The bright and tangy, yet creamy and rich avocado-lime dressing contrasts with aromatically sweet mango, buttery avocado, raw almonds, and perfect blueberries in this sunshine-inspired breakfast salad. The bed of baby red butter lettuce makes a gentle base. Every bit of this unique breakfast salad sets you up for a great day.
The plant protein in the almonds keep blood sugar even, while the mango and blueberries provide polyphenols, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to energize you. In recent research on brain health, leafy greens, nuts, berries, and olive oil all helped protect the brain against cognitive decline — and they’re all right here in this morning delight.
MIND diet foods: Leafy greens, olive oil, nuts, berries
- 1 medium mango
- 2 large limes
- 1 medium avocado
- 10 sprigs of cilantro
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 5 oz pre-washed baby red butter lettuce (about 6-8 cups, loosely packed)
- 6 oz organic blueberries (about 1¼ cups)
- ½ cup almonds
- salt and pepper to taste
- Wash and dry all produce.
- Peel the mango, slice away two large "cheeks" of the mango and slice thinly lengthwise. It ends up being about 1 and ¼ cups loosely packed.
- Peel away the green of a lime, avoiding the bitter white pith, and mince (or use a zester) to make 1 tsp of zest (part of one lime), set aside.
- Cut the limes in half and juice to make 3 tbsp juice. Save the leftover lime halves.
- Cut the avocado in half, discard the seed, and peel away the skin. Use leftover lime halves to squeeze lime juice over the avocado to keep it from browning.
- Make the dressing. Using a hand-blender (or small blender/ food processor), combine half the avocado, lime zest, lime juice, cilantro, and olive oil in a tall mixing glass, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 3 oz of dressing.
- In a large bowl, combine lettuce, mango, blueberries, and almonds with dressing. Plastic gloves help.
- Slice the remaining half of avocado widthwise.
- Divide salad and among 4 bowls, about 1-2 cups into each bowl. Top with avocado slices. Garnish with extra cilantro if desired.
The height of summer means stone fruit, and that includes cherries. Deep red cherries add a sweet, mildly tart and bright note to the nutty and earthy base notes of the farro in this whole grain salad. Pickled cucumbers and shallots add another dimension of contrasting flavor, texture, and temperature. The magic is in the medley and how all these flavors play together and in reaction to each other.
MIND foods: whole grains, vegetables, nuts, berries
Prep: 10-15 min | Cook: 15-20 min | Total: 25-35 min
1.5 cups farro (here’s a 10-minute farro that’s good for busy weeknights)
1 medium-large cucumber, skin peeled in stripes, halved lengthwise, seeds removed, halved lengthwise again, and chopped (will be 1.5-2 cups when chopped)
2 medium shallots, peeled, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced (will be about a 1/2 cup loosely packed)
2 large handfuls of fresh red cherries, pitted and roughly chopped (about 30 cherries; will be about 1 cup roughly chopped)
2 T coconut vinegar
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1/2 cup roasted and lightly salted pistachios, roughly chopped (reserve a small handful for garnish)
Salt and pepper to taste
Prepare farro according to package instructions. While farro is cooking, wash, dry and prep all produce. In a medium bowl, combine cucumbers, shallots and vinegar, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let marinate for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. When farro is done cooking, thoroughly drain and then transfer to a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Fold in cherries, cucumber-shallot mixture and pistachios just before serving. Top with reserved pistachios. Enjoy.
Tip: Get the kids involved! Have kids wash their hands and help remove thyme leaves and cherry pits.
According to the SeniorHomes.com blog, there are 11 books that you “Need to Read” if you’re among the 46 million American adults age 65 and older. Spoiler alert, The MIND Diet, rounds out their list of must-reads! It is described as:
The 11 must-read books for 65+ seniors - incl #MINDdiet http://bit.ly/2sVBfZm Click To Tweet
“… a comprehensive guide to the eating plan that has been proven to boost memory, mental acuity and concentration while slowing cognitive decline during aging. You’ll find detailed information about the science behind her recommendations, recipes you can easily prepare at home, and a list of foods that could be harming your brain health. The plan focuses on consuming whole foods to boost brain health, from leafy greens and vegetables to poultry, olive oil and wine.”
