Summary

Meet the MIND diet, a way of brain-healthy eating that puts plant-based foods front and center.

More than 55 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. In America alone, over 6 million individuals suffer from a type of dementia. While these age-related diseases can be devastating, there are some preventive measures we can put in place (and on our plates, more specifically) that support our brain health. One dietary approach in particular, called the MIND diet, is touted for its brain-boosting properties. Let’s dig in! 

What is the MIND Diet? 

The MIND diet stands for the “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.” As the name indicates, it combines the Mediterranean diet with the DASH diet. The Mediterranean diet, often recommended for cardiovascular health and longevity, is a largely plant-forward diet with optional poultry and red wine. The DASH diet, or the “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” diet, takes a similar approach to the Mediterranean diet and is often recommended for individuals with high blood pressure.

Who Benefits From the MIND Diet?

The MIND diet combines the best of both the Mediterranean and DASH diets into a single eating pattern, and is recommended to prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive decline. If you are concerned about cognitive decline or have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, consider adopting the MIND diet. It’s an evidence-based way to keep your brain and body feeling great for as long as possible.

Components of The MIND Diet

Unlike most other diets, the MIND diet has a loose structure. It doesn’t require a rigid meal plan. Nor does it require you to count calories, macros, etc. Instead of a long list of “Do’s and Don'ts,” the MIND diet simply recommends a consistent intake of certain foods and avoidance of other foods. The list of “consume more consistently” MIND diet foods includes a plethora of plant-based foods:

1) Green leafy vegetables

2) All other vegetables

3) Nuts

4) Berries

5) Olive oil

6) Whole grains

7) Beans

Other foods supported by the MIND diet, depending on preference, include:

1) Poultry

2) Fish

3) Wine

If you want to exclude poultry and fish from your diet, you can still follow this pattern of brain-healthy eating! Just be sure to include  plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, and low fat dairy. Also find other sources of omega-3 fats like those found in seaweed, chia and flax seeds, and algae oil.
The MIND diet also provides guidance on how often to eat the above-mentioned foods. It’s recommended, for example, to aim for 6+ servings of green leafy vegetables per week, and a serving of beans 4 times per week. But remember: these are guidelines intended to help you optimize your diet for brain-healthy eating. The MIND diet is still beneficial even when you tweak the guidelines or more loosely follow them in order to accommodate preferences and dietary restrictions. 

Foods you’ll want to limit on the MIND diet include:

1) Butter and margarine 

2) Pastries, sugary drinks, and processed sweets

3) Fried food

4) Red meat

5) Cheese

In general, these foods are high in some combo of saturated and/or trans fat, sodium, and sugar, all of which may contribute to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A Day in the Life of the MIND Diet

Let’s walk through a sample day of eating with the MIND diet in mind, and how Thistle meals help include the brain-boosting ingredients and plant-based foods recommended on this meal plan.

A MIND Diet Breakfast

Oatmeal with pecans and blueberries: This meal contains 3 food groups from the MIND diet – whole grains from the oats, nuts (pecans), and berries (blueberries).

A MIND Diet Lunch

Thistle Kale Caesar: This salad contains 6 food groups from the MIND diet – dark leafy greens (kale), other vegetables (cucumber, radish), nuts (cashews), olive oil, whole grains (quinoa), and beans/legumes (garbanzo beans).

A MIND Diet Snack

Thistle hummus and vegetables: This snack contains 3 food groups from the MIND diet – vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, celery etc), olive oil, and beans/legumes (garbanzo beans)

A MIND Diet Dinner

Chia-crusted tofu “steaks” with roasted sweet potato wedges and sauteed broccoli cooked in olive oil: This meal contains 3 food groups from the MIND diet - vegetables (broccoli, sweet potato), nuts and seeds (chia seeds), and olive oil.

Get Started on the MIND Diet

Feeling inspired by that yummy and colorful day’s worth of eating? Some simple dietary swaps and inclusions are a great place to start! See below for some food swaps to get you going on the MIND diet.

Instead of….         Try this!

Iceberg lettuce       Romaine, kale, spinach, collard greens, and chard

Vegetable oil         Olive oil

Beef burger            Burger with half beef and half mushrooms  

White bread         Whole wheat bread

Chips & dip            Fresh veggies & hummus

Cheese                  Nutritional yeast

Fried potatoes       Roasted potatoes

Other helpful tips in getting started with the MIND diet include taking small, approachable steps (trying 1-2 meals with these ingredients each week), and including friends or family members in this process. Every positive choice makes a difference and helps build momentum.

Just as nutritious food protects and nourishes your body, the same goes for your brain. With the MIND diet’s sound and flexible guidelines and with Thistle’s ready-to-eat plant-forward meals, following a brain-healthy diet is a no-brainer.

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We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Jun 24, 2022
 in 
Nutrition
 category.
Summary

Meet the MIND diet, a way of brain-healthy eating that puts plant-based foods front and center.

