As a follow on to my June post about foods to eat for great brain health, I’m writing today with some easy meal ideas which can help keep your brain extra sharp throughout your entire lifetime. As I mentioned, in my original post, the key to great brain health is eliminating inflammatory foods like; gluten, sugar, dairy, meats, fast and processed foods, fried foods, pastries, alcohol, food additives and preservatives. It can be a little tricky to stay on track, when you are working to eliminate inflammatory foods but with a little pre planning as well as creativity in your kitchen you can still eat an abundance of delicious foods as well as try out new flavors you’ve never enjoyed before!
Research indicates that some of the best foods for your brain include: apples, blueberries, beets, coconut, grapes, herbs – especially sage and rosemary, leafy greens (kale, turnip greens, swiss chard and broccoli are the best), mushrooms – most notably Lion’s Mane mushrooms, olives, oranges, spices – especially Ginger, Saffron and Turmeric, strawberries, omega-3 rich foods including; walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds. So think of the many ways you can consistently sneak those foods into your current cooking repertoire or create new recipes using those ingredients.
Just a few of the dishes you can easily incorporate into your healthy brain meal plan include:
- Chia Seed Pudding made with Coconut Milk, Turmeric and topped with Berries
- Avocado Toast (on Gluten Free Bread)
- Baked Sweet Potato topped with Almond Butter, Blueberries, Bananas and Ground Flax Seed or Granola
- Energy Balls
- Spiced Nuts
- Dried Fruit
- Chopped Veggies with Hummus or another plant based dip
- Green Leafy Salads loaded with veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds
- Beet Salad
- Fruit Salad
- Buddha Bowls
- Cauliflower Steaks topped with Herbs and Spices
- Zoodles or Spaghetti Sauce topped with Herb Pesto
- Roasted Broccoli
- Roasted Carrots with Rosemary
- Soups loaded with beans, veggies, herbs and spices
- Golden Milk
- Ginger or other Herbal Teas
- Water Infused with Fruits, Sage and Rosemary
- Indian and Thai Food are excellent choices when dining out. Did you know that India has one of the lowest rates of dementia? It is thought that is largely attributed to the abundance of herbs and spices that they eat each day.
- Any recipe that includes mushrooms are great for your brain but especially the delicious gluten free and vegan stuffed mushrooms below which are a huge hit with everyone!
Good for Your Brain Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4 people as a side dish
- 1 cup walnuts
- 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, small dice
- 2 cloves garlic, small dice
- 1 handful of spinach or other leafy green
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon miso
- Salt & Pepper, if desired
Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Set the caps aside. Chop the stems and then sauté along with the shallots, garlic, rosemary and sage in the olive oil on medium heat until the shallots are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach, walnuts and nutmeg and cook another minute. Let the mixture cool and then transfer to a food processor, add the miso and process until thoroughly combined and the mixture is the consistency of bread crumbs. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste, place the caps upside down in a casserole dish and spoon the mixture into the caps. Cook at 350⁰ for 30 minutes. Serve with any desired herbs, chopped veggies or seeds as a garnish.