Read up on all of their top 11 picks by visiting the full article, 11 Books You Need to Read if You’re Over 65. They promise you’ll be “inspired, challenged, and well informed when you’ve finished one or all of these picks.”
It’s only been four months since The MIND Diet book launched, and in that time I’ve gotten so many great comments and questions via e-mail. I thought I’d go ahead and get some answers out to everyone here, and also open my “office hours” to even more of your questions (see the bottom of this post for a link to a super-quick form to submit questions, and a chance to win a copy of the book).
The response has been amazing. Thank you for the kind words, getting your own copy of the book, letting others know about the book, or doing all three! The book has had success on the Amazon best-seller’s list for Alzheimer’s & Dementia books, and I’m so glad this simple and evidence-based healthy eating pattern is getting attention.Office Hours are open - ask me anything about the MIND diet! http://svy.mk/2jao6sL Click To Tweet
This Month’s Hot Topic
The number one question I’ve received this month is about eggs and how they fit in the MIND diet. Since they’re not specifically included or excluded in the MIND diet research, people are left wondering if it’s ok to eat eggs.Q: Are eggs ok on the MIND diet? Answer #ontheblog. Click To Tweet
The Answer on Eggs in the MIND Diet
It’s true, eggs are not called out in the MIND diet one way or another.
I included many recipes in the book and on
this website that do include eggs because they are a nutritious, convenient, and affordable protein food, offering important nutrients such as vitamin D, choline, and lean protein. But wait, there’s more.
A new study just came out this month that showed how eating eggs improved cognitive performance. There were improvements in verbal fluency as well as frontal lobe functioning, which is an area of the brain that helps with problem solving, spontaneity, memory, language, initiation, judgement, impulse control, and social and sexual behavior. Just to clear up any lingering doubts, it also showed that dietary cholesterol and egg intake are not associated with risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This is more eggscellent (sorry, I had to) news for omelet lovers everywhere.
The study was published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and was conducted over about 22 years among nearly 2500 older Finnish men.
Ask Me Another!
What else do you want to know? I’m all ears. Please let me know in this really quick questionnaire. As a thank you for your time, you can enter for a chance to win a copy of the book, too!
No Really, I’m Dying to Hear From You
What do you want to know about the MIND diet, or nutrition for brain health in general? Want to know more about the science? Or maybe something closer to home, like how to meal plan with MIND diet foods, or healthy alternatives for the brain-harming foods in your fridge.
I really really honestly and truly enjoy hearing your questions, and want to know what you want to know. 🙂 Please let me know in this really quick questionnaire. And don’t forget, there’s a sign up in that questionnaire for a chance to win a copy of the book, too!
The largest global gathering of who’s who in nutrition just wrapped a successful four days of updates on the latest nutrition science and trends, and brain health was in the spotlight like never before. The conference is hosted by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is dubbed the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). Here are five ways brain health stole the show.
- The top mind of the MIND diet research was at FNCE. That’s right: Martha Clare Morris, PhD, Rush University Medical Center, and MIND diet research lead presented on the closing day of sessions.
- For the first time ever, the President’s Lecture was devoted to nutrition and how foods can help or harm the brain.
- Awesome RDs who contributed recipes to The MIND Diet book were taking the meeting by storm. Here are just a few: Sharon Palmer, Amy Gorin, and Christy Wilson.
- The MIND Diet book visited with booths featuring MIND diet approved brain-healthy foods: Oldways Whole Grain Council, Dole Chopped Salads, Nut Health, Pulses, Wild Blueberries, Blueberry Council, CA Strawberries, Red Raspberries, and Olive Oil.
- The MIND Diet book itself appeared in cameos with some superstars we’re pretty lucky to be friends with, like fellow authors of healthy eating books, and a group of Columbia University nutrition alumni.
This year’s FNCE meeting was in Boston, and between the waterfront convention center, daily seafood dinners (and some lunches), and the brain nutrition lectures, you won’t be surprised that I was inspired to share a delicious seafood recipe along with this post (bonus MIND foods: berries, leafy greens, and olive oil).
Warm salmon, red onions, and blueberries make a sweet and savory pairing in this salad. It’s perfect for lunch or dinner.
