7-Day MIND Diet Meal Plan for Brain Health

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7-Day MIND Diet Meal Plan | The 'Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay', or MIND diet for short, combines the Mediterranean and DASH diets to protect and strengthen the brain. Research shows it can also reduce diabetes, oxidative stress, and high blood pressure. Need more info? We're sharing principals of the diet, a list of foods to eat and avoid to help make your grocery list, and we've created a 7-day meal plan with links to healthy MIND diet recipes you'll love!

If you haven’t heard of the MIND diet, allow us to introduce you. While many diets focus on weight loss, this eating plan encourages eating certain foods and avoiding others to benefit your brain health. The MIND diet has been linked to slower cognitive decline, as well as preventing illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease. A combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diets, here’s everything you need to know about this eating plan and a 7-day MIND diet meal plan to follow.

What Is The MIND Diet?

MIND stands for “Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.” The MIND diet combines the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet to create an eating plan that focuses on brain health. It emphasizes plant-based foods like whole grains, leafy greens, vegetables, berries, nuts, and fish to boost your brain power and protect it from age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s. Research shows that these two diets can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases. Together, they can also help preserve cognitive function.

What Are the Principles of the MIND Diet?

Cognitive impairment refers to difficulty with memory, learning, or thought processing. As you get older, cognitive function tends to decrease, however, maintaining brain health through diet and a healthy lifestyle can help prevent cognitive decline. The MIND diet combines principles from the Mediterranean and DASH diets to specifically target brain health.

The Mediterranean diet primarily consists of grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and fish. People can also consume a small amount of meats, eggs, dairy, and alcohol. The DASH diet highlights fruit, vegetables, and low fat dairy products. People can also eat whole grains, poultry, fish, and nuts, but should limit their intake of saturated fats, red meat, and sugars.

The MIND diet combines these dietary patterns by encouraging the consumption of many plant-based foods, as well as fish and poultry, and avoiding saturated fats and added sugars. It also focuses on daily and weekly recommendations for foods and food groups.

What Are the Benefits of the MIND Diet?

  1. Prioritizes brain health and boosts brain power
  2. Protects your brain from age related diseases
  3. Prevents and improves cardiovascular disease and diabetes
  4. Supports healthy aging
  5. Slows age-related cognitive decline
  6. Reduces your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
  7. May decrease oxidative stress and inflammation

10 Foods to Eat on the MIND Diet

  1. Green, leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, arugula, and Swiss chard. These greens are rich in folate, lutein, vitamin E, beta carotene, and other nutrients that improve cognition, especially as you get older. You should eat at least six servings a week of green, leafy vegetables.
  2. All other vegetables– eat at least one other nutrient dense vegetable a day, such as asparagus, bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, or eggplant.
  3. Berries including blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and açaí berries are loaded with antioxidants and health happy phytochemicals (compounds produced by plants) which are good for both brain health and physical health. Aim to eat at least two servings of berries per week.
  4. Nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts, are rich in vitamin E, B vitamins, healthy fats, and minerals (magnesium, potassium, and calcium) and are good for the brain. The MIND diet recommends having at least five servings of nuts per week.
  5. Olive oil– use it as your main cooking oil and dip your bread in olive oil with herbs.
  6. Whole grains like brown and wild rice, farro, oats, quinoa, rye and spelt are packed with brain healthy minerals and vitamins (such as vitamin B and vitamin E). They’re also a great source of fibre, which helps the digestive tract and blood sugar regulation. Try to eat at least three servings a day.
  7. Fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, and tuna, which are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s improve heart health and brain health. Eat fish at least once per week.
  8. Beans, along with other legumes, are an amazing source of protein and B vitamins, which promote brain health. Aim for at least three servings of beans per week, including black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, white beans, and lentils.
  9. Poultry like chicken and turkey are lean sources of protein. Aim to eat at least two servings of poultry per week, as long as it’s not fried.
  10. Wine, in moderation, has been found to be beneficial for brain health. Stick to no more than one glass daily of red or white wine.

7 Foods to Avoid on the MIND Diet

  1. Butter and margarine– less than one tablespoon daily.
  2. Cheese– less than once per week.
  3. Red meat (beef, pork and lamb, and products made from these meats)- no more than three servings per week.
  4. Processed meats like bacon and cold cuts.
  5. Fried food, especially from fast food restaurants- less than once per week.
  6. Refined grains like white rice and white bread.
  7. Pastries and sweets, like cookies, cakes, brownies, ice cream, doughnuts, candy, and more- no more than four times per week.

7-Day MIND Diet Meal Plan

Day 1
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with nut butter and banana
Lunch: Tuna salad sandwich on rye bread, plus carrots and celery with hummus
Dinner: Whole wheat spaghetti with turkey meatballs and marinara sauce, and a side salad with olive oil dressing

Day 2
Breakfast: Rye toast with scrambled eggs and avocado
Lunch: Chicken tacos on whole wheat tortillas, brown rice, black beans, and tomatoes
Dinner: Chilli with ground turkey, kidney beans, carrots, onion, and celery

Day 3
Breakfast: Overnight oats with blueberries
Lunch: Whole wheat pasta salad with spinach, tomato, cucumber, chickpeas, and an olive oil dressing
Dinner: Grilled salmon with lemon and dill, brown rice, and a side salad with olive oil dressing

Day 4
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with raspberries and sliced almonds
Lunch: Baked trout, collard greens, and brown rice
Dinner: Burrito bowl with grilled chicken, brown rice, black beans, bell peppers, tomatoes, salsa, and guacamole

Day 5
Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts
Lunch: Kale caesar salad with a hard boiled egg
Dinner: Tofu curry, brown rice, and lentils

Day 6
Breakfast: Strawberry, banana, spinach smoothie with a hardboiled egg
Lunch: Spinach salad with strawberries, grilled chicken, chopped almonds, and olive oil dressing
Dinner: Chicken and vegetable stir fry on brown rice

Day 7
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with spinach and red pepper, sliced apple with peanut butter
Lunch: Grilled chicken with whole wheat pita, feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, and olive oil
Dinner: Oven-baked salmon with sautéed spinach and brown rice

If you’re passionate about your brain health, the MIND diet may be the right fit for you. Try our 7-day meal plan to see what it’s all about.

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7-Day MIND Diet Meal Plan | The 'Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay', or MIND diet for short, combines the Mediterranean and DASH diets to protect and strengthen the brain. Research shows it can also reduce diabetes, oxidative stress, and high blood pressure. Need more info? We're sharing principals of the diet, a list of foods to eat and avoid to help make your grocery list, and we've created a 7-day meal plan with links to healthy MIND diet recipes you'll love!

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