More than 55 million people worldwide live with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. In America alone, over 6 million individuals suffer from a type of dementia. While these age-related diseases can be devastating, there are some preventive measures we can put in place (and on our plates, more specifically) that support our brain health. One dietary approach in particular, called the MIND diet, is touted for its brain-boosting properties. Let’s dig in! 

What is the MIND Diet? 

The MIND diet stands for the “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.” As the name indicates, it combines the Mediterranean diet with the DASH diet. The Mediterranean diet, often recommended for cardiovascular health and longevity, is a largely plant-forward diet with optional poultry and red wine. The DASH diet, or the “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” diet, takes a similar approach to the Mediterranean diet and is often recommended for individuals with high blood pressure.

Who Benefits From the MIND Diet?

The MIND diet combines the best of both the Mediterranean and DASH diets into a single eating pattern, and is recommended to prevent dementia, Alzheimer’s and other age-related cognitive decline. If you are concerned about cognitive decline or have a family history of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, consider adopting the MIND diet. It’s an evidence-based way to keep your brain and body feeling great for as long as possible.

Components of The MIND Diet

Unlike most other diets, the MIND diet has a loose structure. It doesn’t require a rigid meal plan. Nor does it require you to count calories, macros, etc. Instead of a long list of “Do’s and Don'ts,” the MIND diet simply recommends a consistent intake of certain foods and avoidance of other foods. The list of “consume more consistently” MIND diet foods includes a plethora of plant-based foods:

1) Green leafy vegetables

2) All other vegetables

3) Nuts

4) Berries

5) Olive oil

6) Whole grains

7) Beans

Other foods supported by the MIND diet, depending on preference, include:

1) Poultry

2) Fish

3) Wine

If you want to exclude poultry and fish from your diet, you can still follow this pattern of brain-healthy eating! Just be sure to include  plant-based proteins like tofu, beans, and low fat dairy. Also find other sources of omega-3 fats like those found in seaweed, chia and flax seeds, and algae oil.
The MIND diet also provides guidance on how often to eat the above-mentioned foods. It’s recommended, for example, to aim for 6+ servings of green leafy vegetables per week, and a serving of beans 4 times per week. But remember: these are guidelines intended to help you optimize your diet for brain-healthy eating. The MIND diet is still beneficial even when you tweak the guidelines or more loosely follow them in order to accommodate preferences and dietary restrictions. 

Foods you’ll want to limit on the MIND diet include:

1) Butter and margarine 

2) Pastries, sugary drinks, and processed sweets

3) Fried food

4) Red meat

5) Cheese

In general, these foods are high in some combo of saturated and/or trans fat, sodium, and sugar, all of which may contribute to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

A Day in the Life of the MIND Diet

Let’s walk through a sample day of eating with the MIND diet in mind, and how Thistle meals help include the brain-boosting ingredients and plant-based foods recommended on this meal plan.

A MIND Diet Breakfast

Oatmeal with pecans and blueberries: This meal contains 3 food groups from the MIND diet – whole grains from the oats, nuts (pecans), and berries (blueberries).

A MIND Diet Lunch

Thistle Kale Caesar: This salad contains 6 food groups from the MIND diet – dark leafy greens (kale), other vegetables (cucumber, radish), nuts (cashews), olive oil, whole grains (quinoa), and beans/legumes (garbanzo beans).

A MIND Diet Snack

Thistle hummus and vegetables: This snack contains 3 food groups from the MIND diet – vegetables (carrots, tomatoes, celery etc), olive oil, and beans/legumes (garbanzo beans)

A MIND Diet Dinner

Chia-crusted tofu “steaks” with roasted sweet potato wedges and sauteed broccoli cooked in olive oil: This meal contains 3 food groups from the MIND diet - vegetables (broccoli, sweet potato), nuts and seeds (chia seeds), and olive oil.

Get Started on the MIND Diet

Feeling inspired by that yummy and colorful day’s worth of eating? Some simple dietary swaps and inclusions are a great place to start! See below for some food swaps to get you going on the MIND diet.

Instead of….         Try this!

Iceberg lettuce       Romaine, kale, spinach, collard greens, and chard

Vegetable oil         Olive oil

Beef burger            Burger with half beef and half mushrooms  

White bread         Whole wheat bread

Chips & dip            Fresh veggies & hummus

Cheese                  Nutritional yeast

Fried potatoes       Roasted potatoes

Other helpful tips in getting started with the MIND diet include taking small, approachable steps (trying 1-2 meals with these ingredients each week), and including friends or family members in this process. Every positive choice makes a difference and helps build momentum.

Just as nutritious food protects and nourishes your body, the same goes for your brain. With the MIND diet’s sound and flexible guidelines and with Thistle’s ready-to-eat plant-forward meals, following a brain-healthy diet is a no-brainer.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Jun 24, 2022
 in 
Nutrition
 category.