Healthy Summer Meals from Transitional Assisted Living in Pharr

Summer Brings Fresh Produce And The Opportunity To Transform Your Loved One’s Diet


Here at The Gardens at Brook Ridge Transitional Assisted Living and Memory Care, we recognize the impact that a well-balanced and nutritious diet has on the mind, which is why our amazing chefs use the MIND diet as the inspiration for all of our residents’ meals. The MIND diet (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) centers around a primarily plant-based diet and minimally processed, nutrient-dense foods. This style of eating has been shown to support cognitive health, which is why our expert team has compiled this list of brain-healthy meal ideas and foods to incorporate into your loved one’s diet this summer!

Foods To Incorporate:

  • Leafy Greens- Vegetables, kale, spinach, and collard greens are key components in the MIND diet and are recommended at least once a day.
    • All other vegetables like carrots, broccoli, corn, squash, etc. should be consumed twice a day, every day.
  • Berries- Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are great to incorporate into your loved one’s diet. It is recommended to eat two or more servings per week.
  • Nuts- A great source of protein and healthy fats, it is recommended that your loved one have five or more servings of nuts per week. Try cashews, almonds, peanuts, and more.
  • Olive Oil- Another healthy fat, it is recommended daily in the MIND diet.
  • Whole grains- Things like oatmeal, quinoa, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta are great sources of nutrients. It’s recommended that your loved one enjoy three or more servings per day.
  • Fish/seafood- Fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines are recommended one or more times per week
  • Beans- four or more servings per week.
  • Poultry- two or more servings per week.
  • Meal Ideas for the MIND Diet:

    Breakfast – Get the best of both sweet and savory with unsweetened oatmeal topped with greek yogurt and berries, along with a side of avocado toast on whole grain bread. This breakfast is packed with dense and key nutrients recommended by the MIND diet, like the whole grains from oatmeal, the antioxidants in berries, healthy protein from the Greek yogurt, and healthy fats and more whole grains in the avocado toast. While this does not have to be your loved one’s breakfast every day, it is a good example of how to incorporate the recommended components into a delicious meal to start their day!

    Lunch – Try a grilled chicken sandwich with two slices of whole wheat bread, topped with arugula and dijon mustard. Another example of a flavorful meal that fits into the MIND diet, this lunch includes lean, protein-packed grilled chicken, arugula as a great leafy green, and the bread as another source of whole grains. If your loved one is feeling indulgent, add a slice of swiss cheese for extra flavor (cheeses are recommended as an occasional MIND-diet-friendly treat). Topping the sandwich with a delicious spread like mustard ties it all together!

    Snack – A handful of unsalted nuts is a great snack for whenever your loved one feels hungry and needs to make it to their next meal. Nuts are packed with healthy proteins and fats, which will help keep them full and satisfied while also fueling their body.

    Dinner – Wrap up the day with a fresh and delicious gourmet-quality meal. Combine arugula with baby spinach, and 1 tablespoon vinaigrette dressing made with olive oil. Serve this with salmon seasoned with low sodium herbs and spice options. Add a side of quinoa, zucchini, asparagus and lima beans. This dinner plan is packed with vital nutrients and vibrant flavor combinations!

    These meals highlight what a day of eating could look like for someone following the MIND diet. We work to incorporate these components into our daily meals at our Texas memory care community, The Gardens at Brook Ridge Transitional Assisted Living and Memory Care. Come join us for a meal to see how healthy (and delicious!) the MIND diet can be!

    To learn more about our Pharr, TX memory care residency or schedule a tour of The Gardens At Brook Ridge contact our friendly team today.

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