Five summer salads that can boost your brain power

Eating healthily is an important part of everyone’s life and as we reach the summer, it’s time to start enjoying the fresh produce available to us with a wealth of salads.

 

Salads can prove to be real superfoods and help with a variety of challenges we face in our lives, particularly at present where more of us are living with mental health conditions than ever before. They can help boost concentration, reduce stress and even be instrumental in reducing cravings during an addiction detox, for example. The benefits truly are endless.

 

What’s more, there are plenty of incredibly tasty salad recipes out there too these days. So, with the summer kicking off, here are five salads that can really help boost your brain power…

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Walnuts

Spinach has long been seen as a powerhouse when it comes to food, with it being high in iron and folate, which are fantastic for our brain health. It can help regulate mood and our cognitive functioning. Strawberries are just as effective too, with the vitamin C from it protecting brain cells from oxidative stress, while walnuts are a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids, creating a super tasty and super healthy salad recipe.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Chopped walnuts
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • Balsamic vinaigrette

Method:

Combine the spinach, strawberries, and walnuts in a bowl. Sprinkle with crumbled feta and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Toss gently and serve immediately.

Kale and Quinoa Salad with Avocado

Kale is another leafy green rich in antioxidants and vitamin K, which helps protect brain cells. Quinoa is a complete protein that contains all nine essential amino acids, supporting brain function and neurotransmitter production. Avocado is rich in healthy fats that enhance blood flow to the brain, boosting cognitive functions.

Ingredients:

  • Chopped kale
  • Cooked quinoa
  • Diced avocado
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Lemon-tahini dressing

Method:

In a large bowl, mix kale and quinoa. Add diced avocado and cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with lemon-tahini dressing, toss well, and serve chilled.

Blueberry and Almond Spinach Salad

Bluberries have long been hailed as a superfood as they’re rich in antioxidants that help delay brain ageing. They also improve memory, while the almonds in this salad provide vitamin E, which has been linked to reducing cognitive decline as we age. Combined together and you’ve got a fresh and brain boosting summer meal.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh spinach leaves
  • Fresh blueberries
  • Sliced almonds
  • Red onion slices
  • Poppy seed dressing

Method:

Combine spinach, blueberries, and red onion slices in a bowl. Sprinkle with sliced almonds and drizzle with poppy seed dressing. Toss lightly and enjoy.

Beetroot and Goat Cheese Salad

Beetroot is high in nitrates, which can improve blood flow to the brain and enhance cognitive performance. Goat cheese adds a creamy texture and a dose of healthy fats and proteins. The combination of these ingredients makes for a visually appealing and brain-boosting salad.

Ingredients:

  • Roasted beetroot slices
  • Mixed greens (arugula, spinach, and romaine)
  • Crumbled goat cheese
  • Chopped pistachios
  • Orange vinaigrette

Method:

Layer mixed greens on a plate. Arrange roasted beetroot slices on top, followed by crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with chopped pistachios and drizzle with orange vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Chickpea and Avocado Salad

Finally, chickpeas are wonderful for adding more protein and magnesium to your diet, two key players in neurotransmitter functioning. Joined by avocado, a powerful source of monounsaturated fats, and you’ve got a fantastic and tasty salad that supports brain health. 

Ingredients:

  • Cooked chickpeas
  • Diced avocado
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon-garlic dressing

Method:

In a large bowl, mix chickpeas, avocado, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and fresh parsley. Drizzle with lemon-garlic dressing, toss gently, and serve chilled.

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