What is the mind diet and what is it for?


Tamara Villa

mind diet It was initially designed to help improve brain health throughout a person’s life and prevent Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, but over time it has been discovered that it is also good for taking care of your blood pressure, heart and the general well-being.

The acronym “MIND” stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, so you can already imagine that it is based on the
Mediterranean and DASH diets (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), with some modifications based on scientific evidence on the effects of nutrition on brain function. The initial goal was to discover and focus on brain-healthy foods believed to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

The mind diet, the SASH diet and the Mediterranean diet

To better understand how the mind diet works, it helps to take a closer look at the diets from which it is derived. The Mediterranean diet was designed to
support heart health, but it also protects against chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer. For its part, the DASH diet was developed to reduce high blood pressure. Both diets also improved cognition.

The MIND diet emphasizes in its weekly menu the
whole plant based foods and limit red meat, sugar, and foods high in saturated fat. It differs from the Mediterranean and DASH diets in that it specifies serving amounts of specific food groups that reduce inflammation and are intended to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. These include green leafy vegetables, nuts, berries, and fish.

How the mind diet works

What sets the mind diet apart from its original diets is its focus on
key food identification, serving sizes and frequencies that protect against dementia and heart disease, always keeping an eye on your blood pressure. Something essential to pamper your health and help you in your longevity project.

Woman eating grapes/PEXELS

It is full of
antioxidant-rich foods, mainly polyphenols (berries, olive oil), carotenoids (carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, red peppers), vitamin C (leafy vegetables) and vitamin E (olive oil and nuts). Eating foods rich in antioxidants protects the brain against oxidative stress, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and cancer.

Foods and health benefits of the mind diet

In numerous human and animal studies, the foods featured in the mind diet
reduced the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, and improved memory. This was particularly striking in those with healthy brain function or in the early stages of cognitive decline.

The main foods that you should include in your weekly menu to protect yourself against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are precisely those featured in the mind diet, foods as basic as extra virgin olive oil, whole grains, nuts and legumes. should be prioritized
fish rich in fatty acids omega-3 and vitamin D (salmon, herring, mackerel, sardines).

Omega-3s from fish and marine oils have been linked to the prevention and improvement of Alzheimer’s disease. The greatest benefits were seen in people with a
healthy brain functionthose in the early stages of the disease and in non-carriers of the ApoE4 allele.

The mind diet recommends eating plant-based foods that are high in fiber, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and phytochemicals. Help to
control your hypertension and lower the rate of heart disease, heart disease deaths, total cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol compared with low-fat diets.

Woman at picnic/PEXELS

Extra virgin olive oil, the main fat in the mind diet, helps prevent heart failure, plaque buildup in the arteries, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks.
heart disease in general. Flavonoids, abundant in berries, have been linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, lower blood pressure, as well as better overall heart health.

Chronic inflamation it can trigger or worsen many diseases, including Alzheimer’s, heart disease, and autoimmune diseases. Eating mostly nutrient-dense, plant-based foods compatible with the mind diet and cutting out fatty and sugary foods can reduce inflammation. It has been shown that taking foods from the mind diet (legumes, whole grains, vegetables, olive oil) for at least 12 weeks reduces markers of inflammation.