What’s the MIND diet?

The MIND diet is a combination of two heart-healthy diets that has been optimized for brain health. It was created by researchers at Rush University in Chicago, IL, where it was developed and tested over decades of follow-up research in large groups of older adults. The culmination of this research was two landmark studies published in 2015 in the Alzheimer’s & Dementia journal. The studies found that the MIND diet may cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in half (by up to 53%), and keep the brain 7.5 years younger. More positive findings for the MIND diet have been published in the years since.

The aptly named “MIND” diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.

It is based on 10 kinds of healthy foods to eat (e.g. vegetables, nuts, berries), and 5 kinds to limit (e.g. red meat). However, no food groups are outright eliminated, and there are no outlandish foods. The eating pattern can be used as a framework in a variety of global cuisines, so there’s something for everyone.

For more on the MIND diet components, check out this post.