What You Need to Know About the MIND Diet

What You Need to Know About the MIND Diet

The MIND Diet is a healthy eating plan that has been scientifically proven to protect brain function and prevent cognitive decline and dementia. It is a combination of two other healthy eating plans, the Mediterranean and DASH diets.

It’s characterized by its emphasis on boosting cognitive function and recommends consuming specific foods like leafy greens and berries. The diet also includes wine, in moderation, which is linked to brain health.

The MIND Diet’s food list is comprised of high-nutrient foods such as vegetables, berries, nuts, whole grains, poultry and fish while minimizing high-sodium foods, pastries, meats, fried foods and sweets.

Here’s a closer look at the food list recommended in this diet plan:

Leafy, Green Vegetables

Leafy, green vegetables are rich in nutrients that protect the brain, especially as people age. These vegetables include arugula, spinach, kale, collard greens, turnip greens and Swiss chard, and can be eaten raw or cooked. The recommended serving is at least seven a week.

Other Veggies

You also need to consume at least one “other” nutrient-rich vegetable such as broccoli, bell peppers, asparagus, beets, cabbage, carrots, eggplant, okra, or squash a day.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are loaded with brain-healthy minerals and vitamins such as vitamin B and vitamin E. They are a great source of fiber, which helps the digestive tract and blood sugar regulation. Whole grains include wild and brown rice, farro, quinoa, rye, bulgur, oats, spelt, and teff. The recommended serving is at least three a day.


Nuts are a good source of vitamin E, B vitamins, healthy fats, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. They promote brain health and are recommended to be consumed at least five servings per week. Nuts include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts.


Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and acai berries are packed with antioxidants and health-promoting phytochemicals which are good for brain health and physical health. Consume at least two servings of berries each week.


Beans and other legumes are excellent sources of B vitamins, which promote brain health. They are also a solid source of protein. Beans can be consumed in the form of black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, white beans, soybeans, or lentils. The recommended serving is at least three a week.

Seafood and Poultry

Fish and poultry are lean sources of protein and are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly fatty fish like salmon and tuna, which promote heart health and brain health. The MIND Diet recommends at least one serving of fish a week and at least two poultry (chicken or turkey) meals a week, as long as they’re not fried.


Moderate wine consumption can be beneficial for brain health. A study involving more than 5,000 participants (male and female) in Norway found that light wine consumption daily was associated with better performance on cognitive tests seven years later. The same effects were not found among those who regularly consumed beer or spirits. One glass of wine per day is recommended.

Potential Benefits of the MIND Diet

Studies have shown that the MIND diet can be beneficial for brain health and cognitive function. In one study published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, researchers followed nearly 1,000 older adults over a period of four and a half years and found that those who adhered closely to the MIND diet had a 53% reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease compared to those who followed the diet the least.

Another study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that the MIND diet was associated with better cognitive function and a lower risk of cognitive impairment in older adults.

It’s important to note that the MIND diet is not a guaranteed way to prevent or reverse cognitive decline, but it can be a helpful tool in protecting and improving brain health in conjunction with other healthy lifestyle habits.

Potential Downsides of the MIND Diet

One potential downside of the MIND diet is that it may be difficult for some people to follow long-term, as it requires a significant shift in eating habits and preferences. Moreover, some of the recommended foods may be more expensive or less accessible for some individuals.

It’s also important to note that it is not a one-size-fits-all solution and may not be appropriate for everyone. Individuals with specific health concerns or dietary restrictions should consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to their diet.

Category: Featured