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40+ Best MIND Diet Recipes for Better Brain Health

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Boost your brain health deliciously with 40+ MIND diet recipes, a MIND Diet Meal Plan, & a MIND diet tracker!

Scary stuff.–>Did you know that fluid intelligence, your ability to think quickly and recall information, peaks around age 20, then slowly declines?

Don’t fret, though. There’s good news too! Because the MIND Diet (MIND stands for Mediterranean-Dash Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) is based on two popular diets, the Mediterranean diet + the DASH diet. And it has been shown to boost brain health, slow down cognitive decline, and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 53%.

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In this post: MIND Diet 101, Recipes, Meal Plan, & Tracker

I’ve shared my love of the Mediterranean diet here and here. As for the DASH diet (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) it’s considered one of the best diets by U.S. News and World Report. In addition, it’s a top diet for high blood pressure and other chronic diseases, including heart disease, insulin resistance, and gout.

Harvard Health also rated the DASH diet and said, “research supports the use of the DASH diet as a healthy eating pattern that may help lower blood pressure, and prevent or reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, kidney failure, and gout.”

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In addition, the MIND Diet features nourishing and delicious anti-inflammatory foods, many of which you may already be eating on a healthy diet. It’s also simple and easy to follow.

What do you eat on the MIND diet?

Seriously addictive greens! Spicy Kale and Swiss Chard Saute | Healthy recipes, gluten free, vegan, paleo, low FODMAP option

You can enjoy many delicious brain foods on the MIND diet, including berries, whole grains, nuts, salmon, lentils, leafy greens (try the yummy Swiss Chard & Spicy Kale Saute pictured above!), extra-virgin olive oil, wine, and more. Let’s take a closer look at the MIND diet principles.

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Eat these MIND diet foods daily (or almost daily)

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Make it your primary cooking oil. Avocado oil is also a brain healthy and heart-healthy choice.
  • Green Leafy Vegetables Eat 1 serving 6 x week, including arugula, collard greens, kale, lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, watercress, etc.
  • Vegetables Eat one serving daily in addition to your leafy greens. You can eat any vegetables, but I recommend nutrient-dense veggies like artichokes, asparagus, beets, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, endive, leeks, mushrooms, onions, and squash.
  • Whole Grains (gluten-free whole grains as needed) Eat three servings of whole grains per day. Gluten-free options include buckwheat, millet, oats, purple and brown rice, sorghum, teff, and corn.
  • Wine (optional one glass/day), especially red wine, is high in polyphenols.
See also  Instant Pot Vegetarian Chili - Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker or Stovetop

Related Post:  Make This One Simple Change to Live a Healthier, More Vibrant Life

Eat these foods weekly

  • Nuts Eat five servings each week. Enjoy a variety of nuts, including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts.
  • Beans & Legumes Eat three+ servings per week of black beans, black eyed peas, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, peanuts, pinto beans, etc.
  • Lean Poultry Eat two+ servings per week of white meat, chicken, and turkey.
  • Berries Eat two+ servings per week of blackberries, boysenberries, blueberries, golden berries, huckleberries, raspberries, strawberries, and wild blueberries.
  • Fish Eat one+ servings each week, especially fatty fish like salmon, tuna, rainbow trout, and sardines.

Limit these foods

  • Sweets & Pastries Eat less than five servings per week.
  • Butter & Margarine Limit to less than one tablespoon per day.
  • Red meat Eat less than four servings per week.
  • Whole Fat Cheese Limit to one serving or less per week.
  • Fried Fast Foods Eat less than one serving per week.

Didn’t I tell you the MIND Diet is easy to follow?

Well, except for maybe the “limit whole fat cheese to one serving” & “eat less than five servings of sweets” per week part. Sigh…But, don’t worry. There’s more good news!

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You don’t have to follow a MIND Diet Meal Plan 100% to reap the brain health benefits, as research has found that following the diet even partially reduces Alzheimer’s risk by 35%.

So, although I already have reduced my whole fat cheese intake to a respectable 2-3 times per week, I can feel good about enjoying a small sweet treat daily. Baby steps 🙂

And, since my No-Bake Chocolate Chip Energy Bites are made from almond flour and have only 4 grams of added sugar per serving, I’m sure they’re allowed on a MIND Diet Meal Plan. Don’t you think??

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Chocolate Chip No Bake Energy Bites | Low Carb, Gluten Free, Low FODMAP, with Vegan & Paleo options | Get the recipe, plus more healthy snacks at EA Stewart, The Spicy RD

The science behind the MIND diet

Nutritional epidemiologist Martha Clare Morris, Ph.D., and her colleagues at Rush University Medical Center developed the MIND Diet. And as I mentioned earlier, one of the most encouraging things about the MIND diet is that even if you don’t follow it 100%, you can still reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 35%.

I had the pleasure of learning more about the MIND diet from a nutrition talk by Maggie Moon, RD, and author of The MIND Diet. A Scientific Approach to Enhancing Brain Function and Helping Prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

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Maggie gave an outstanding presentation on the research behind the diet, including its effects on reducing oxidative stress and preventing loss of brain function that occurs with aging.

Maggie also talked about the wide variety of food groups, as well as all the different cuisines {Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Mexican, & so many more!} you can adapt to a MIND Diet-friendly, which makes it appealing to all types of tastes and makes it easy to follow.

If you are interested in learning more about the specifics of the diet and would like to access MIND Diet-friendly recipes, along with a MIND Diet scoring system, I highly recommend you check out her MIND Diet book! This is an affiliate link. I may earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you, if you purchase through my link.

MIND Diet Recipes Cookbook

MIND Diet Recipes Cookbook Cover with a blueberry smoothie bowl.

In the meantime, if you’re ready to give it a try, I’ve created a free MIND Diet Recipes Cookbook with 42 delicious recipes for good brain health and overall health. In it, you’ll find a wide variety of tasty MIND diet recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert to reduce your Alzheimer’s risk and boost your cognitive function.

Free instant download! 40+ MIND Diet Recipes for Better Brain Health

I’ve also created a sample 3-Day Gluten-Free Mind Diet Plan featuring some of my own delicious MIND diet recipes for brain health. Enjoy!

3-Day Sample MIND Diet Meal Plan

Overhead shot of vean blueberry smoothie bowl topped with kiwi, hemp seeds, and viola flowers, plus a spoon.

DAY ONE

DAY TWO

  • Breakfast: Green Eggs, No Ham + 1 Slice Whole Grain (gluten-free if preferred) Toast + Cherries
  • Lunch: Leftover Rainbow Rotisserie Chicken Salad (recipe above)
  • Snack: Banana Slices + Peanut Butter
  • Dinner: Crunchy Lentil Tacos + 1 Glass Wine (optional) + Apple Slices w/ Cinnamon

DAY THREE

BONUS! Free MIND Diet Tracker!

If you’re serious about eating for better brain health, be sure to download your FREE MIND Diet Tracker to remind you to eat all these delicious brain-healthy foods every week!

MIND Diet Recipes Tracker printable PDF

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD YOUR FREE MIND DIET TRACKER!

Let’s Chat! Have you heard of the MIND Diet before? Which of these foods are your favorites? Do you have any questions about the MIND Diet or what to eat for brain health and Alzheimer’s prevention? Ask away! And, if you enjoyed this post please consider sharing it with your friends or on social media & tag me @thespicyrd Thanks so much!

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Thanks so much for sharing!

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