Brain Foods: 3 Healthy Foods That Help Your Mind Stay Sharp

Food
By: Jacqui Denker | Segun Oduolowu Posted: 10:58 AM, Nov 5, 2018 Updated: 8:35 AM, Nov 6, 2018

A new study by The Guardian says foods with excess fat increase our risk of dementia and accelerated aging. Not to worry, though! We’re chatting with nutritional biochemist Dr. Shawn Talbott to explain brain foods while intuitive cooking expert Melanie Albert applies them to a menu that will help you keep your mind sharp.

1. Fiber  

Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar from your gut into your blood stream and deliver it to the brain. That means it’s going to lower inflammation and help your brain work better. So, let’s get fiber with a raw massaged kale salad.

Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 1 lemon, squeezed (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • Organic extra virgin olive oil (twice as much as the lemon juice, approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4  tsp sea salt 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced

Directions:

Squeeze a fresh organic lemon into a pint-sized Mason jar. Pour in twice as much olive oil as the lemon. Sprinkle in sea salt and minced garlic. Shake the jar. Taste and notice if your dressing seems too oily or acid-tasting, or if it uses too little or too much salt. Taste testing salad dressing is a great way to mindfully use your cooking intuition. Add ingredients until the dressing tastes great. 

Salad

Ingredients:

  • Bunch of kale
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries or blackberries
  • 1/4 cup Mission figs, chopped
  • 1 cup seeds, sunflower or pumpkin, raw or dry toasted

Directions: 

Tear or cut out the fibrous center of kale leaves. Chop or tear kale into bite-size pieces or ribbons. Pour dressing over kale. Massage kale for about 5-7 minutes to marinate it. Do not toss. Add 3/4 of the raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, Mission figs, and seeds to the kale and gently toss. Sprinkle the remaining berries, figs and seeds on top of the salad when plating.

 

2. Healthy Fats

Fats are the key structural component of your brain, so we want to eat enough fats so that we can build neurons and protect them. Seeds and nuts are a great source of healthy fat, so we’ll be preparing a hemp seed tabouli.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 bunches of fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp sea salt   

Directions:

Place parsley and mint in a food processor and pulse several times until well chopped. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the hemp seeds, tomato, lemon juice, olive oil, onion and salt. Toss and serve. Enjoy! 

 

3. Brain Foods: Flavonoids

Flavonoids are wonderful antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. Some foods that are rich in flavonoids include coffee, tea, dark chocolate and berries. So adding these foods to our diet will be greatly beneficial to our brain health.

Ingredients: 

  • 10 organic Medjool dates
  • 1 cup raw organic walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp water, as needed
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt 

Directions:

Hand mix or food process dates with water to form a date paste. Add all ingredients to dates and hand mix. Form into balls or rolls. Refrigerate or freeze for 30 minutes. Enjoy.

 

So, there you have it. Three wonderful and delicious recipes that will help you fight back against harmful brain foods and will help you stay sharp.

 

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