MIND foods: Olive oil, fish, leafy greens, berries
Yield: 4 servings
Time: 35 minutes to prep; 25 minutes to cook
Salmon-Blueberry Salad Ingredients
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced in half rings
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets, cut crosswise in 4 portions
6 cups lettuce leaves, torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup fresh blueberries
1. In a microwaveable cup, combine onion, red wine vinegar, half the salt, and half the pepper; cover loosely with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 1 minute. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until onions turn pink, about 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, preheat grill or broiler. Brush 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on both sides of the salmon fillets; sprinkle with remaining . teaspoon of salt and ⅛ teaspoon of pepper. Grill or broil salmon, skin side down, until just cooked through, about 6 minutes. Divide lettuce leaves among four dinner plates and place salmon in the center. With a slotted spoon, remove onions from vinegar; scatter onions, along with the blueberries, over and around the fish. Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil into the vinegar mixture. Drizzle vinaigrette over salmon.
Nutrition: 290 calories, 16 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber
I think the MIND diet is pretty great, but as The MIND Diet book author, I’m definitely biased. That’s why I’m happy to share that I’m not the only one who is a fan! See what the experts at The Food Network, U.S. News & World Report, Nutrition 411 and more have to say.
Food Network’s Healthy Eats
In “Exploring the MIND Diet,” Food Network Healthy Eats blogger Toby Amidor, MS, RD says, “Diets come and go, but the MIND Diet has the potential to cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in half and keep the brain more than seven years younger. The author of The MIND Diet, nutrition expert Maggie Moon, M.S., RDN, claims this approach to nutrition “is heart-healthy and a solid foundation for healthy eating for just about anyone.” So what exactly does the MIND Diet entail?” Read the full review on the Food Network’s Healthy Eats blog.
Sharon Palmer, Plant-Powered Dietitian
In an interview with the Plant-Powered Dietitian, Sharon Palmer, RD, who wrote the foreword for The MIND Diet, we chatted about the inspiration behind the book, my personal diet and health philosophy as well as key benefits of eating the MIND way. She also got me to pick just 3 top tips to following the MIND diet and the 5 plant-based foods I can’t live without (it was so hard to choose!). Read the full MIND Diet interview.
On nutrition hub site Nutrition411.com, Karen Buch, RDN, LDN writes, “I think dietitians will look to this book as a resource for patients, family members, and themselves. Everyone can benefit from slowing down the normal, age-related downturn in cognitive abilities that we all face. Moon points out that eating for brain health is most effective before symptoms of cognitive decline develop. So, don’t delay—consider getting your copy today!” Read the full MIND Diet book review.
To Live and Diet in LA
To Live and Diet in LA blogger and RD-to-be Whitney English says, “As you can see, this so-called “diet” isn’t strict at all. There’s still room for the bi-weekly indulgence, a little butter, and even a juicy steak. In fact, your current eating habits may already meet these suggestions. Plus, any meal plan that makes room for red wine is A OK in my book!” Find out what’s got her hooked on healthy eating for prevention, and her full MIND Diet book review.
Health writer and dietitian Liz Shaw, MS, RDN, CLT of Shaw’s Simple Swaps asks, “But what if I told you there were two things that could boost your brain that didn’t involve any fees or long-term memberships? Maggie Moon, M.S., R.D.N., author of the upcoming book, The MIND Diet, says there are foods you should focus on eating that not only help promote a healthy body, but also help improve the health of the mind.” Read her full Fitness magazine story on the MIND diet.
U.S. News & World Report
Want to know how to make the MIND diet work for you? Writer and dietitian Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD covers 8 diet changes that can boost your brain health, and points readers to The MIND Diet book for more info on the eating plan and recipes. Read her full U.S. News story on the MIND diet.
About The MIND Diet Book
The MIND Diet book is now available! It includes meal plans, recipes, and a guide to creating your own MIND diet plan to slow cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The MIND diet sets simple and practical guidelines for everyday eating that are based in sophisticated brain health research published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association.
The eating plan is a hybrid of the heart-healthy Mediterranean- and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets, and then tailored to focus on the foods shown to enhance brain health in the scientific literature.