The body and the mind are one system and mutually influence each other. Imbalances in the body’s core systems— adrenal system, thyroid, sex hormones, gut, detoxification, and overall metabolism —can influence the brain resulting in altered mood, memory, behavior, and attention. Because the mind and body are intertwined, improving your physical health can influence your mental health and improve your quality of life. An overlooked but important factor in keeping your brain sharp and your mood steady is optimizing nutrition through mood and nervous system supporting foods, which can be a huge help if you’re dealing with anxiety, imbalanced mood, depression, and memory problems. A few pillars to look out for when choosing foods for brain health are quality fats, protein, slow carbohydrates, antioxidants, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium.
Here are 3 soothing and nourishing recipes to give your brain some love:
¼ cup pumpkin seeds raw or toasted, salted or unsalted, optional
Combine the water and farro in a medium saucepan with 3 cups of water.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over low heat for 25 to 35 minutes, adding the salt in the last 5 minutes of cooking. The farro is done when it is soft and chewy but the grains are still intact.
Drain, stir in the cinnamon, and spoon into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with the almond milk, berries, toasted hazelnuts, a drizzle of honey, and pumpkin seeds (if using), dividing evenly.
1 medium head green cabbage or half of one green and one red cabbage, outer removed and cut into 1-inch wedges, about ¾ pound
1 large apple such as a Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Jonagold, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 red or yellow onion sliced ¼-inch thick
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
½ cup pomegranate arils optional
handful fresh Italian parsley leaves torn
Creamy Toasted Walnut Dressing:
1 cup raw walnuts
1 medium clove garlic
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
½ teaspoon kosher salt
up to ¾ cup water
Creamy Toasted Walnut Dressing:
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly.
Combine the toasted walnuts, garlic, oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt in a blender. Blend on high, pouring just enough water slowly through the top of the blender to create a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Increase the oven temperature to 400ºF. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with a few drops of the oil, then arrange the cabbage wedges with the apple and onion slices nestled between them. Drizzle with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the cabbage is brown around the edges and you can easily pierce a wedge with a knife. The apples should be crisp on the edges, too.
To serve, dollop the walnut dressing over the cabbage, apples, and onions, then scatter the pomegranate arils and parsley over top. Serve warm or at room temperature, right from the sheet pan, with more salt and pepper if you like. (Transfer leftover dressing to an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to one week.)
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, orange zest, lemon zest, olive oil, ginger, and cayenne.
Place the salmon in a baking dish and season each piece with a pinch of salt.
Pour half of the marinade over the salmon and turn to coat well. Cover the baking dish and marinate in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Remove the salmon from the refrigerator, uncover, and add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the filets, just until tender and opaque and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the filet registers 120°F.
While the salmon is cooking, combine the reserved marinade and the mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.
Pour the reduction over the filets. Spoon 1/4 cup of the relish on top of each filet, and serve immediately.
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