Is one of your life goals keeping your mind sharp even when you’re old? Then there’s a diet that you should give a try, and it’s referred to as the MIND diet. This article will get you introduced to its basics like which foods you should include in your diet and which foods you should limit considerably.
The MIND diet is actually the combination of two of the healthiest forms of diet on the face of the planet:
The Mediterranean diet
A diet based on the foods often consumed by people in France, Italy and other Mediterranean countries, the Mediterranean diet encourages the addition of lots of plant-based foods such as fresh vegetables and olive oil to the diet.
The DASH diet
Short for dietary approaches to stop hypertension, the DASH diet focuses on the addition of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and also lean meats to the diet in order to prevent or even reverse high blood pressure or hypertension.
MIND stands for Mediterranean DASH intervention for neurodegenerative delay. Clearly, the MIND diet is all about fending off dementia and a decline in the functioning of the brain which usually happens as people age.
Actually, the forms of diet that the MIND diet is based upon are not really intended for keeping the brain in a healthy state. The DASH diet, for instance, is for the management of hypertension, while the Mediterranean diet is for the attainment of overall health although it cannot be denied that it’s very popular among those who wish to lose weight.
However, scientists who came up with the MIND diet observed that many of the recommended foods suggested by both the Mediterranean diet and DASH diet are good for preventing oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are known to be detrimental to the brain.
Oxidative stress happens when harmful free radicals accumulate in the body, wreaking havoc on the cells and tissues. Some of the reasons why excess free radicals show up include cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol intake, consumption of fried foods and exposure to environmental pollutants.
Inflammation, on the other hand, is often due to stress, consumption of certain foods and autoimmune disorders. If truth be told, inflammation is actually an ally as it helps the body heal from a trauma or injury. However, unnecessary or too much or inflammation can do more harm than good — doctors blame inflammation for a host of health issues.
The MIND diet recommends the addition of 10 foods to one’s diet on a regular basis. They are the following:
- Leafy green vegetables. They should be consumed 6 times or more per week.
- Other types of vegetables. At least once a day, other types of vegetables should be eaten.
- Berries. The MIND diet highly recommends the consumption of berries at least twice a week.
- Olive oil. This healthy oil should be used for cooking and as salad dressing.
- Whole grains. Per day, at least 3 servings of whole grains should be consumed.
- Nuts. Five servings of various types of nuts should be added to the diet per week.
- Beans. At least 4 times a week, the diet should consist of an assortment of beans.
- Fish. The MIND diet strongly encourages the addition of oily fish to the diet at least once every week.
- Poultry. Chicken or turkey breast should be eaten at least 2 times a week.
- Red wine. A glass of red wine may be consumed per day to take advantage of its resveratrol content.
On the other hand, there are also foods that should be limited — not really eliminated:
- Margarine and butter. Less than 1 tablespoon of them should be eaten in a day.
- Cheese. Per week, the MIND diet allows less than an ounce of it.
- Fried Foods. Especially those that are served at fast food restaurants, fried foods should be eaten once a week only.
- Pastries and sweets. They should be enjoyed no more than 4 times per week.
- Red meat. Beef, pork lamb — they should be consumed less than 3 times a week.