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Want to boost the feel-good benefits of your yoga practice? Try these six recipes (including a few from our friends at Vegetarian Times and Clean Eating), boasting foods shown to keep your brain balanced.
1. Alexandria Crow’s Salmon al Forno Salad
This salad features wild salmon, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that partially make up brain cells. If your dietary omega-3 levels are low, your brain cells can suffer and not signal each other properly.
2. Kiwifruit and Yogurt Parfait With Toasted Coconut
With this sweet yogurt treat, you can enjoy dessert while maintaining brain health. UCLA researchers recently found that eating a fermented yogurt with probiotics twice a day for a month led to increased activity in areas of the brain that process emotion and sensation.
See also Make Your Own Yogurt
3. Spicy Spinach and Sunflower Seeds
Kick up your practice—and brain health with spicy spinach. Depressed patients often have low levels of folate (vitamin B9), found in spinach as well as asparagus and black-eyed peas. As a result, experts have concluded that folate is important for brain and mental health.
See also Dissolve Depression
4. Shaved Asparagus and White Bean Salad
Asparagus and white beans are “prebiotic foods” (others include Jerusalem artichokes, bananas, oatmeal, unrefined wheat, and chicory root). Prebiotics support gut bacteria, which keep the gut lining intact. This gut lining acts as a barrier to toxins and aids digestion so your brain is protected from bad stuff while still getting needed nutrients.
See also 8 Poses for Better Digestion
5. Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie
Dark berries contain antioxidants that have been shown to help prevent and repair oxidative stress, which can lead to brain-cell damage.
Recipe: Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie
6. African Peanut Stew
A tantalizing combo of potentially protective brown rice, Swiss chard, and sweet potatoes, this dish could do wonders for brain health. Studies have found that those who ate the most whole foods like whole grains, veggies, and fruits were less likely to be diagnosed with depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder than those who had a less healthy diet.
Recipe: African Peanut Stew
See also 3 Whole Grains to Add to Your Diet