The MIND diet can give your brain and body a big boost during stroke recovery.
The diet has been shown to reduce certain stroke risk factors and protect against cognitive decline.
If you want to protect your health by following the best diet for stroke recovery, then read on!
What Is the MIND Diet?
The MIND diet is a hybrid of the two heart-healthy DASH and Mediterranean diets. (MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.)
The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, which are two stroke risk factors.
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to protect against:
- Stroke risk factors such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, and obesity
- Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
- Other chronic degenerative diseases like cancer
Yeah, the Mediterranean diet is mind-blowingly good for your brain and body.
With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that the hybrid MIND diet can be beneficial for stroke recovery.
The Study on MIND Diet for Stroke Recovery
In a preliminary study, stroke survivors who closely followed the MIND diet had half the rate of cognitive decline as the survivors who were eating the least MIND-like.
This is great news because stroke survivors are at twice the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and the MIND diet helps protect against those diseases.
The study is considered preliminary because it has not been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
However, we still consider the MIND diet the best diet for stroke recovery because it combines 2 of the 3 of the stroke recovery diets we recommended last year.
If you’re interested in trying the MIND diet to boost your recovery from stroke, let’s dig into the menu.
Foods to Eat and Avoid on the MIND Diet
The MIND diet encourages the consumption of 10 specific foods while discouraging 5 other foods.
It’s great because it doesn’t have any crazy rules or restrictions. It allows you to still eat, drink, and be merry!
10 Foods to Eat
- Green, leafy vegetables – aim for 6+ servings a week
- All other vegetables – try to eat another non-starchy vegetable once a day
- Berries – twice a week
- Nuts – 5+ servings per week
- Olive oil – use it as a salad dressing or cooking oil
- Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and whole-wheat pasta – aim for 3 servings a day
- Fish – twice a week
- Beans – 4x a week
- Poultry – twice a week (sorry, fried chicken is not encouraged)
- Wine – no more than 1 glass a day
These foods are all encouraged because they contain an abundance of antioxidants, omega 3’s, vitamins, and minerals.
5 Foods to Avoid
As you begin to eat better foods, also try to focus on reducing your intake of these not MIND-friendly foods:
- Butter and margarine – less than 1 tablespoon daily
- Cheese – less than once per week
- Red meat – less than 3 servings per week
- Fried food – less than once per week
- Pastries and sweets – less than 4x a week
If you’re currently eating these foods, start to slowly remove them. Often, going cold turkey leads to failure, so just try to gradually cut back.
The MIND Diet for Stroke Recovery
Overall, the MIND diet is a great way to boost your recovery from stroke.
It helps protect against neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and reduce stroke risk factors like hypertension.
Focus on eating the 10 MIND-friendly foods and do your best to avoid the 5 unhealthy foods.
Your brain and body will thank you!
What kind of diet have you been following after stroke? How do you feel? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!