Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, otherwise known as the MIND Diet, was created to target the aging brain and aims to reduce the decline in cognitive function that many older adults experience. The diet itself combines two popular diets:

  • The Mediterranean Diet: This diet is based on the eating practices and traditional foods of countries that border the Mediterranean Sea (Greece, Italy, Spain and France). This unique diet encourages people to consume more whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and heart-healthy fats, while consuming less processed foods, refined sugars and refined grains.

The Mediterranean Diet has been found to promote weight loss, aid in preventing heart attacks and strokes and improve longevity in many older adults.  

  • The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet: The DASH diet was created to provide a flexible guideline for heart-healthy living. There are no strict rules or special foods in this diet, but instead, daily and weekly food and nutritional goals. 

For example,  the plan typically recommends eating more vegetables, fruits and whole grains and limiting foods high in saturated fat and sugar. 

Many experts agree that these two diets are among the healthiest lifestyle choices a person can make. That being said, researchers decided to take both the Mediterranean and DASH diets to another level by creating a unique diet that specifically aided in brain function while helping to reduce and prevent dementia. 

What Can I Eat on the MIND Diet?

The MIND diet does not have a set list of guidelines that a person must follow. The diet combines different foods from the Mediterranean and DASH diets that specifically improve brain health. Specifically, ten foods are recommended with the MIND diet:

  1. Green, Leafy Vegetables: These include kale, spinach and cooked greens. Experts recommend eating about six servings of leafy greens per week. 
  1. All Other Vegetables: You can never go wrong with consuming vegetables. Not only are they delicious and high in nutrients, but they can go a long way in preserving brain health. It’s important to choose less-starchy veggies on the MIND diet, as they provide more nutrients. 
  1. Berries: Berries like blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries should be eaten at least twice a week on the MIND diet. Studies have also shown that berries can improve memory and attention.
  2. Nuts: There’s no specific kind of nut to consume on the MIND diet, but it’s important to eat at least five servings of nuts a week.
  3. Olive Oil: While participating in the MIND diet, use olive oil as your main cooking oil.
  4. Whole Grains: Aim for at least three servings of whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice and whole wheat pasta per day.
  5. Fish: Choose fatty fish like salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel while on the MIND diet, and consume fish at least once per week.
  6. Beans: Include beans in your meals at least four times per week.
  7. Poultry: It’s encouraged to include poultry in the MIND diet at least twice per week. However, try to avoid fried versions of chicken.
  8. Wine: You read that correctly – you can enjoy one glass of wine daily while on the MIND diet!

Does the MIND Diet Actually Work?

While there’s no “magic diet” to prevent all potential health issues, the MIND diet is an excellent place to start for those who want to focus on their brain health and embrace a healthier lifestyle. 

At Astral at Auburn, our dining experiences provide fresh, locally inspired cuisine full of nutrients and delicious flavors! It’s no surprise that Astral at Auburn received the 2023 People’s Choice Award and 2021 People’s Choice Award for our culinary creations, as our dishes truly reflect a “Taste of Auburn!”
When you choose Astral at Auburn, you can rest assured that you’re in for a healthy lifestyle with plenty of heart.

Discover senior living in Auburn, Indiana, today by contacting our team!

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