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What is it?
Developed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center, the MIND diet refers to a pattern of eating that is said to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53 percent. MIND stands for Mediterranean / Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, combining the two diets to create one all-encompassing nutrition plan. The diet breaks food into ten “brain healthy food groups,” and five “unhealthy food groups.” While the diet focuses primarily on improving brain health, the emphasis on healthy foods is also said to lead to weight loss.
What does this diet offer?
The MIND Diet includes foods that offer high levels of anti-oxidants and nutrients, which can aid in protection of the brain and the body. The diet suggests limiting – but not necessarily eliminating – the intake of all of the usual bad guys: red meat, pastries, cheese, butter, and fried food. Instead, dieters should focus on the designated brain healthy foods: leafy greens, vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, olive oil, and wine (in moderation).
For those following the MIND diet, a typical morning can start with an omelette mixed with leafy greens and a cup of berries. At lunch, try a bean salad with cooked vegetables and topped with olive oil. For a filling yet MIND approved dinner, go for grilled salmon with brown rice and steamed broccoli.
Should you try it?
Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s is certainly a bonus, and can therefore be considered by anyone concerned with improving their brain health. The MIND Diet is rather inclusive and doesn’t attempt to drastically limit your food intake, which may make it easier to follow than other diets out there. It’s important to note that many neurologists cite exercise as a key in reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s, meaning focusing on diet alone isn’t the best way to improve brain health. Before starting any diet, we recommend consulting a dietitian to ensure it’s right for you.