Health & Fitness

The MIND Diet

Discovering the MIND Diet: A Guide to Brain Health

Hey there! I wanted to share something I’ve recently learned about that could really help us stay sharp and healthy as we age—the MIND Diet. It’s a diet specifically designed to improve brain health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Let me walk you through what it is, how it works, and how you can get started.

What is the MIND Diet?

What is the MIND Diet
What is the MIND Diet

The MIND Diet stands for the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It combines aspects of the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) with a focus on foods that impact brain health. It’s been shown to potentially reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 53% if followed rigorously, and by about 35% if followed moderately.

The Good and the Bad

The Good:

  1. Brain Health: The primary benefit is the diet’s focus on improving cognitive function and reducing the risk of dementia.
  2. Heart Health: Many of the foods recommended are also good for cardiovascular health.
  3. Sustainable: It’s not overly restrictive and emphasizes whole foods, making it easier to follow long-term.
  4. Nutrient-Rich: The diet includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods, ensuring you get a broad spectrum of vitamins and minerals.

The Bad:

  1. Meal Planning: It can require more meal planning and preparation than a standard diet.
  2. Cost: Some recommended foods, like nuts and berries, can be more expensive.
  3. Adaptation: It might take time to adapt to the new eating patterns, especially if you’re used to processed foods.

Foods in the MIND Diet

Foods in the MIND Diet
Foods in the MIND Diet

Here’s a list of the foods you should include:

  • Green leafy vegetables: At least six servings per week (spinach, kale, etc.)
  • Other vegetables: At least one serving per day
  • Nuts: Five servings per week
  • Berries: At least two servings per week (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Beans: At least three servings per week
  • Whole grains: Three servings per day
  • Fish: At least one serving per week
  • Poultry: Two servings per week
  • Olive oil: Use as your primary cooking oil
  • Wine: One glass per day (optional)
  • Healthy fats: Include sources like avocado and fatty fish

Getting Started: Meal Plan

Here’s a simple meal plan to kickstart your journey:

Day 1:

  • Breakfast: Oatmeal topped with fresh blueberries and a sprinkle of nuts
  • Lunch: Quinoa salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a drizzle of olive oil
  • Dinner: Grilled salmon with a side of sautéed spinach and brown rice
  • Snack: Carrot sticks with hummus

Day 2:

  • Breakfast: Smoothie with spinach, banana, almond milk, and a handful of berries
  • Lunch: Lentil soup with whole grain bread
  • Dinner: Baked chicken breast with roasted vegetables and quinoa
  • Snack: A small handful of mixed nuts

Day 3:

  • Breakfast: Whole grain toast with avocado and a poached egg
  • Lunch: Mixed bean salad with olive oil and lemon dressing
  • Dinner: Grilled mackerel with steamed broccoli and sweet potato
  • Snack: Sliced apples with almond butter

MIND Diet Food Intake Recommendations

MIND Diet Food Intake Recommendations
MIND Diet Food Intake Recommendations

For the best results, focus on the following guidelines:

  • Vegetables: Aim for at least 2 servings of vegetables per day, with an emphasis on green leafy vegetables.
  • Whole grains: Include 3 servings per day.
  • Nuts: Enjoy a small handful (about 1 ounce) of nuts at least 5 times per week.
  • Berries: Try to eat berries at least twice a week.
  • Fish: Have fish at least once a week.
  • Poultry: Consume poultry at least twice a week.
  • Beans: Include beans in at least 3 meals per week.
  • Wine: If you drink alcohol, limit it to one glass of wine per day.

Recommendations for Success

  1. Plan Ahead: Prepare your meals and snacks in advance to make sticking to the diet easier.
  2. Stay Consistent: Make the recommended foods a regular part of your diet rather than occasional additions.
  3. Variety: Mix up your meals to keep things interesting and ensure you’re getting a range of nutrients.
  4. Moderation: While it’s okay to enjoy a treat now and then, try to stay within the guidelines for the best results.
  5. Hydration: Don’t forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day.


The MIND Diet is a great way to take care of your brain and overall health. It’s filled with delicious, nutritious foods and can be easier to stick to than many other diets. By focusing on whole foods and making small, sustainable changes, you can help protect your brain for years to come. Give it a try, and let’s keep our minds sharp together!

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Black Belt, High School Teacher, Sports Enthusiast & Coffee Lover.