Build Your Own Brain Healthy Bowl

The foods we keep in our pantry can stretch far and wide, providing our brain with the nutrients recommended by neuroprotective diets like the MIND diet.  

Studies have indicated a strong connection between the MIND and Mediterranean diets and the preservation of cognitive function and the reduction of age-related brain diseases.  By following these dietary plans, research suggests individuals may have extended lifespans with decreased incidences of dementia and cognitive deterioration.1  The MIND diet emphasizes the consumption of brain-enhancing foods like berries, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while discouraging the intake of processed foods, refined sugars, and saturated fats. 

With the MIND diet focusing on 8 key food groups, you can help to make sure you make the most out of every meal and hit more than one of those key food groups.  With a brain healthy bowl, it makes it easier to incorporate multiple key food groups into one convenient and delicious dish. 

With a little planning and creativity, you can turn your pantry staples into brain-boosting meals for yourself and your family.  

By following the steps outlined below, you can customize a delicious and nourishing bowl that caters to your unique taste preferences while also benefiting your brain health. 

Build Your Own Brain Healthy Bowl 

Choose Your Base (pick one or more): 

Provides magnesium, lutein and zeaxanthin, and kaempferol. 

  • Mixed greens (preferably dark leafy greens like arugula, kale, or spinach) 
  • Quinoa or other whole grains 
  • Roasted sweet or purple potatoes 
  • Legumes or lentils 

Choose Your Veggies (pick two or more): 

Provides quercetin, catechins, magnesium, lutein and zeaxanthin, kaempferol, and l-theanine. 

  • Steamed broccoli 
  • Roasted brussels sprouts 
  • Sliced red onion 
  • Chopped bell peppers 
  • Half an avocado 
  • Sliced tomato 
  • Roasted asparagus 
  • Zucchini squash 
  • Carrots 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Beets 
  • Cucumber 

Choose Your Fruit (choose one or more): 

Provides anthocyanins, myricetin, and pterostilbene. 

  • Blueberries 
  • Strawberries 
  • Raspberries 
  • Blackberries 
  • Red grapes 

Choose Your Protein (pick one or more): 

Provides vitamin d3, omega 3’s, magnesium, and vitamins b3 &12.

  • Grilled chicken 
  • Roasted salmon 
  • Sardines 
  • Roasted tofu 
  • Roasted chickpeas 
  • Turkey meatballs 
  • Hard boiled egg 
  • Black beans (or other beans) 

Choose a Topping (pick one or more): 

Provides vitamin e, omega 3’s, and magnesium. 

  • Chopped almonds (or other nuts) 
  • Sesame, chia, hemp, or other seeds 
  • Sprouts 
  • Fresh herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, oregano, or others) 
  • Olives 
  • Chopped green onions or scallions 

Choose a Dressing (optional): 

Provides vitamin e and magnesium.

  • Tahini dressing 
  • Olive oil 
  • Fresh squeezed lemon or lime juice 
  • Hummus 
  • Balsamic vinaigrette 

Prepare Ahead for Busier Weeks 

During weeks when our schedules are especially hectic and time constraints make it difficult to eat nutritious meals that support our brain health, advanced meal preparation can keep us on track.  By assembling these bowls 2-3 days ahead of time, they can be kept fresh and ready to enjoy when needed.  To help keep optimal freshness, it is recommended to follow the specified order of ingredients and to store the dressing separately until ready to eat. 

Weekly Servings of the MIND diet  

Embracing the MIND diet can be simple and achievable.  By trying to adhere as closely as you can to these principles, you can effortlessly integrate a multitude of brain-nourishing foods into your daily dishes. 

The food wheel below shows the recommended servings per week according to the MIND diet guidelines: 

Receive a magnet version of the colorful MIND diet food wheel with serving guidance when you subscribe to RELEVATE this month with code APRILMIND (along with a 3-month meal planning pad, a 6-day MIND meal inspiration sheet, and a vitamin organizer for your supply of our brain health supplement RELEVATE). 

Sample Brain Healthy Bowls to Get You Started 

Mediterranean Inspired 

  • Base: Quinoa, Mixed Greens 
  • Veggies: Sliced red onion, bell peppers, beets, cucumber 
  • Protein: Roasted salmon and chickpeas 
  • Topping: Fresh parsley, olives  
  • Dressing: Tahini dressing, fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil 

Mexican Cuisine Inspired: 

  • Base: Brown Rice, Mixed Greens  
  • Veggies: Tomato, sliced red onion, black beans, half an avocado 
  • Protein: Grilled shredded chicken 
  • Topping: Cilantro 
  • Dressing: Fresh squeezed lime juice 

Asian Cuisine Inspired: 

  • Base: Roasted purple potatoes and purple cabbage 
  • Veggies: Shredded carrots, edamame, cucumbers 
  • Protein: Roasted tofu 
  • Topping: Crushed peanuts and sesame seeds 
  • Dressing: Fresh squeezed lime juice 

Starting on the path to better brain health involves taking small steps and making gradual changes.  Remember that making an effort to eat a brain-healthy diet and embrace other healthy habits can lead to positive outcomes.  Consistency and gradual progress are essential for long-term success.  

As you make progress with diet, RELEVATE can help fill in the gaps where your diet falls short.  RELEVATE is designed upon the framework of the Mediterranean and MIND diets, and includes 17 nutrients from these diets for short and long-term brain health.  Learn more about RELEVATE here. 

Consistency is essential for maintaining a strong brain daily.  With a RELEVATE subscription, you will receive monthly deliveries of important brain health nutrition.  As you work on improving your kitchen habits with the support of RELEVATE, it's also important to prepare outside of the kitchen.  This month, all new subscription orders using the code APRILMIND will also receive a 3-month MIND meal planning pad with guidance on grocery list quantities from each food group.  Additionally, you will get a colorful MIND diet food wheel magnet illustrating serving sizes and a 6-day MIND meal inspiration sheet with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas.  To help you stay organized, a vitamin organizer for your RELEVATE will be included.  You have the flexibility to pause, change your order date, or cancel your RELEVATE subscription at any time.  Get started on a RELEVATE subscription by visiting here.  


  1. Morris, Martha Clare et al. “MIND diet slows cognitive decline with aging.” Alzheimer's & dementia : the journal of the Alzheimer's Association vol. 11,9 (2015): 1015-22. doi:10.1016/j.jalz.2015.04.011 
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