Food List for MIND Diet
Leafy green vegetables
Aim for one serving of leafy greens every day. These include spinach, kale, collard greens and cabbage. They have been linked to slowing cognitive decline, especially in older adults. Keep in mind that the darker the greens, the more antioxidants they contain.
Eat berries at least twice a week. Many berries have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins are pigments in berries and have been shown to protect brain cells.
Aim for a half-cup of nuts 5 times per week. Nuts are a sources of omega-3 fatty acids, monounsaturated fats and natural antioxidants, which all contribute to a healthy brain.
Select olive oil as a primary low-heat cooking oil. It is packed with many polyphenols, especially in virgin olive oils. Studies have shown the polyphenol oleocanthal has protective effects against early Alzheimer’s disease stages and can help in restoring the blood-brain barrier.
The MIND diet recommends three servings of whole grains per day. Whole grains contain all three parts of the grain; the husk, bran and endosperm. Some whole grain sources include brown rice, barley, quinoa and even popcorn.
Consider eaing fish at least once a week. Choose fatty fishes because of their high omega-3 fatty acid content. Fatty fishes include sardines, salmon, mackerel and tuna. While fish is healthy to eat Health Canada suggests being mindful of certain types of fish to reduce mercury exposure as discussed here: Mercury in Fish
Include 4 or more servings of legumes each week. Beans, lentils, chickpeas can be easily added to meals. Legumes provide the brain with glucose, which is the preferred energy source for the brain. Glucose levels are linked to thinking and memory. They also provide fibre and are excellent sources of a wide range of vitamins and minerals.
The MIND diet can include a glass of wine per day, but don’t start drinking if you don’t normally drink it. The best wine for the MIND diet is red wine. Red wine contains many polyphenols, including resveratrol, which have been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Consider choosing non-fried, skinless poultry at least twice a week as this is a lean protein option.