They say you should be mindful of what you eat, but perhaps you should also be full of MIND. And while you can’t really eat your mind, you can use the MIND diet to support your long-term brain health.
If you’re wondering what the heck we’re talking about here, don’t worry — we’ll help explain. The MIND diet stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay.
The Mediterranean and DASH diet isn’t just a fad, and there is some strong evidence for its benefits when done properly. Let's take a look at some of the best MIND diet recipes to help you stay happy and healthy for longer.
What is the MIND Diet?
The MIND diet combines the benefits of the Mediterranean diet with the DASH diet.
The Mediterranean diet includes lots of healthy foods like whole grains, veggies, fruits, beans, and nuts. It’s based on the cuisines of Greece and other countries that border the Mediterranean sea. Olive oil is a primary source of added healthy fat, and most of the diet centers around plant-based foods rather than meats.
The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. This is a healthy-eating plan designed to help reduce the risk, and even reverse the effects, of high blood pressure. It incorporates foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, and calcium while limiting foods that are high in sodium or saturated fats.
The MIND diet also emphasizes foods that are high in antioxidants. Antioxidant-rich foods can help reduce the effects of oxidative stress, which happens when there’s an imbalance of antioxidants and free radicals (a type of cell-harming molecule) in your body.
So, the MIND diet takes the best of both worlds, creating a healthy eating plan that aims to enhance brain health while also improving your physical wellbeing from the ground up.
And while there are no set guidelines for how to follow the MIND diet, these recipes can help you get off to a good start.
1. Greek Yogurt Breakfast Bowl
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it can often be the most delicious if you know how to incorporate the right ingredients.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein that is also low in harmful saturated fat. But you can spruce it up by adding blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or other fruits to pump up the antioxidant factor.
Add some nut butter for healthy fats, and then treat yourself to a little bit of granola for the added crunch and sweetness.
2. Salmon Grain Bowl
The salmon grain bowl is a recipe that contains three of our favorite words of all time!
Salmon is an excellent source of protein that is considered lean meat, meaning it contains high protein and healthy fats compared to red meats and other protein sources. And when you pair it with whole grains that are high in fiber, you’ve got yourself a delicious meal that’s very good for your health.
Salmon and other fatty fish are also high in omega-3s, which are a form of healthy fat. The body cannot make omega-3s on its own, but they are essential and necessary for survival.
Our favorite way to cook salmon is in the air fryer, but you can pan-sear it with some olive oil or oven roast it with rosemary and thyme. Place it over a bowl of quinoa or brown rice to amp up the satiety while also providing your body with wholesome carbs.
And the cool thing about a grain bowl is that you can really add whatever you want. Throw in some cooked onions and peppers, toss in some cherry tomatoes, or maybe use some kale and broccoli.
Top with a little plain greek yogurt, sriracha, or another sauce of your choice. You can even swap out the salmon for chicken breast. The possibilities here are endless, but so are the health benefits!
3. Kale Kimchi Salad
When most people hear the word “salad,” a little side salad or the classic Caesar salad often come to mind. But salads can be a delicious and nutritious incorporation into your diet if you’re trying to follow the MIND plan.
In the MIND diet, leafy greens play a major role — and kale is perhaps one of the best leafy greens. Kale is loaded with vitamins and minerals. One cup of kale is just 33 calories and only seven grams of carbs. Plus, it’s highly versatile and can be used for a variety of different purposes.
Kimchi is a dish of fermented vegetables. Fermented foods are fantastic for your gut health as they are loaded with probiotics, which are “good” bacteria that help to aid in digestion and the overall wellness of your body.
Toss together some kale, kimchi, chickpeas, almonds, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, and fennel for a delicious lunch that is also super mindful of the MIND diet.
4. Cowboy Caviar
If you’ve never heard of cowboy caviar, you probably have some crazy images in your head right about now, but this is a delicious snack that you can use as a topping for pretty much anything, especially as the perfect dip for tortilla or pita chips!
Dice up some Roma tomatoes, ripe avocados, red onion, black beans, sweet corn, bell peppers, and cilantro. Toss it with some olive oil, lime juice, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper and you’ve got yourself a colorful, healthy, tasty snack for any occasion.
It’s sort of like pico de gallo's long-lost cousin. The only difference is that cowboy caviar is filled with healthy fats and vegetables that traditional salsa just can’t match!
5. White Bean Soup
Beans are a protein staple in the MIND diet, and you can put them to good use by making a Tuscan white bean soup. This is a delicious, hearty soup that can satiate your taste buds without taking too much prep time out of your day.
This recipe also calls for tons of garlic, which has been shown to enhance memory function. In fact, repeated administration of fresh garlic was shown to increase memory retention in rats.
6. Black Bean Brownies
You always need to leave room for dessert. And yes – you read that right. You can create a tray of delicious brownies with a can of black beans instead of flour.
All you need is a can of rinsed black beans, ½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, canola oil, three eggs, brown sugar, baking cocoa, vanilla extract, and baking powder to create some of the best brownies you’ve ever had. And you don’t need to feel guilty for eating the entire thing in one sitting, either.
Black beans are a great source of protein that is low in fat and net carbs. They’re also rich in antioxidants and offer a significant amount of polyphenols, which have been shown to help support healthy blood pressure levels, keep your blood vessels healthy, and promote good circulation.
So, you can have your brownies and eat them, too.
Serve these at your next game night and record the looks on your friend’s faces when they find out that black beans are the secret ingredient.
Don’t Feel Like Cooking?
You don’t need to be a master in the kitchen to follow the MIND diet and improve your brain health. In fact, all it might take is a few bites of a protein bar.
MOSH is the protein bar for your brain. Not only does it include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and vitamin D3 like loads of other MIND diet foods, but it also incorporates ingredients like lion’s mane and ashwagandha to help support brain function with every bite.
With three delicious flavors that are pumped up with 12g of protein, you can nourish your mind and body in one fell swoop. And when you can get your first trial pack for 20% off, it’s really a no-brainer!
The MIND diet is a combination of the Mediterranean and DASH diet that is aimed at enhancing your brain health and physical health all in one. These diets focus on incorporating lots of healthy fats, whole wheat, vegetables, and lean proteins while still remaining delicious and satisfying.
These recipes are easy, quick, and effective ways to follow the MIND diet without sacrificing the foods you love.
And when you need a pick-me-up in between meals, MOSH bars are the perfect way to support your brain health goals with ease!
For more articles with the tips and tricks you need to fuel your brain the best you can, explore our wellness blog, The Mosh Pit, here!