What is the MIND Diet?
MIND stands for: Mediterranean DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
The MIND diet is a hybrid of the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet.
DASH stands for: Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.
The Mediterranean Diet probably has more positive research supporting its benefits than any other diet.
What is the MIND Diet Trying to Accomplish?
It is supposed to drastically reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and there is some research to support that:
- Pubmed Article 1: MIND diet associated with reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Pubmed Article 2: MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging.
In other words, the MIND diet is a brain diet. It can also be used to lose weight.
Let’s look deeper into where the MIND diet food list came from …
The Mediterranean diet focuses on eating non-processed natural foods and limiting bad fats and red meat. The DASH diet focuses on low sodium and beneficial blood pressure foods.
Beneficial Food List
Here is a list of commonly recommended foods when doing the MIND Diet:
- Nuts and Seeds
- Olive Oil
- Whole Grains
Foods to Avoid
Here is a list of foods to avoid when doing the MIND Diet:
- Butter and Margarine
- Fast Food
- Fried food
- Red meats
MIND Diet Rules:
1.) Eat a salad each day. I personally recommend using a superfood smoothie in addition or in replace of the salad. Here are some smoothie recipes that specifically target brain health: https://mynutritionadvisor.com/health-goals/brain/
MIND Diet Smoothie Recipes
As you can see from the prior section, you are to eat lots of vegetables, berries and nuts.
Therefore, superfood smoothies are an excellent choice in the MIND diet.
Superfood smoothies commonly contain vegetables, nuts and berries. When you think of nuts, you should also think about the beneficial seeds such as flax and chia seeds.
We have over 100 superfood smoothie recipes on this website that you can use, which I believe these are the healthiest recipes you can follow on the mind diet.
This video shows how you can choose the recipes based on your health conditions:
How to do Intermittent Fasting with the MIND Diet?
Intermittent fasting is simply going for a short period of time without eating. Drinking water is ok and encouraged while fasting. Some people choose to do a form of fasting every day, while other people choose to do it a few times per week.
I like doing some fasting every day. What does that exactly mean?
It means to eat all your food for the day in a 6 to 8 hour window of time. As an example: You could eat between the hours of noon and 6pm. Stop eating at 6pm and don’t eat again until noon the next day. Pretty simple.
The other way to fast is to do a 24-hour fast. For instance, you eat a meal at 5 pm today and don’t eat again until 5 pm tomorrow.
Fasting may sound hard but it is exactly the opposite of the struggles one faces when going on a diet where they limit their calories.
For instance, if you start a diet today, the first few days are the easiest and then it gets harder to follow each day.
Intermittent fasting is the opposite. The beginning is the hardest because your body is not used to burning stored body fat for energy.
After you become “fat adapted”, your body easily uses stored fat for fuel and your hunger levels will drop significantly. This makes fasting very easy to do and is something that can be incorporated for life.
The key to fasting is to start off slow and work your way into it. You will feel better doing it this way. Let’s say your goal is to eat in a 6-hour window each day. Maybe you want to eat between the hours of 12 to 6 pm, but you currently start eating at 7am and stop at 9pm at night. All you have to do is begin to narrow the hours.
Step 1: Eat dinner at 6 pm and do not eat anything after that. You just cut 3 hours off your feeding window. Do that for a week or two. It will get easier and easier to do.
Step 2: Once you feel that you are ready to move on, start delaying by an hour when you eat your first meal of the day. Before you know it, you will have reduced your feeding time down to a 6 to 8 hour window.
The MIND can be very beneficial and you can make it even more beneficial by incorporating intermittent fasting and superfood smoothies into you daily routine.