There are a heck of a lot of different eating plans out there, which just goes to show that there isn’t one perfect diet that works for every single person. Before starting any new eating plan, it’s always a good idea to do your research to make sure it’s actually beneficial. Who came up with it? Are well-respected doctors and dietitians into it? Is it something you can stick with long-term?
These are all questions (along with many others) that the experts at U.S. News and World Reports focus on every year when creating their ranking of the best eating plans. One diet that topped their 2022 list is the MIND diet. The MIND diet is similar to the Mediterranean diet and is designed specifically with brain health in mind.
Foods that anchor the MIND diet include leafy greens, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, berries, poultry, fish, and olive oil. (Again, it’s very similar to the Mediterranean diet.) As with switching to any new way of eating, it’s helpful to have some recipes on hand to get you started. The 10 MIND diet recipes rounded up here do exactly that. Keep reading to check them out and to see how delicious eating for brain health can be.
10 MIND diet recipes full of brain-supporting benefits
1. Greek yogurt breakfast
The MIND diet favors foods high in antioxidants, which benefit the brain by helping protect against inflammation. Berries are one food that may be small, but they’re bursting with them. One easy way to up your berry intake is by integrating them into a yogurt bowl. This recipe gives six different ways to do it, incorporating other nutrient-rich foods like sliced almonds, granola, and honey.
Get the recipe: Greek yogurt breakfast
2. Egg and greens bowl
Eggs are a core food in the MIND diet because they’re full of omega-3 fatty acids, a key nutrient for cognitive health. Here, they’re paired with greens, cauliflower, avocado, and olive oil—another great source of brain-supporting healthy fats.
Get the recipe: egg and greens bowl
3. Salmon, egg, and avocado breakfast tacos
This breakfast has not one, not two, but three powerhouses sources of healthy fats. The egg, avocado, and salmon all are great sources of the brain-supporting nutrient. This recipe shows how to combine them to create a savory breakfast that’s ready in just 15 minutes.
Get the recipe: salmon, egg, and avocado breakfast tacos
4. Kale kimchi salad
As with most healthy eating plans, greens are a major part of the MIND diet. In this salad recipe, kale is combined with kimchi—full of gut-healthy probiotics, and anything that’s good for the gut directly benefits the brain as well. Also in this salad are sweet potato, olive oil, avocado, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, and fennel.
Get the recipe: kale kimchi salad
5. Tuscan white bean soup
If you’re not a big salad-for-lunch person, there’s always soup! Beans are a protein staple in the MIND diet and here they’re used to make a Tuscan white bean soup full of antioxidant-rich veggies. The recipe also calls for lots of garlic, which has been shown to help with memory function.
Get the recipe: Tuscan white bean soup
6. Carrot soup
Another soup recipe brimming with brain-supporting nutrients is this carrot soup. Besides the starring veg (which is rich in vitamin C), it’s made with garlic, olive oil, smoked Spanish paprika, gloves, and vegetable broth. Add chickpeas, beans, or tofu for protein and feel free to add in any greens you have on hand, too.
7. Black eyed peas salad
Every single ingredient in this protein-rich salad supports the brain in some way. The black eyed peas, veggies, and spices are all full of antioxidants and help prevent chronic inflammation. As with many recipes on this list, it also calls for garlic and olive oil—two cognitive health superstars.
Get the recipe: black eyed peas salad
8. One-pot vegetable dal
Turmeric and ginger are well-known for supporting the brain by protecting against inflammation and they’re the starring spices in this nourishing dal. Use them to give lentils and the veggies of your choice tons of flavor.
9. Black bean brownies
Yes, your dessert can 100 percent support your cognitive health. The black beans and cacao used to make these brownies are both great sources of antioxidants. This recipe is also vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free so eaters of all types can enjoy them.
10. Olive oil brownies
Another way to make MIND diet-approved brownies is by using eggs, olive oil, and dark chocolate—three foods you know by now are majorly beneficial. With this recipe, they’ll come out perfectly rich and chewy.
Get the recipe: olive oil brownies
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