Being one of the most vital organs in your body, your brain is a powerhouse that deserves love and attention. In order for it to be operating in peak condition, your brain needs fuel that will help support the functions that it is responsible for. This is where brain food comes in. We’ve compiled a list of foods that can help exercise and supplement your brain, improving anything and everything from memory and awareness to mood and regeneration.
Turmeric is a beautifully useful root, especially when it comes to the brain. In turmeric, there is a compound called aromatic-turmerone that is believed to boost regeneration of brain stem cells, as well as increasing neural self repair.
Additionally, this compound is also researched to potentially help fight neurodegenerative diseases and break up existing plaques (that can contribute to Alzheimer’s) that have taken a home in the brain.
We’re all familiar with Salmon being packed with omega-3’s, but do you know the real benefits? Omega-3’s aren’t just good for heart disease, cancer, and arthritis - but they’re great for brain function as well.
A brain needs omega-3’s in order to build cells, allowing for usage towards learning, comprehension, and memory.These fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain, taking up nearly 50%, and exist to aid the process of cognition, performance, and basic functionality.
With new cells constantly being created, omega-3’s may slow neurodegenerative diseases and mental decline.
The ever-common breakfast food that is eggs, is actually a great way to fuel the brain for a great day. Aside from including vitamins such as B6 and B12, eggs also have a micronutrient called Choline, that can help regulate and enhance mood and memory.
The B vitamins in eggs have also been studied to potentially slow mental decline, and can have the ability to synthesize and regulate brain levels and chemicals.
4. Dandelion Greens
Dandelion greens are generally a superfood that doesn’t get a lot of credit for the mass amount of benefits they hold. Just like superfood leafy greens such as kale and spinach, dandelion greens contain lutein, which can be neuroprotective. This means that lutein is believed to support brain structure and neural membrane structure, reinforcing the strength and function of these membranes. With a supported structure, the brain continues to foster an environment for new cells, which is believed to slow the aging process of the brain.
This root vegetable has a variety of benefits, including being a digestive aid, immune support, and energy booster. Importantly however, jicama is also linked to increase brain function and cognition because of its Vitamin B6 content.
Vitamin B6 helps in metabolic processes by breaking down proteins into amino acids that the body can productively use rather than waste. Amino acids are known to help neurotransmitters communicate to the rest of the body, heighten awareness, and lower stress.
Let’s talk about blueberries for a second. This berry is one powerful berry because of a few things:
They’re one of the most antioxidant rich foods. Ever. These antioxidants help counteract free radicals and inflammation, which both may be factors in both aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Dementia.
Blueberries are full of nutrients + vitamins, including Vitamin C, that improves the immune system and the production of collagen, Fiber, that helps to regulate cholesterol, and Phytonutrients that offer antioxidant properties and anti inflammatory benefits.
These components have also been believed to improve brain cognition, memory, and mood.
I'm loving this delicious, healthy and little spicy spin on your typical minestrone soup. First, I skip the regular canned tomatoes and use organic fire roasted tomatoes to give this dish an extra kick. Instead of pasta, chick peas do the trick here to add a nice texture and a dose of fiber. Ground turkey is my go to when making meatballs but you can all always substitute with another organic, grass fed meat of your choice.
Make the soup:
Ooh Yum! This raw vegan cheesecake is always a hit in my house. I adapted it from several different recipes online to come up with the perfect combination of crust and filling. It's perfect for decorating with edible flowers, herbs and in this case, chocolate Easter eggs! So get creative and try this beauty at your next dinner party!
½ cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp hemp seeds
12 fresh dates (medjool), pitted
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
optional unsweetened coconut shreds
1 tsp sea salt
Make the crust: Grind nuts and seeds in a blender or a food processor for about a minute. Add dates, coconut oil and sea salt and run the processor until it all comes together. Flatten it out on the bottom of an 8-inch non-stick spring form. Store in the fridge while you make the filling.
Lemon Coconut Filling
1 cup cashew, soaked
2 organic lemons, juiced-plus zest of 1
¼ cup full fat coconut milk
⅓ cup pure maple syrup
pinch himalayan pink salt
Pinch of Healthy On You® Turmeric Ginger Spice (for color)
¼ cup coconut oil, gently melted
I can't tell you how much fun it was teaching this class and from the response from these incredible women, I think they had fun too! The menu was mostly raw food and Vietnamese all the way. I decided to teach this class after taking a series of cooking classes on my travels to Vietnam and Cambodia earlier this year. The cuisine is so flavorful and fresh. We used copious amounts of Vietnamese mint, basil and cilantro to create these amazing dishes. I think these incredible photos tell the story! I'm definitely going to teach this class again over the summer so if you missed it, there will be another opportunity coming up!
This is a winner chicken dinner if I ever tasted one. Its great for a weeknight meal and you can make it for two, four or six easily. I often get bored with chicken, repeating the same recipe over and over again. This recipe is different, mainly because the chicken is not cooked in the sauce, so the the curry flavor is not all consuming. The fresh carrots and broccolini are steamed and then added to the pan. They add color and nutrients to the dish.
*Tip: I usually slice a chicken breast horizontally to make two breasts out of a very thick piece and also for consistency in sizes.
Healthy On You Recipes and cooking tips by Samantha Binkley. Many of these recipes use Samantha's 100% Organic Spice Blends that take the guess work out of cooking.