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There are diets that are good not only for the body but also for the mind. One of these is the MIND diet, which has been scientifically proven to be effective. We figure out what you need to eat in order to keep in shape both your body and your brain.
What is the MIND Diet?
The MIND diet is a kind of hybrid of two nutritional systems: the Mediterranean diet, recognized as one of the healthiest, and the DASH diet - a special diet for those who are prone to hypertension. Both of these approaches are considered useful, and their effectiveness has been scientifically confirmed - nutrition on such a system can lower blood pressure and minimize the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
Experts say that the MIND diet has been able to combine the most beneficial of the two best diets - resulting in nutritional systems that are beneficial not only for the body, but also for the mind, reducing the risk of developing dementia and preserving cognitive functions for as long as possible.
What and how to eat on the MIND diet?
There are no clear guidelines for serving size and food combinations, but there is a list of foods that are considered particularly good for the brain.
- Leafy vegetables - spinach, kale, iceberg, arugula, parsley, and more. They should be in the diet every day. Add them to salads, soups, sandwiches and smoothies.
- Non-starchy vegetables. All other vegetables, especially those that contain little starch and a lot of fiber, must also be in the diet. They contain many vitamins and minerals, few calories, and fiber, which makes you feel full for a long time. You need to eat vegetables every day.
- Berries. Eat a serving of berries at least a couple of times a week. Strawberries, blueberries, blueberries, raspberries and more - most berries contain antioxidants that fight free radicals. This prevents premature aging of the body in general and brain cells in particular.
- Nuts. Eating nuts 4-5 times a week is a source of protein, fiber and vitamins that are important for brain function.
- Olive oil. One of the healthiest ingredients in the Mediterranean diet that the MIND diet simply couldn't do without. The most valuable ingredient in olive oil is unsaturated fatty acids, which are essential for the functioning of the heart and blood vessels, as well as the functioning of the brain.
- Whole grains. Porridge, crisp bread, side dishes, durum wheat pasta, brown rice - whole grains should be on your table every day.
- A fish. This is another of the most valuable foods for brain health. Fish is also a source of unsaturated fatty acids needed for memory and cognitive support.
- Legumes. Eat corn, peas, soybeans, and lentils at least 4 times a week for both protein and fiber.
- Poultry meat. Chicken and turkey - boiled, baked, or stew - should be included in your diet at least a couple of times a week. Note, we are not talking about nuggets and deep-fried wings.
- Wine. Great news: Another component of the Mediterranean diet has migrated to MIND nutrition. Wine contains the valuable component resveratrol, which has antioxidant properties. Scientists have already shown that resveratrol helps reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. It is important to remember that we are talking about rather modest doses - no more than one glass a day.
What foods should you avoid?
The list of non-recommended foods is unlikely to surprise you - you have to skip or minimize your intake of trans fats, simple carbs, and added sugars. Excess body fat is known to increase the likelihood of Alzheimer's disease
- Butter. The daily portion of butter should not exceed 15 g. Instead, use olive oil, avocado oil and other herbal, more useful analogues.
- Cheese. This dairy product has been specifically noted as objectionable.Most cheeses are high in fat and should therefore be reduced to one serving per week.
- Red meat. It is often demonized due to its supposedly carcinogenic properties. This, however, applies mainly to meat fried or cooked over a fire. For those planning to follow the MIND diet, red meat can be eaten, but not more often than 2-3 times a week. Preference should be given to lean beef, pork, lamb.
- Everything is fried. Deep fat, batter, French fries - you need to try to minimize them. We are talking about both ready-made fast food and dishes prepared on your own at home. You don't need to give up at all, but you should eat no more than once a week.
- Sweets. Cakes, sweets, cookies, ice cream, donuts and all-all-all are also not recommended on the MIND diet. Try to eat them no more than 4 times a week.
In general, the emphasis should be on foods that are considered healthy, contain a large amount of vitamins, trace elements, antioxidants. These foods help fight oxidative stress, one of the processes in the body that has a detrimental effect on cells and brain function. Following the principles of the MIND diet can delay Alzheimer's disease and keep the brain healthy for a long time.
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