Food for Thought
Feed Your Brain!
As we head back into the school year, feeding our hungriest organ is on our brains (pun intended!) It’s the first organ that absorbs nutrients from the foods we eat, so with just a little more planning and prep time, we’re swapping quick conveniences time to maximize our brainpower.
First things first- get into the habit of reading labels! Look for things like food additives, added sugar, processed carbs, and trans fats which all slow down your brain functioning. Eating more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans will keep your blood sugars level and your mind focused.
Top foods for brain development:
Rich in Omega-3’s which are essential for brain growth! Research shows the more Omega-3’s you consume, the sharper you become. Try making Baked Salmon Balls (recipe below) or swapping tuna for salmon in your sandwiches.
Not only are they high in protein, the yolk contains choline which is beneficial for memory development. Hard-boiled eggs make a great finger food, but scrambled eggs and rolled up omelettes pack well too!
Nuts & Nut Butter
Filled with vitamin E and antioxidants, consuming nuts helps to protect nervous membranes, plus thiamine to help the brain use glucose for energy. Dip fresh or dried fruit into your favorite nut butter or fill a pod with a handful of nuts.
Packed with antioxidants, berries help improve memory. Darker berries have more nutrition. Eat ‘em as is, mash them up into jam, or dip them into some chocolate hummus.
These tasty fruits are rich in oleic acid which helps improve cognition as well as monounsaturated fats which help increase blood flow. Mash it up for dipping or squeeze some lemon/lime juice on slices to keep them from browning.
Adding a variety of colorful vegetables to your lunch keeps brain cells strong and healthy. The more color, the more antioxidants!
Believe it or not, cocoa contains flavonoid antioxidants that increase blood flow to the brain. Look for chocolate lower in sugar or sprinkle cacao nibs into oatmeal and parfaits.
Baked Salmon Balls
1/2 lb wild salmon fresh fillet
2 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup frozen sweet peas
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1.Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the salmon skin side down. Bake for 12 minutes, let cool, and remove skin.
2. In a large bowl, mash the salmon. Add the cooked quinoa, the frozen peas, parmesan cheese, eggs, and salt.
3. Measure tablespoon sized balls and form the balls with your hands.
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
*can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 days or kept frozen for up to 2 months.