BRAIN FOOD By: Susan Irby

 

 

1409237519-brainfoodWhen it comes to building muscle, strength, weight loss and even weight gain, there’s a lot of talk about healthy fats and proteins; what, how much and when to eat. But, nutrients in foods have a positive impact on the body that goes way beyond having strong, toned muscles. The foods we eat can improve our brain power, too.

 

 

Not surprisingly, most of the foods that promote a healthy brain are the foods you’ve heard of before – nutrient-rich foods such as salmon, eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, whole grains and more. But, these foods don’t just enhance memory and cognitive thinking, they can help repair the brain after injury.

 

 

According to BrainLine.org, proper nutrition plays an essential role in the recovery from brain injury. Recommendations include eating smaller meals more frequently. Additionally, meals and snacks should consist of lean proteins, healthy fats and healthy oils. When it comes to brain superfoods, these foods are key whether you suffer from a brain injury or not:

 

 

Salmon – Most commonly recognized for its omega-3 fatty acids which promote healthy skin and hair, these fish oil properties also help transmit communication between brain cells.

 

 

Avocado – Rich in healthy fats, avocados also are a healthy source of vitamin E, which studies show promote positive brain health and have been known to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease by up to 67 percent.

 

 

Eggs – Their high-cholesterol stereotype may be fading because there are many health benefits to eating eggs. One benefit is eggs are linked to a more stabilized brain. Properties in eggs enhance the flow of neurotransmitters to and from the brain, which promotes balance of mood.

 

 

Nuts and seeds – Two standouts in this category are flaxseeds and walnuts, which are the super nuts and seeds when it comes to omega-3 fatty acids and brain health. They rank number one and two among the world’s healthiest omega-3 rich foods.

 

 

Wild Oats – Oats and similar whole grains are slow-releasing carbs, meaning they provide energy for the body for a relatively long period of time, thereby stabilizing blood sugar levels. Glucose is a main source of fuel for the brain, so keeping those levels steady makes a big difference in how you think, feel and react to situations.

 

 

Herbs (like peppermint and rosemary) – Herbs can also play a positive role in brain health, as do caviar, sea plants and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and kale. Bottom line for the top of your head – avoid starchy carbs that slow your body down, avoid eating big meals that stagnate your digestive system and keep blood sugars as stable as possible with balanced nutrients found in lean proteins, high fiber foods and healthy oils. As with any dietary need or change, please consult your doctor for specific diet requirements and foods that may interfere with prescribed medications. MS&F

 

 

 

Grilled Salmon Portobello Stack with Avocado Cashew Butter 

 

Serves 2

 

 

Ingredients

 

For Avocado Cashew Butter 

 

(makes 2 cups):

 

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 cups fresh frozen lima beans
  • 2 Tbs raw cashews
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 2 Tbs unsweetened non-dairy coconut “yogurt”
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • pinch sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil

 

 

For Salmon and Portobello Stack:

 

  • 2 4-ounce salmon filets
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, stem removed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
  • ½ red bell pepper, julienned
  • ½ yellow bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 ¼-inch slices red onion
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

Directions

 

  1. Make Avocado Cashew Butter by pureeing first 13 ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Chill or reserve at room temperature.
  2. Drizzle bell peppers, onion and mushrooms with one to two tablespoons of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Grill on a hot grill or grill pan until grill marks are visible and vegetables are just tender. Set aside.
  3. Coat salmon lightly with remaining olive oil and season with pepper. Grill on a hot grill or under the broiler in the oven for about 10 minutes per 1-inch thickness or until just cooked through.
  4. To serve, spread 2 heaping tablespoons of Avocado Cashew Butter on one mushroom. Top with red onion, bell peppers and salmon. Refrigerate unused Avocado Cashew Butter for up to 5 days. Great as a spread on veggies and sandwiches or as a dip.

 

 

Nutritional Information:

 

Serving size: 1 Stack

 

Calories: 303

 

Fat: 19.8g

 

Saturated fat: 3.7g

 

Cholesterol: 0mg

 

Sodium: 484mg

 

Potassium: 26.6mg

 

Carbohydrates: 26.6g

 

Fiber: 8.9g

 

Sugars: 4.5g

 

Protein: 8g

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Susan Irby, CFNS, is a certified food healer, award-winning network television host and radio personality. Susan is the creator of the successful brand, The Bikini Chef, and its recipes and content. The Bikini Chef promotes “figure flattering flavors” and living a healthy lifestyle through good nutrition, delicious foods and fitness. Susan is also the creator, producer and host of The Bikini Lifestyles Show. Visit her on Twitter @TheSusanIrby or online at SusanIrby.com

 

 

 


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