As an older adult, your dietary needs have changed over time. Your body may require more nutrients to maintain bone density, muscle mass, and energy levels. One of the best diets for older adults is the MIND diet (also known as the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay diet).
At Elder Care Alliance, we understand how important it is to stay healthy and independent throughout your older years. So here is a brief guide to the MIND diet, what it entails, how to get started, and the benefits you can expect to experience when you follow it.
MIND Diet Overview
The MIND Diet borrows from both the Mediterranean diet and the DASH Diet. The DASH Diet offers ways to stop hypertension. At the same time, the Mediterranean diet helps reduce your risk of various diseases (including diabetes and high heart disease). Combining the two is a match made in heaven if you want to experience optimal physical and mental health throughout your mature years.
The MIND Diet cannot only help you avoid common diseases that tend to set in during your older years, but it can also improve your brain function. That sounds like a diet most mature adults could get behind with excitement!
Benefits of the MIND Diet
There are a variety of benefits the MIND Diet can offer you. Here are some of the most notable:
- Improved brain health
- Reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia
- Healthy blood pressure and heart support
- Reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease
- Reduced risk of stroke
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved weight management results
- Longer lifespan
- Reduced rate of depression
While not everyone may experience all of the above benefits from following the MIND Diet, you are likely to experience better overall health when you improve your nutrient intake by following this way of eating.
Foods to Include in the MIND Diet
You won’t feel limited in your food choices when you follow the MIND Diet because you can eat a wide variety of delicious, healthy foods. Some of the top foods to include in this particular diet include:
- Leafy green vegetables (such as spinach, kale, collars, and iceberg lettuce)
- Berries (such as blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
- Colorful vegetables (such as tomatoes, green beans, and bell peppers)
- Nuts (unsalted and dry-roasted or raw are best)
- Whole grains (including whole-wheat bread, oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa)
- Olive oil (use it as a substitute for butter or other types of oils)
- Beans and legumes (at least three servings each week will boost your brain health)
- Fish (always grilled or baked and never fried)
- Poultry (try to get at least two servings per week and avoid red meats)
- Wine (surprise! You can enjoy a single serving of wine per day on this diet)
The main foods you’ll want to stay away from include sugary treats, pastries, red meat, cheese, and fried foods. It may be difficult to cut these out of your diet at first, but soon you’ll start to lose your cravings for them, and your body will feel much better without them!