MIND diet and cognitive performance in older adults: a systematic review

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2022;62(29):8059-8077. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2021.1925220. Epub 2021 May 14.


Cognitive decline is a rapidly increasing public health concern. A healthy diet has potential in preserving brain and maintaining cognitive health. This systematic review was designed to evaluate the relationship between Mediterranean-DASH diet intervention for neurodegenerative delay (MIND) diet and cognitive functioning in older adults. PubMed, SCOPUS, Embase, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar databases were searched to extract original studies on humans published until July 2020, without date restrictions. Articles that evaluated the association between MIND diet and cognitive performance in older adults were included. Duplicated and irrelevant studies were screened out and data were obtained through critical analysis. Quality of the articles and risk of bias was assessed by Newcastle-Ottawa and Cochrane Collaboration's quality assessment tools. Of the 135 studies retrieved, 13 articles (9 cohort, 3 cross-sectional, and 1 RCT studies) were included in the final review. All of the included studies indicated that adherence to the MIND diet was positively associated with specific domains, but not all, of cognition and global cognitive function (78% of the studies) in older adults. MIND diet was superior to other plant-rich diets including Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, Pro-Vegetarian and Baltic Sea diets, for improving cognition. Adherence to the MIND diet may possibly be associated with an improved cognitive function in older adults. MIND diet may be superior to other plant-rich diets for improving cognition.

Keywords: Brain health; MIND diet; cognitive performance.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Dysfunction* / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Diet, Mediterranean*
  • Dietary Approaches To Stop Hypertension*
  • Humans