May 07, 2024 6 min read

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    Nutritionists and wellness gurus often stress that we shouldn’t live to eat but rather eat to live and that food should be perceived as fuel, not a reward or an incentive. When it comes to the MIND diet, the focus is on brain food—eating to support cognitive processes and protect the brain from environmental factors and age-related conditions.

    The ideal balance lies somewhere in the middle, somewhere between eating for pleasure and eating for health. While there is nothing wrong with indulging in favorite foods and treating yourself occasionally, consistency matters. A single “bad” choice doesn’t define your diet, but what most of it over time looks like does. Is the MIND diet yet another fad trend, or is it the key to optimal brain food? Let’s find out.

    Cognitive Health: Putting Your MIND to It

    The MIND diet, short for the Mediterranean-DASH Diet Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay, is specifically formulated to limit cognitive decline. Contrary to many buzzing dietary trends and fad diets, MIND isn’t yet another influencer-boosted, seasonal diet. It was introduced by Dr. Martha Clare Morris and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center and supported by two papers by the reputable Harvard Chan School of Public Health. Therefore, it is safe to say that MIND is a nutritional approach backed by scientific evidence.[1]

    The Heart-Protecting MIND Diet

    Let’s just put it this way: if the praised Mediterranean diet and the heart-protecting DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet had a baby, it would be the MIND diet. Widely recognized as the world's healthiest, most balanced, and sought-after nutrition pattern, the Mediterranean diet lies on a solid foundation of nuts, vegetables, whole grains, fruits, olive oil, herbs, and lean protein sources - seafood and fish. It isn’t too specific on portion sizes, amounts, and specific nutrition plans. It is more so a set of principles that could shape your nutrition forever and help you build a healthier relationship with food, leaving processed foods behind.[2]

    The reason behind the pairing between the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet could be their mutual positive effect on blood pressure and the management of hypertension - the known root cause of many health issues. The DASH dietdates back to 1996, a project of the American Heart Association. It is based on foods with blood pressure-lowering nutrients, mainly vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fatty fish, and nuts - all rich in calcium, protein, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Interestingly enough, the objective of the Mediterranean and the DASH diet isn’t weight loss - but optimal heart health and overall well-being.[3]

    While not the primary strategy, calorie reduction is another common denominator for these two diets - and, therefore, one of the objectives of their hybrid - the MIND diet. According to a 2023 study focused on the effects of the MIND diet for cognitive decline prevention[4], reasonable caloric restriction (250 calories in this case) and healthy weight loss can promote cognitive processes in older individuals, lowering the risk of cognitive decline and associated conditions. 

    Calorie Reduction and Weight Loss

    The study participants all had a body mass index (BMI) higher than 25, which put them in the overweight category. Over the course of the study (three years total), the MIND diet group participants lost 3-5% of their body mass, showcasing improved cognitive health.[5] Therefore, besides numerous other health benefits of weight loss, we can confidently add a cognitive boost to the list. Weight loss resulting from mild calorie reduction has been shown to reduce inflammation in the body while lowering the risk of developing obesity-related, brain-affecting conditions such as heart disease, insulin resistance, and diabetes.[5]

    While the MIND diet isn’t one of those rigid, boot camp-style diets, it does come with a set of guidelines and recommendations for optimal results[1]:

    • Have fish at least once a week;
    • Prepare your food using olive oil;
    • Include poultry at least 2 times/week;
    • Incorporate 2 or more servings of berries/week;
    • Have 4 meals based on beans each week;
    • Snack on nuts at least 5 times/week;
    • Prioritize leafy greens and have at least 6 servings/week;
    • Add veggies to your daily menu;
    • Base at least 3 of your daily meals on whole grains;
    • Steer clear of saturated and trans fats;
    • Limit fried foods and cheese to once/week;
    • Limit red meat to 4 servings/week;
    • Weekly portions of sweet treats should be limited to 5;
    • Use no more than 1 tablespoon of butter/day.

