The MIND Diet: a quick beginner’s guide


  4 Minutes

The MIND Diet is said to promote healthy brain and cognitive function, and lower the risk of getting dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease. This is especially important for healthier ageing.

This diet reportedly protects the brain, nervous system, and promotes the health of your heart. That’s because it combines two popular eating plans including the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH Diet. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (high blood pressure).

It is rich in brightly coloured fruit especially berries, leafy greens, beans, legumes and wholegrains. Avoid starchy vegetables such as potatoes and white rice and eat these in moderation opting instead for sweat potatoes and brown rice. This diet is low in salt, refined sugars, saturated fats such as butter and margarine, and red meat. Wine and dark chocolate in moderation are allowed. It promotes life affirming foods that are in season in their most natural forms, and 2 litres of good quality filtered water consistently throughout the day.

Did you know?

  • The MIND Diet was founded in 2015 by Dr Martha Clare Morris and her colleagues at the Rush University Medical Center and the Harvard Chan School of Public Health.
  • It is proven to reduce the risk of dementia especially Alzheimer’s disease.
  • It is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH Diets.
  • The Mediterranean Diet is reported to reduce the risk of breast cancer, dementia, depression and diabetes, and lower bad cholesterol.
  • The DASH Diet was developed to fight hypertension. It also promotes healthy weight loss. It includes eating less salt and more fresh fruit, vegetables, wholegrains and lean protein.

The recommended MIND Diet foods include:

Shopping List Items – Wholefoods Servings


A selection of what is in season.

Berries such as blackberries  blueberries, gooseberries, raspberries, strawberries and youngberries. These are high in antioxidants.

Avoid canned fruit that is preserved in sugar.

X5 servings per day.

x2 plus servings of berries per week at least.


Leafy green vegetables –

Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and spinach as well as a variety of salads.

X6 plus servings per week at least.

Other vegetables:

A selection of what is in season for extra nutrients – careful to avoid starchy vegetables.

X1 plus serving per day.


Black beans, broad beans, butterbeans, kidney beans, red beans, and white beans.

Tinned beans are allowed and need to be low in brine, salt and sugar.

Chickpeas, green beans and lentils may be used instead.

X4 plus servings per week.


Barley, brown rice, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa, rolled oats, popcorn, wholewheat flour, wholegrain breakfast cereals and wholewheat pasta.

X3 plus servings per day.

Raw and unsalted nuts:

A variety of nuts such as chestnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and walnuts.

Almonds and cashews are seeds while peanuts are legumes. Living Naturally recommends almonds.

X5 servings per week.

(a handful).


Oily fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids including salmon, sardines, tuna and trout.

X1 plus servings a week at least.


Chicken and turkey (not deep-fried).

X2 plus servings a week at least.

Olive oil:

Avoid using other cooking oils and consider serving only olive oil with every meal.


Red or white wine.

Max 1 serving per day or less.

What foods to eat less of on the MIND Diet:

Limit foods that are rich in saturated and trans-fatty acids. These foods are mostly filled with fats that turn solid at room temperature and that smoke or sizzle when you fry food in them.

Butter, ghee, margarine, palm oil

Note: Coconut butter and coconut oil is naturally free from trans-fatty acids and can be more easily digested by your liver although it turns solid at room temperature.

Less than x1 tablespoon per day.
Cheese made with cows’ milk. Less than x1 serving per week.

Crisps, candies, pastries, sweets:

All baked and deep-fried floury goods made with refined white flour, sugar, saturated fats and salt, including things like cookies, potato chips, sugary candies, dairy ice-cream, donuts, cakes, and roasted and salted nuts.

Less than x5 servings per week.

Fried foods:

Steam, grill, roast or air-fry instead.

Less than x1 serving per week.

Red meat:

For non-vegetarians opt for lean cuts of red meat including beef, pork, lamb, and low salt products made from these meats.

Less than X4 servings per week.

The MIND Diet does not make an indication of the suggested serving size.

Living Naturally has taken the guesswork out of brain and memory health for you. Our team has researched and selected your well-being supplements with care. We always look to nature for inspiration. Learn more.

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Yours in good health,
The Living Naturally Team


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