Sunday, July 1, 2012

Time to step into the BRAIN GAME...

Certain foods affect the body...however did you know that these same foods also can affect your brain? What if you could eat foods like chocolate and have it help your concentration and recollection while increasing blood flow to the brain. Sounds almost to good to be true, but it is!! We are surrounded everyday with certain types of 'brain food' and all we need to do is open ourselves up to them. The best part is that ALL of these foods are super easy to prepare and taste great. Lets take a look at some foods that will really help get the brain moving.

Studies are showing that these tart berries can protect the brain cells from harmful free radicals while also helping to improve memory, balance and coordination.

Sweet Potatoes
Rich in vitamin B6, antioxidants and carbohydrates, which are the only fuel source for our brains.

Simple and easy!! Toss with a fresh vinaigrette with
a little goat cheese on top or
even some toasted almonds

Delicious isnt going to be the first thing that pops into your brain after eating these anymore. A half cup provides almost 70% of the recommended daily allowance. They help protect against age related brain decline and best of all a new study is showing that people who eat strawberries may even have a higher learning capacity.

Good for the body and good for the brain as well. A diet rich in spinach can improve our learning capacity and motor skills.

Dark Chocolate
An ounce a day is what you can and should get away with! Not only is chocolate proven to improve your overall good mood it also is full of antioxidants and has been known to improve reasoning skills.

Raisin Bran
A bowl of this everyday cereal is packed full of carbohydrates, iron, B vitamins, folic acid, calcium and magnesium. All of these are important brain foods and great for the everyday function of our bodies. Magnesium has also been shown to help prevent migraine and tension headaches.

A great food if you are planning on increasing your learning capacity and enhancing your memory. Plus the high levels of vitamin D help with your mood and will even improve how well you sleep at night.

By increasing the intake of certain food types, we greatly increase our chances to live healthier. Monitor what you eat and try some new ideas inside of the kitchen. Here are a pair of recipes to help out with energizing your brain.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

From the good people over at, this is one of those easy to make recipes that can pair with lots of different accent dishes. Try it out with fresh tortilla chips or cornbread and if you have a touch of the carnivore inside, add some ground turkey into the mix. Use a dutch oven or a medium sized stock pot for cooking.

3 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Medium Sized Sweet Potato, peeled and diced
1 Large Sweet Onion, peeled and diced
4 Tbs Chopped Garlic
2 Tbs Chili Powder
4 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Chipotle Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
2 1/2 Cups Water
2 Cans of Black Beans, 15 oz each
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, 14 oz each
4 tsp Lime Juice
1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro
(1 Pound Ground Turkey, Optional)

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan, over medium-high heat. Add in the sweet potato along with the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. If you are using a ground turkey, cook that first for about 7 minutes, then add in the onion and sweet potato. Add in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt. While stirring constantly cook for another 30 seconds. Add the water and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat, simmer until sweet potato is tender, which is about 10 minutes. Add beans, tomato and lime juice. Increase heat for an additional 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.

Lemon & Basil Salmon Burger

1 Pound Salmon Filet, chopped
1 Cup Red Onion, finely chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Basil, thinly sliced
3 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1 Tbs Hot Sauce
1 Large Egg White, no yolk

Take the first 6 ingredients and combine them together in a bowl. In a seperate bowl, mix the egg whites and hot sauce. Combine the egg mixture into the salmon mix, stirring everything to combine. Shape into 1/2 inch thick patties and cook in a pan for 3-4 minutes on each side. Serve on your choice of breads.

So does it come out as food for thought? or are you feeling tired as the day begins to quiet down. Tune in later this week for part 2 of the Living Healthy pages and read about foods that can help boost your metabolism. Plus more great recipe ideas and some fun stories about the Edible Herb Garden. As always thanks for stopping by, email me at, the Kitchen Time Website is over here at and lastly look for the Kitchen Time Facebook page as well

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