The MIND diet was first introduced in a 2015 study led by Dr. Martha Clare Morris and her team at Rush University Medical Centre in Chicago13. The research followed 1,000 older adults for up to 10 years, to see if the MIND diet could prevent or slow the onset of dementia. The MIND diet score, developed during the study, identified foods and nutrients beneficial for preventing dementia and cognitive decline. The results classified fifteen dietary components as either “brain healthy” or “unhealthy” and revealed that those that followed the MIND diet the closest experienced a significantly slower cognitive decline than those that followed it less closely, showing a greater impact than either the Mediterranean or DASH diets14.
These findings were supported by a 2023 cross-sectional study involving 207 adults aged around 34 years old with varying BMI (Body Mass Index) scores. The study found that greater adherence to the MIND diet was inversely related to faster processing of information. While these findings suggest a potential benefit of the MIND diet for cognitive function15, more research needs to be done to definitively prove that the MIND diet itself leads to better brain health.
There is, however, ample evidence to show that a healthy diet is key to better brain health. Several research studies have uncovered a significant relationship between nutrients, foods, and their impact on understanding and emotion. For instance, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with a decrease in cognitive deterioration in older people and has also been used to help treat mood disorders16.