The new MIND diet makes you fit in the head, promotes your mental performance, and prevents dementia. 10 foods your mind loves – and 5 “enemies”!
What you eat affects your body. For example, certain foods are good for your heart and circulation. They reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. Better blood circulation and fewer deposits in the arteries and veins – also keep you fit in the head.
MIND diet: Mediterranean and blood pressure-lowering
That’s the kind of food Marthe Clare Morris and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago recommend in their MIND diet. It combines a Mediterranean diet with blood-pressure-lowering foods and is intended to counteract the decline in mental performance.
The researchers tested how well it works on 960 subjects, who were 81.4 years old on average. At the start of the study, all showed no signs of dementia. Over a period of 4.7 years, the study participants completed a memory test every year. Among other things, this included exercises that tested memory and perceptual speed. The subjects also provided information about their eating habits. Some of them adhered strictly to the MIND diet, while others ate as usual.
MIND diet: 7.5 years younger memory
The result: participants who ate the recommended brain food did better in the memory check. On average, they had biologically 7.5 years younger brains than the comparison subjects. But what do you have to eat to stay fit in the head? In the MIND diet, there are ten recommended foods and five forbidden foods. Particularly important are:
- green leafy vegetables
- other vegetables
- whole grains (wholemeal)
- Olive oil
These should be consumed on a daily basis. From whole grain products, it may also be a little more: Three servings per day are recommended. Nuts are desired snacks – and drink a glass of wine daily. Poultry and berries the researchers recommend eating at least twice a week, and fish once a week.
The negative list of the MIND diet:
- Red meat
- Butter and margarine
- Pastries and sweets
- Fried food and fast food
- You should consume as little as possible of all these foods.