MIND Diet: Memory Care Meals at Our Pittsburgh Retirement Community

Meals that Support Your Loved One’s Mind and Memory


Food is a huge component of our everyday lives. Our food habits–the types of foods we eat as well as our routines around meal times–influence so much of our health and wellness. And eating thoughtful, well-balanced meals is an essential element of staying healthy and happy as you age. It helps with weight maintenance, increases energy levels, and reduces the risk of health conditions and diseases. Here at The Haven at North Hills, one of the best Pittsburgh retirement communities, we offer memory care services and have implemented a robust Memory Care Life Enrichment Program that supports our residents in all aspects of their well-being.

Part of that support involves their nutrition, of course! At The Haven, we’re primarily concerned with finding ways to create meals that foster brain health and curb memory issues for as long as possible. That’s why we implement the MIND diet, a plan developed by researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. The researchers found evidence that eating certain types of food and avoiding others can help support the mind and promote other aspects of physical and mental health.

The MIND diet consists of 10 food groups that are recommended to incorporate into meals and are considered brain healthy. There are also five unhealthy food groups that people should avoid eating often. Here’s a breakdown of these groups:

Food Groups to Increase

  • Leafy green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and kale
  • Other vegetables include carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.
  • Nuts like cashews, almonds, peanuts, pecans, and pistachios
  • Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries
  • Beans such as pinto, lima, garbanzo, and black beans
  • Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, and whole-grain bread
  • Fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and trout
  • Poultry such as chicken and turkey
  • Olive oil should be used as the primary cooking oil

Food Groups to Reduce

  • Red meat like beef, lamb, pork, and goat
  • Butter and margarine
  • Cheeses
  • Pastries and sweets like donuts, cake, and ice cream
  • Fried or fast food

At The Haven, our Executive Chef incorporates the recommended ingredients from the MIND diet into our daily menu. And don’t worry, your loved one will still be able to enjoy their favorite comfort foods; every so often you may find some ingredients that aren’t on the list above, but we believe that part of a healthy lifestyle is to indulge thoughtfully every once and a while!

To further serve our residents, they are greeted for every meal by a friendly staff member who provides multiple daily menu options. All entrees are served on colorful plates to stimulate appetite. And our restaurant-style dining room promotes socialization through conversation and connection with other residents–another benefit of community dining!

Our Executive Chef at the Haven is constantly working to find creative and delicious ways to incorporate fresh foods from the MIND Diet and accommodate each resident’s dietary needs and desires. Our kitchen staff is also always open to new meal ideas and feedback on offerings. So if your loved one has a favorite meal, please share it with us to prepare for the community– it might become a staple dish on the menu!

If you’re looking for a memory care community that constantly finds creative and research-backed ways to support our residents’ minds and bodies, then look no further than The Haven. Our goal is that the MIND Diet, paired with our memory care programs, will foster brain health and hold off memory issues for as long as possible.

Of course, we’d love it if you came by to check out our meals and programs for yourself!

To learn more about residency or schedule a tour of The Haven, contact our friendly team today.

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