Since it’s debut in February 2015, the MIND Diet has drawn headlines for its promise to reduce the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. We think this attention is well deserved. The MIND Diet is not only a smart step to brain health, it’s also a great way to eat healthily. In January 2016, a U.S. News panel of diet experts ranked MIND as #2 Best Diet, the #1 Easiest Diet, and the #3 Best Diet for Healthy Eating. That’s three really good points for checking out MIND. Here are five more reasons we think anyone concerned about brain health should give this diet a try:
1. It’s Easy to Follow
The MIND Diet has a simple set of instructions; there’s a set of healthy foods and unhealthy foods. Healthy foods include whole grains, green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, fish, poultry, and berries. Olive oil adds the healthy fats.Unhealthy foods aren’t banned, they should just be limited as follows: every week eat less than four servings of red meat; five or less servings of sweets or pastries, and one serving a of cheese, fried or fast food. Also keep butter consumption to less than one tablespoon a day.That’s it. No calorie counting, complicated instructions, or restrictive guidelines.
2. It’s Incredibly Convenient
In addition to being incredibly simple, the MIND Diet is also convenient. You can buy all the ingredients in your local grocery store and many recipes include MIND-Diet friendly foods.Eating out is easy too because nothing is banned. Just look for menu items that include healthy MIND Diet foods like fish, poultry or green, leafy vegetables
3. It’s Tasty
Adding foods included in the MIND Diet to a daily meal plan won’t compromise your dining enjoyment. Start your day out right by adding a handful of blueberries to your morning cereal or oatmeal, and switch your regular snacks for a handful of nuts. If you’re out for a burger, substitute beef with a chicken breast to keep your red meat intake down. At least once a week, end your day with roasted salmon, or other fish, along with a side of leafy greens and beans.Once you start, you’ll find that eating the MIND Diet will satisfy your taste buds while feeding your brain. After all, what’s not to like about a bowl of plump, sweet blueberries?
4. It’s Flexible, Not Restrictive
Nothing is forbidden in the MIND Diet. The suggestion is to limit, not eliminate, items from the unhealthy food groups. The more you limit them the better off your brain will be. But because no food item is forbidden, you can increase adherence over time. You can eliminate butter altogether, for example, after your taste buds adjust to olive oil as your primary fat.
5. It Works
Research shows that rigorous adherence to the MIND Diet reduced the risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 53%. Even moderate adherence makes a difference reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s by 35 %. We all know how to keep our bodies healthy, but finally there’s a scientifically-proven way to keep our minds healthy too. Read more about the lifestyle changes you can make to protect your memory.