Nootropic supplements can provide a multitude of important vitamins and nutrients, but they are just a part of a healthy life. For those who want to promote overall wellness and health, exercise and a balanced diet are imperative. The following are ten natural meals that can be easily procured and prepared. These delicious garden delights are great for everyday use or for incorporating into a larger weekly routine. And what’s more, they are perfect for those seeking to refine their mental health.
1.SAUTEED SPINACH & GARLIC
There was a reason why Popeye was so stout, smart and strong. He was a spinach man! Leafy greens (not just spinach but broccoli, turnips, mustard greens and romaine lettuce) are high in folic acid. The tryptophan in spinach helps to boost our serotonin levels, thereby warding off depression and fostering a sense of general well-being. Spinach has also been associated with prevention of dementia in women.
The benefits of garlic consumption are bountiful from heart health and immune function to digestive health via its antioxidants and potential cancer prevention. But garlic also exhibits interesting effects on the brain. Studies have been conducted that suggest garlic is a brain toxin that can reduce the onset of dementia and act as an overall neuroprotective agent.
To prepare this dish, simply buy baby spinach, bring it to a boil in a pot, wring it out in your sink, then wring it out again in paper towels before letting it freeze overnight in Tupperware. The following day (or whenever), take it out and set it aside. Get yourself some garlic cloves (three to four) and mince them on a cutting board. Get a skillet and set your pilot to low-to-medium heat. Squirt about two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the skillet and then slowly add your defrosting spinach to the pan. As your spinach begins to melt down, introduce your minced garlic. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for five to seven minutes. Note: This works just as well with kale and garlic, kale being a good memory booster.
2.PORK LOIN SUPPER
Pork loin can be prepared in a lemon and raspberry reduction and served with a small portion of fresh pasta and a side of broccoli and cauliflower to jog your memory and jack your focus. Fresh pasta and pork loin are two excellent sources of Vitamin B1, a vitamin which alleviates lack of concentration while raspberries, lemon, broccoli and cauliflower are all sources of Vitamin B5 which helps improve memory. For those who are looking to avoid carbs, that fresh pasta can be swapped out in favor of sauteed mushrooms and brown rice, themselves fine sources of Vitamin B1.
This is an easy and incredibly healthy lunch that’s perfect for people on the go who want a lunch that they can take to work that will also give them the energy and attentiveness they need to get through a work day.
Sliced or mashed avocado (personally, I like to mash it into a guacamole using chunks of tomato, lime juice, a squirt of ranch dressing and lots of garlic powder), sliced tomato, sliced cheddar cheese, a small dollop of sour cream topped with 1-2 leaves of baby spinach on stone ground whole wheat bread. The whole wheat bread provides fiber (Bob’s Red Mill is a reliable source for true whole wheat) while the avocado, tomato, cheddar, spinach and sour cream offer you Tyrosine, a potent amino acid that’s great for promoting motivation and focus. Note: All of these ingredients, save for the whole wheat bread, can be incorporated into a fun guacamole dip and served with blue tortilla chips or other organic whole grain snacks.
4.GRILLED CHICKEN w/ MUSHROOM N’ BROCCOLI MASHED POTATOES
This one is fairly self-explanatory; just grill yourself up a nice chicken breast, mash yourself some peeled potatoes, sautee up some mushrooms, dice up a few heads of broccoli into fine bits, add the shrooms and brockockolee to your taters and you’re good to go! All of these foods serve as natural stress relievers as they are rich in vitamins B3 and B6. For those who don’t like chicken, salmon is another good source of these vitamins. And for those who want to avoid the carbs of mashed potatoes, you can also use brown rice for this recipe.
5.NUTTY FRUITBAG SALAD
This one’s a simple solution for any meal of the day. If you don’t have the time for a three-course meal, this one will satiate your desire for something tasty and relieve your appetite as you work or study. Recipe calls for four strawberries, six to ten blackberries, one ½ orange, two handfuls of raisins, one banana and six to eight macadamia nuts. Can be served plain or with lemon zest or a light glaze of maple syrup. This one is loaded with Magnesium which is good for alleviating stress as well as insomnia.
Almost everyone loves the staples of Thanksgiving Dinner—cranberry sauce, stuffing, string beans, sweet potatoes and, of course, the proverbial “bird.” The good news is, turkey is on the table at number six as it is an awesome source of Vitamin B6. This holiday we will pair it with a side of asparagus, a baked potato and a spinach salad with slices of fresh mushroom, brussel sprouts, chick peas and sunflower seeds.
The chickpeas and asparagus are also sources of B6 while the brussel sprouts provide a helping of Magnesium and the spinach, mushrooms and sunflower seeds give us Selenium, all of which aid in combating irritability and curbing anger.
7.SPINACH & ARTICHOKE HUMMUS ON PITA BREAD
This one’s great for Superbowl Sunday or any time you’re having guests over. For directions on how to prepare this delectable dish, you can go here. Here you will use tahini and chickpeas to make your hummus before adding your spinach and artichoke. Spinach, as we already know, is an awesome ingredient for mental health, but chickpeas are especially interesting as they contain folic acid, a compound that is known to relieve anxiety. Sweet potato chips and broccoli are smart alternatives to traditional salted tortilla chips when serving a bowl of this hummus. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Vitamin B5.
8.BONE BROTH SOUP
According to Dr. Axe, this broth is the perfect base for any kind of healthy soup as it contains amino acids that improve our memory while alternately protecting and maintaining our immune functioning. A handy recipe for beef bone broth soup can be located here.
This one’s another favorite, one shared by the aforementioned Dr. Axe, and it’ll blow your mind! It’s straight up coconut crust pizza and it’s awesome! The recipe calls for three eggs, ¼ cup plus two tbsp coconut flour, ¼ cup coconut oil, one tsp honey, one tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp sea salt, sliced banana pepper and sliced cherry tomatoes.
The key ingredient here is the coconut oil as it is a multifaceted healer with innumerable health benefits, most notably its ability to put the kibosh on cells that are responsible for inflammation and its wondrous capability to protect one’s memory as they age.
10.BAKED EGGS N’ SPINACH
Another recipe that Dr. Axe and I share in common is the baked egg with spinach. We’ve already heard all about spinach, but what most people don’t realize is that eggs are actually very good for you. Despite decades of misinformation, studies have now shown that eggs are incredibly beneficial for a variety of reasons. One factor is their source of lean protein while another is their choline content, choline being a substance which breaks down bethane, the chemical that yields hormones responsible for feelings of happiness. And no, the myth is all BS, eggs DO NOT CAUSE HIGH CHOLESTEROL, at least not in healthy folks.
This one also contains coconut oil and sea salt, and can be prepared using cheddar cheese. For Dr. Axe’s delicious recipe and cooking directions go here.