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The MIND Diet

The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) Diet

As the name implies, the MIND diet is aimed at promoting healthy brain function, and therefore lowering the risk of dementia. It is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. This diet is rich is brain-healthy foods in their most natural forms.

So, which foods does the MIND diet comprise of, and how frequently should you be eating them? Take a look:

  • Wholegrains: ≥ 3 servings /day
  • Green leafy vegetables: ≥ 6 servings /week
  • Other vegetables: ≥ 1 serving /day
  • Berries: ≥ 2 servings /week
  • Red meat: < 4 servings /week
  • Fish: ≥ 1 servings /week
  • Poultry: ≥ 2 servings /week
  • Beans: ≥ 3 servings /week
  • Nuts: ≥ 5 servings /week
  • Fast/fried food: <1 servings /week
  • Olive oil as primary oil: Use this as your main cooking oil
  • Butter/margarine: <1 tablespoon /day
  • Cheese: <1 serving /week
  • Pastries, sweets: <5 servings /week
  • Alcohol: <1 serving /day

10 foods the MIND diet encourages:

  • Leafy green vegetables: These include spinach, kale, broccoli, and salads. The recommended intake is 6 or more servings per week.
  • Other vegetables: In addition to leafy green vegetables, the MIND diet recommends at least 1 serving a day of other vegetables for extra nutrients.
  • Wholegrains: These include oatmeal, wholewheat bread and pasta, brown rice, quinoa, etc. Try to eat at least 3 servings of wholegrains a day.
  • Berries: It is recommended to eat berries at least twice in a week. Berries, such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are all high in antioxidants.
  • Nuts: It is recommended to consume a variety of nuts and not just one type. Aim to eat 5 or more servings of nuts per week.
  • Olive oil: Use olive oil as your main cooking oil whilst following the MIND diet.
  • Fish: Fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and trout are known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended to eat fish at least once a week.
  • Poultry: It is recommended to eat chicken or turkey at least twice a week. This excludes fried chicken.
  • Beans: This includes all beans. It is recommended to eat beans at least 4 servings of beans weekly.
  • Wine: Yes, wine is on the list! Both red and white wine have benefits for the brain, however, no more than one glass a day is recommended.

5 foods the MIND diet recommends to limit:

  • Butter and margarine: It is recommended to eat less than 1 tablespoon of butter and/or margarine a day. Alternatively, replace this with olive oil as your primary cooking fat.
  • Red meat: It is suggested to eat no more than 3 servings of red meat per week. Red meats include pork, beef, and lamb.
  • Cheese: It is recommended to eat no more than 1 serving of cheese per week.
  • Pastries and sweets: This includes all sugary sweets and snacks, such as ice cream, cookies, candy, donuts, cakes, pastries etc. No more than 4 servings a week is recommended on the MIND diet.
  • Fried foods: Fried foods are highly discouraged on the MIND diet. Consumption should be limited to less than once a week.