    An optimized MIND diet is based mainly on vitamins, flavonoids, and carotenoids responsible for brain protection, especially when faced with inflammation and oxidative stress. While the focus of the MIND diet - pun intended - is on cognitive health, it is undoubtedly beneficial to other areas, including cardiovascular health.[1]

    Supplements to Boost Brain Health

    Oftentimes, it is hard to obtain the necessary nutrients from food, especially if you have a hectic, fast-paced lifestyle. While your diet should be a starting point, especially if you want to eat for brain health, food isn’t the only factor. All-natural, powerful supplements can help you optimize your nutrition and ensure you get the right amount of wellness-optimizing nutrients. Here’s our selection of MIND diet-compatible supplements:

    Collagen Peptides

    Hydrolyzed Collagen

    While collagen is primarily depicted in beauty topics, it is just as crucial for muscle growth, healthy bones, a balanced gut, and cognitive functions. Collagen peptides represent an easy, effortless way of reaching your daily protein goal while remaining in a calorie deficit. It is easily incorporated into your daily meals and drinks, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much time in the kitchen.

    Magnesium Complex

    Playing a vital role in nervous system functioning, magnesium is an excellent example of brain food. Magnesium has been found to reduce the risk of dementia development[6], promote cognitive functions such as focus and clarity, support a healthy circadian cycle, and aid in mood management.

    Liposomal Glutathione

    The leader on the first line of defense against free radicals, glutathione is the body’s most potent natural antioxidant and the core element of the immune system. Glutathione is essential in optimal cognitive health, so much so that its decline has been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease[7]

    Vitamin D3+K2

    Vegan Vitamin D3+K2

    Vitamins D3 and K2 are like two best friends that have grown so close that people now refer to them as an unbreakable duo - especially when it comes to cardiovascular health. While vitamin K2 aids in the distribution of calcium, vitamin D3 is there to promote its absorption. There’s a plethora of scientific evidence linking vitamin D to improved cognitive function, especially memory, elevated mood levels, and a significant reduction of dementia development risk.[8] Vitamin K2, on the other hand, has a well-known neuroprotective role. 

    In Summary

    It is safe to say that the MIND diet isn’t just a drop in the bucket of meaningless yo-yo diets. Rather than a specific nutrition plan, it represents a set of principles and recommendations that can help you optimize your nutrition in a purposeful, long-term manner. While it is primarily aimed towards cognitive improvement, it offers a multitude of additional benefits for other areas of well-being - particularly heart health. In addition to diet and lifestyle optimization, all-natural supplements represent an excellent method of obtaining the necessary nutrients without breaking the bank… or slaving away in the kitchen.

    Article References:

    1. Boston, 677 Huntington Avenue, and Ma 02115 +1495‑1000. “Diet Review: MIND Diet.” The Nutrition Source, 15 July 2022,
    2. Harvard School of Public Health. “Diet Review: Mediterranean Diet.” The Nutrition Source, 2018,
    3. Harvard School of Public Health. “Diet Review: DASH.” The Nutrition Source, 16 Jan. 2018,
    4. Barnes, Lisa L, et al. “Trial of the MIND Diet for Prevention of Cognitive Decline in Older Persons.” The New England Journal of Medicine, 18 July 2023,
    5. Brain Health: MIND Diet, Cutting Calories May Benefit Cognition.”, 8 Aug. 2023, Accessed 7 May 2024.
    6. Salamon, Maureen. “Magnesium-Rich Foods Might Boost Brain Health, Especially in Women.” Harvard Health, 1 Sept. 2023,
    7. Increasing Glutathione Levels Lowers Alzheimer’s Pathology and Improves Cognitive Decline.” Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), 17 Feb. 2021, Accessed 7 May 2024.
    8. Vitamin D May Improve Brain Function and Strengthen Memory.” Fortune Well,

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