Brainscape is always concerned about your health – and your brain – so we try to supply you with food tips to help you learn and live better. Our newest project: Quick and easy recipes that allow you to implement all these tips and include the brain foods we list into your diet. Read on below for a smart soup, salad, sandwich, entrée and snack recipe. And if you see something you like, make sure to also check out Part 1.
Wild Rice Soup with Mushrooms and Spinach
2 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of sliced (fresh) mushrooms
¼ sliced onion
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon sour cream
¾ cup of fresh spinach
1 cup wild rice
Start by preparing the rice: wild rice can take up to 45 minutes to cook. Next, cook the broth. Chop onions and sauté in butter; add mushrooms. Add flour, salt, pepper and stir, then add this mixture to the broth. Add milk and allow to simmer (will thicken as it gets hotter). Next, add the cooked rice, stir, then add spinach leaves and allow to cook for about 5 minutes until wilted. You can add a tablespoon of sour cream for additional creaminess (take soup off heat first and serve before adding).
Brain food: Spinach. Rich in Iron and Folic Acid, proven to slow cognitive decline. Mushrooms. Depending on variety contain Vitamin A, Vitamin D or Vitamin B (especially Shiitake).
Arugula salad with feta cheese and cantaloupe melon
7 oz. arugula
3.5 oz. feta cheese
1/4 or 1/2 cantaloupe melon
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 tablespoon dark balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
Wash arugula salad, allow to drain. For the vinaigrette, mix oil, vinegar, honey and spices. Dice feta and melon. Add salad to vinaigrette, then add cheese and fruit.
Brain food: Cantaloupe. Rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Feta Cheese. Contains Vitamin A and Vitamin B.
1/2 can tuna
Spinach (alternative: lettuce) leaves
1 (hard-boiled) egg
2 pieces of whole wheat toast/1 whole wheat roll
Put eggs on to boil; drain tuna, marinade with lemon juice (and spices). Pit and peel avocado, cut into slices. Slice eggs, spread mayonnaise on bread, add spinach/lettuce, tuna, avocado and eggs.
Brain food: Avocado. Contains Fiber, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B. (Spinach. Rich in Iron and Folic Acid.) Eggs. Egg yolk contains the nutrient Choline, proven to boost brain power; Vitamin B.
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
Chili (fresh or powder)
2 cans chopped tomatoes
1/2 can kidney beans
1/2 can corn
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Brown beef, then add onions to sauté. Chop chili and season according to preference. Add tomato paste, stir, then add canned tomatoes and allow to simmer for a bit. Add remaining ingredients, season with thyme, oregano, ground pepper, salt, pepper. Flavor intensifies the longer you allow it to simmer and sit. Therefore easy to prepare in advance, re-heat during study break.
Brain food: Kidney beans. Rich in Omega 3. Ground beef/red meat. Rich in Protein, Vitamin B3, contains Iron. Corn. Contains Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin B. Chili peppers. Contain Vitamin A; vast range of health benefits.
Nuts and seeds are another popular and well-known brain snack. Also high on the list of recommendations are walnuts, cashews, peanuts and sunflower seeds. Pretty much all variations are fine (roasted, lightly salted, raw), but try to avoid too much sugar, chocolate (dark chocolate is great!) or salt. Just snack on the nuts or add them to a yogurt (contains an amino acid responsible for producing dopamine → aids memory function, increases alertness), salad, cereal (good brain food in itself), etc.