Here’s my easiest and best spinach salad for brain health. It’s packed with tasty Omega-3’s and powerful antioxidants. Inspired by my article “Top 12 Foods for Your Brain”, it has spinach, beets, avocado, broccoli, celery, walnuts, apple cider vinegar, and flaxseed oil, all important brain foods. Serves 2 hungry eaters, or 4 as a side salad.
Spinach is a nutritional powerhouse. Researchers say the powerful antioxidant qualities of spinach, including vitamin C and beta-carotene, help combat neurodegenerative results of free radicals. Flavonoids in spinach may also help reduce brain plaque in Alzheimer’s disease.
Avocados are rich in vitamin E and vitamin C, 2 two powerful antioxidants. Dr. Daniel G. Amen considers avocados one of the best brain-healthy foods that you can consume to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.
Broccoli is high in choline to help stimulate the growth of new brain cells. It is also rich in vitamin K which enhances cognitive functioning and improves memory, with over 2,000 micrograms of vitamin K per serving.
Beets offer increased blood flow to the brain! Researchers from the Wake Forest University reported in a study that beets contain natural nitrates that boost brain performance by increasing blood flow to the brain. Increased blood flow improves oxygenation, slowing the onset of dementia.
Celery protects the brain from inflammation leading to brain fog and memory lapses. This simple vegetable helps protect the brain from by calming hyperactive immune cells, which has great relevance for nerve issues like Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.
Walnuts are considered the #1 top nut for brain health, with high levels of Omega-3 DHA fatty acids. DHA has been shown to protect brain function in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and slow down the onset of age-related cognitive decline.
Flaxseed oil is said to contain the greatest concentration of a particular omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha linolenic acid. It also contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic) acid and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) which are also omega-3s. These fatty acids are important part of the plasma membrane and cell membranes. They are also important in maintaining brain function.
Fermented Apple Cider Vinegar helps to balance the gut-brain connection. With clear evidence that gut imbalance plays a role in neural disorders such as Parkinson’s, Neuropathy, Alzheimer’s and Autism, it’s easy to see how gut bacteria can have a significant role in your brain function. Fermented unfiltered apple cider vinegar is a tasty way to regulate your gut micro biome and maintain mental clarity too.
- 3 large handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup celery in small slices
- 1/2 cup broccoli or baby broccoli, in bite size pieces (steam first if you wish)
- 2 beets, thinly sliced and steamed
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup walnuts, soaked and toasted if possible(See All About Nuts)
- handful fresh basil, optional
- 2 tablespoons flax oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt and some pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon liquid coconut aminos, optional
- In a salad bowl, layer the salad ingredients.
- Whisk together the dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over the salad and enjoy.