Stroke Reducing, Heart and Brain Healthy One Day Meal Plan: Mediterranean Diet

Heart health and brain health are closely intertwined, making it crucial to prioritize both throughout midlife and beyond.  Hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, and vascular stiffness/dysfunction are among the key midlife cardiovascular risk factors that can impact dementia risk.1,2  Additionally, stroke is a significant contributor to dementia risk, with one study finding that 7 years following stroke, 37% of participants had mild cognitive impairment and 22% had dementia.3  

This interconnectedness underscores the importance of caring for our heart health to be proactive about preventing cognitive decline down the road.  Thankfully, dietary interventions like the Mediterranean diet have shown remarkable effectiveness in reducing the risk of heart disease by nearly 33%.4  Compared to some pharmaceutical interventions for cardiovascular disease, which typically reduce risk by about 25%, the Mediterranean diet emerges as a powerful preventive measure.  Remember, you don't need to overhaul your pantry in one day.   Embracing gradual adjustments to your diet and integrating them into your eating routine over time is essential for long-term success in maintaining heart and brain health. 

Start Your Heart-Brain Food Journey with Simple Steps: 

  • Incorporate fatty fish like sardines and salmon into your meals at least twice a week.  These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which support heart health by reducing cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure, and fighting inflammation.5 
  • Swap out butter or other cooking oils with olive oil, a heart-healthy alternative rich in unsaturated fats.  Use olive oil for cooking or as a flavorful dressing for salads to improve lipid levels, increase "good" HDL cholesterol, and regulate blood pressure.6 
  • Make fruits and vegetables the stars of your meals by aiming to fill half your plate with them.  These colorful foods are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, flavonoids, and carotenoids, which help combat inflammation and act as powerful antioxidants. 
  • Opt for whole grains like oats and barley instead of refined grains in your diet.  Incorporating whole grains into your meals helps reduce inflammation, improve lipid profiles, and regulate blood pressure.5 
  • Snack on nuts instead of chips or sweet snacks.  Nuts, in particular, are associated with a 40% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to improve vascular function, lower blood pressure, and reduce cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.5  

As we've previously discussed, the Mediterranean diet stands as a gold standard for heart health.  Now, let's put these dietary principles into action with a one-day meal plan below.  This plan has been carefully crafted to provide you with a snapshot of a day's worth of meals that can nourish both your heart and brain.  You can easily incorporate selections from the options below to replace snacks or meals, helping you receive a rich array of heart-nourishing nutrients. 

Sample One-Day Meal Plan for Heart-Brain Healthy Eating: 

Breakfast: Pumpkin blueberry muffins with a side of scrambled eggs. 

Eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower blood pressure and promote heart health. 

Snack: Lemon and blueberry protein balls. 

Antioxidants from the anthocyanins in blueberries support heart health by reducing inflammation. 

Lunch: Black bean and butternut squash soup with a slice of whole grain bread.  

Black beans are rich in magnesium, low in fat, and high in fiber, making them excellent for regulating blood pressure, while whole grains also contribute to blood pressure regulation due to their fiber content 

Snack: Greek yogurt parfait topped with sliced strawberries, almonds, and oats. 

Almonds are high in healthy fats like omega-3 and vitamin E, while strawberries are rich in flavonoids, both of which work synergistically to combat inflammation.  

Dinner: Kale, brown rice, and veggie salad with air fried crispy tofu. 

The veggies in the salad are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, known for their ability to lower LDL "bad cholesterol," while tofu serves as an excellent meat substitute, helping to minimize fat intake.  

Keep in mind that every effort you make to prioritize a heart-healthy diet not only benefits your cardiovascular system but also directly impacts your brain health.  By managing shared risk factors, such as cholesterol levels and blood pressure, you're not only taking care of your heart but also supporting cognitive function and overall brain wellness.  Start by making small adjustments and gradually incorporate more as you establish your routine.  

For even more tips and recipes, along with some Mediterranean diet meal plans, download our FREE guide: Learn to Eat the Mediterranean Way. 

When life gets busy and maintaining a perfect diet feels overwhelming, remember that nutritional supplementation can offer valuable support in filling any gaps you might be missing.  Our supplement, RELEVATE, provides 17 important nutrients sourced from the Mediterranean diet, renowned for its heart and brain health benefits.  Specifically formulated with nutrients that are associated with stroke reduction, like vitamin D3, B vitamins, green tea catechins, and magnesium, and supports cognitive function.  By incorporating RELEVATE into your routine, you may be able to proactively reduce the risk of health conditions that may lead to cognitive decline in the future, while also helping to protect your brain in the short and long term.

Treat yourself to our delectable chocolate bars infused with dried strawberries and raspberries, delivering a delicious dose of flavonoids. Paired with two bottles of RELEVATE and the Brain Health Kitchen cookbook, along with a reusable errands bag, this bundle is crafted to seamlessly incorporate these potent nutrients into your daily routine, nurturing your heart and brain health (available only until Feb 29th). Order by visiting here.  


  1. Farnsworth Von Cederwald B, Josefsson M, Wåhlin A, Nyberg L, Karalija N. Association of Cardiovascular Risk Trajectory With Cognitive Decline and Incident Dementia. Neurology. 2022;98(20):E2013-E2022. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000200255
  2. Brain J, Greene L, Tang EYH, et al. Cardiovascular disease, associated risk factors, and risk of dementia: An umbrella review of meta-analyses. Front Epidemiol. 2023;3(February):1-14. doi:10.3389/fepid.2023.1095236 
  3. El Husseini N, Katzan IL, Rost NS, et al. Cognitive Impairment After Ischemic and Hemorrhagic Stroke: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Stroke. 2023;54(6):E272-E291. doi:10.1161/STR.0000000000000430 
  4. Martínez-González MA, Gea A, Ruiz-Canela M. The Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Health: A Critical Review. Circ Res. 2019;124(5):779-798. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.313348 
  5. Widmer RJ, Flammer AJ, Lerman LO, Lerman A. The Mediterranean diet, its components, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Med. 2015;128(3):229-238. doi:10.1016/j.amjmed.2014.10.014 
  6. Estruch R, Ros E, Salas-Salvadó J, et al. Primary prevention of cardiovascular disease with a mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts. N Engl J Med. 2018;378(25). doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1800389 
Back to Blog