Brain Healthy One-Day Meal Plan: Mediterranean Diet
Evidence strongly suggests that people who follow brain healthy diets, like the Mediterranean Diet, maintain their cognitive ability and reduce their risk of age-related brain illness. In fact, a recent study found that those who more closely follow the Mediterranean diet had reduced signs, or biomarkers, associated with Alzheimer’s Disease.1
But how can we put these diets into practice for lifelong brain health?
For many of us, a complete diet overhaul is generally not realistic overnight. However, small changes can be easy to make and are more sustainable. So, what should you eat for better brain health?
Practical Ways to Start Eating Brain Foods
Here are a few simple ways to start eating brain healthy foods today:
- Start including a fruit or vegetable with each meal. Add more as it becomes a habit.
- Try to “eat the rainbow” each day. The colorful compounds and pigments in fruits and vegetables contribute to their anti-inflammatory nature.
- Eat less fast food and processed foods. Begin by replacing one meal with a home-made meal with a foundation of vegetables.
- Make your own condiments – these are a major hidden source of added sugars and trans-fats. The easiest is salad dressing: Use 3 parts olive oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice. Play with adding salt, pepper, herbs, and spices to taste.
- Incorporate healthy fats from foods like nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Have nut butter with your favorite fruit as a snack. Extra virgin olive oil is also rich in healthy fats – use olive when cooking instead of butter.
- Use whole grain breads and pastas instead of more refined varieties.
Are you excited and ready to go? Below is a sample one-day menu. The good part is, eating for brain health doesn’t require hours of preparation, but rather a little planning to make sure your kitchen is stocked with the ingredients you need.
Sample One-Day Meal Plan for Brain Healthy Eating:
Breakfast: Kale, blueberry and almond butter smoothie.
Snack: Handful of nuts like almonds or walnuts, and 1/2 cup of berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) .
Lunch: Black bean and butternut squash soup and a slice of whole grain bread.
Snack: Roasted chickpeas in olive oil and zaatar spice and ¼ cup of olives
Dinner: Sheet pan dinner bake with chicken breasts, root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, sweet potato), herb/olive oil dressing, served over a bed of brown rice.
Even with our best efforts, most of us do not get the daily nutrients we need for long-term brain health. RELEVATE is a nutritional supplement designed with vital nutrients from brain protective dietary patterns like the Mediterranean to ensure our brains stay sharp. RELEVATE fills the gaps where diet falls short, so you can focus on building memories and doing the things that bring you joy and purpose. Learn more about RELEVATE here.
- Ballarini T, Melo van Lent D, Brunner J, et al. Mediterranean Diet, Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers and Brain Atrophy in Old Age. Neurology. 2021;96(24):e2920-e2932. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000012067