Brain Healthy One-Day Meal Plan: MIND/MeDi Dietary Pattern
When it comes to safeguarding your brain for the long haul, the Mediterranean and MIND diets have emerged as powerful allies. Extensive epidemiological research and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have highlighted the cognitive preservation and reduced risk of age-related brain diseases associated with these dietary patterns. In fact, people who adhere to these diets not only enjoy longer lifespans but also experience significantly lower rates of dementia and cognitive decline, with reductions of up to 50%.1
But how can we practically incorporate the principles of these diets to promote lifelong brain health?
Embarking on a complete dietary overhaul overnight may feel overwhelming for many individuals. However, the key lies in embracing small changes that can be effortlessly integrated into our eating habits over time. By taking gradual steps, we can cultivate a sustainable approach to improving our diet and nurturing our brain health for years to come.
Practical Ways to Start Eating Brain Foods
Here are a few practical ways to start implementing the MIND/MeDi diet today:
- Hydrate with green tea. Replace sugary beverages with green tea (unsweetened), which is rich in antioxidants and offers cognitive benefits.
- Make breakfast brain-friendly: Start your day with a nutritious breakfast that incorporates brain-healthy foods like oatmeal or yogurt topped with berries and nuts.
- Try to “eat the rainbow” each day. The colorful compounds and pigments in fruits and vegetables contribute to their anti-inflammatory nature.
- Cook with healthy oils. Choose cooking oils like extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil, which provide beneficial fats and have antioxidant properties.
- Snack on nuts and seeds: Keep a variety of nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and chia seeds on hand for a convenient and brain-boosting snack.
- Make homemade smoothies: Blend together brain-nourishing ingredients like berries, leafy greens, and other fruits and vegetables for a delicious and nutrient-packed smoothie.
Are you ready to boost your brain health and fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods? Below is a sample one-day menu to help you get started. We created this plan to share an example of eating with the MIND diet for a day. Simply replace some snacks or meals with a choice from below for a healthy dose of brain healthy nutrients.
Sample One-Day Meal Plan for Brain Healthy Eating:
Breakfast: Blackberry and walnut breakfast crisp topped with yogurt.
Blackberries are among the highest in anthocyanins. Similarly, walnuts claim the top spot among nuts for their remarkable brain health benefits, thanks to their abundance of polyphenols and omega-3 fats.
Snack: Sliced hardboiled eggs and sliced cucumbers topped with salt and pepper. Eggs are a rich source of choline, a nutrient known to support brain health and function.
Lunch: Italian inspired salad jar with creamy balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Snack: Zesty lemon blueberry protein balls.
Dinner: Buffalo turkey meatballs served with brown "fried" rice.
Subbed for breadcrumbs in this recipe, quinoa is a good source of magnesium, which plays a vital role in brain health.
Keep in mind that every effort you make towards adopting a brain-healthy diet is a step in the right direction, bringing you closer to better brain health. Start by making small changes and gradually incorporate more as you feel comfortable. Each and every step counts towards improving your brain health and overall well-being.
To complement your dietary journey, consider integrating RELEVATE into your routine. Designed with the principles of the Mediterranean and MIND diets in mind, RELEVATE provides 17 essential nutrients specifically formulated for long-term brain health. Learn more about how RELEVATE can support your brain health by visiting here.
1. Van den Brink, A. C., Brouwer-Brolsma, E. M., Berendsen, A. A. M. & van de Rest, O. The Mediterranean, Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) Diets Are Associated with Less Cognitive Decline and a Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease—A Review. Adv. Nutr. 10, 1040–1065 (2019).