MIND diet – principles


The MIND diet is a diet that aims to improve the functioning of the brain and the nervous system.It shows promising results in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects many elderly people.The MIND diet affects not only the mind, but also healthy activities in other areas.It is simple to use and does not require many sacrifices.

What is the MIND diet?

By using the MIND diet, you can significantly reduce the risk of neurodegenerative brain diseases.By increasing the share of food products beneficial for brain function in the diet, it is a measure in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.The name of the MIND diet suggests that it affects the state of mind.MIND is the acronym for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.The MIND diet protocol uses a combination of DASH diet and Mediterranean diet, which are considered one of the healthiest in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and have a positive effect on overall health.Both methods of nutrition were taken from what most affects the state of the brain and some modifications were made.

The author of the MIND diet is Martha Claire Morris – an epidemiologist from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, which studies the impact of nutrients on the body.Her group prepared a diet protocol reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases, based on studies on the Mediterranean diet and DASH and individual food ingredients and their impact on the state of mind, which was checked on humans and animals.The effectiveness of the MIND diet in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease has been confirmed in the nearly 5-year study, but the author herself stresses that for a full picture of the impact of diet on the state of mind, further in-depth research is needed.


Check also: High Doses of Vitamins Fight Alzheimer’s Disease


MIND diet rules

The MIND diet has been recognized by US News & World Report as one of the healthiest diets, and at the same time the easiest to use.Compliance with its rules is simple and it should not pose any difficulties even in the long term.The main advantage of the diet is the lack of strict restrictions on the products used.MIND recommends certain food groups, while others limit, but do not order ruthless abandonment.The basis of the diet are products rich in vitamins C, E and B, antioxidants and unsaturated fatty acids, that is ingredients that have a positive effect on the brain.The main difference between the MIND diet and the DASH diet and the Mediterranean one, which is its prototype, is the need to introduce green vegetables in large quantities.In the MIND diet, foods are divided into 15 categories, 10 of which are recommended to be consumed and 5 should be limited.

Products recommended in the MIND diet

  • green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, broccoli – at least 6 portions a week, preferably 3 servings a day,
  • other vegetables – at least one portion a day,
  • nuts – 5 portions a week,
  • berries – at least 2 portions a week,
  • legume seeds – at least 3 portions per week,
  • whole grains – 3 or more servings a day,
  • fish – especially greasy sea fish – at least once a week,
  • poultry – twice a week,
  • olive oil – as a basic fat for preparing dishes,
  • wine – a glass a day.


Read also: The role and qualities of fat in the diet


Products to be reduced in the MIND diet


Vegetables in the MIND diet are best eaten raw, then they will provide a greater amount of vitamins and antioxidants.In the case of problems with the gastrointestinal tract, raw vegetables can be turned into cooked ones, but the beneficial effects of the diet will be noticeable a bit later.Wholegrain cereal products eaten three times a day are designed to provide B vitamins, which are responsible for the functioning of the nervous system.5 times a week you should eat a handful of nuts or seeds that contain unsaturated fatty acids that are building cell membranes, numerous minerals and vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant.On the other days, you should eat half a cup of legume seeds that provide proteins, B vitamins and fiber.Oily marine fish is very important – a source of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, which have a huge impact on the nervous system, inhibit inflammatory processes and protect the circulatory system.At least one serving of fish per week should appear in the menu.At least twice a week you should eat blueberries, blueberries, raspberries and other berries that help get rid of toxins from the body and affect the condition of brain cells.Diet protocol MIND recommends drinking a glass of wine every day because studies show that a small amount of alcohol affects the brain better than the total elimination of alcohol.Olive oil as a source of monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants should be the basic fat used in the kitchen.

How does the MIND diet affect your health?

The MIND diet was created as a nutritional protocol in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.This disease usually affects people over 65, is the result of the loss of nerve cells in the brain and leads to a gradual deterioration of memory, cognitive ability, speech disorders and orientation.There is no effective drug on it, and only in Poland Alzheimer’s suffers from about 250,000 people.In the United States, it is about 5 million people.The effectiveness of the MIND diet in this area was confirmed by a study lasting 4.5 years and carried out on 923 people from Chicago areas aged between 59 and 98 years.During 54-month follow-up, it was found that in people who strictly adhered to dietary recommendations, the risk of Alzheimer’s disease decreased by 54%.Interestingly, people who only partially adhered to the recommendations had a 35% lower risk of getting sick.At the same time, during the whole period of follow-up, the disease progression was found in only 144 out of nearly 1000 subjects.The authors of the study stress that this is just the beginning of work on the possibilities of using the diet in Alzheimer’s disease, but the results are promising.

Research carried out by Chicago scientists is not the only one that indicates the beneficial effect of MIND diet ingredients on the state of mind.Two previous large studies in the United States have shown that people who ate 2 servings of vegetables a day have seen a slower progression of cognitive decline.The effect was further intensified by eating at least 6 portions of green vegetables a week.Animal studies show that eating berry fruit positively affects memory, and population studies suggest that eating one fish meal a week correlates with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.


The MIND diet can be used not only for neurodegenerative diseases.It works well for all people who work long and live under stress, with a lot of mental effort.The use of a diet rich in ingredients beneficial to the brain works improves memory and concentration and allows you to feel less severely the effects of long-term nervous tension.In addition, the MIND diet contains foods that improve cardiovascular health, lower blood cholesterol levels and extend the feeling of satiety after a meal, which allows you to eat less.Lots of antioxidants from fruits and green vegetables help the body defend itself against cancer, it also acts anti-aging and improves the condition of skin cells.


Does the MIND diet slow down?

The MIND diet is not targeted at slimming people, it does not assume a daily calorie limit, however, its authors emphasize that maintaining normal body mass and daily moderate physical activity are very important for health.On the MIND diet you can lose weight, because it reduces the disadvantage of the brain, such as sweets, fried dishes, fast food and full fat dairy products, which are also conducive to weight gain.If you use a MIND diet with a calorie deficit, your weight will be effective and healthy and will not be troublesome even in the long-term.


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Posted on: January 10, 2019

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