DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What exactly is the MIND diet, and can it really help prevent dementia? Is it a healthy diet for everyone?
ANSWER: The MIND diet is a combination of two other healthy diets, so it is a healthy option. Results from a recent study show that, over time, older adults who followed the MIND diet appeared to have less cognitive decline, such as memory problems. The effect of food on cognitive health has been the subject of research for quite some time. The research has shown that certain foods — particularly plant foods, such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and berries — can help preserve brain function.
The MIND diet includes a variety of brain-friendly foods. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It includes aspects of a Mediterranean diet, as well as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, diet. A Mediterranean diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, olive oil, legumes, whole grains and fish. The DASH diet, often recommended for people who need to lower their blood pressure, emphasizes vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy foods, along with moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts.