What is MIND diet?

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It is an acronym for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay and is designed to reduce the odds of dementia and cognitive decline as people get older. MIND combines the aspects of two well known diets– the Mediterranean diet and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

Individually, these diets are known to be effective at reducing the risk of heart disease and diabetes and so, some researchers theorised, a combination could possibly contribute to improve brain health. At its broadest, the MIND diet recommends eating more of 10 prescribed foods and minimise five proscribed ones. There are no exact guidelines on what to eat when.

The 10 recommended ones are vegetables—leafy as well as not-green—atleast once a day, berries, nuts, olive oil, whole grain, fish, beans, poultry and a glass of wine everyday (no more than one).

Those to avoid: Butter and margarine (less than a tablespoon everyday), cheese no more than once a week, no more than three servings a week of red meat, fried foods and sweets.

The benefits of the MIND diet are that it reportedly reduces oxidative stress and inflammation to the tissues. Oxidative stress is when unstable molecules called free radicals accumulate in the body in large quantities. This is linked to damage to cells, to which the brain is particularly vulnerable.

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