Your brain is like a muscle, and just like the muscles you work at the gym, your brain performs better if you feed it right. Scientists have uncovered numerous connections between diet and brain health, suggesting that the food we eat really does affect our mind. While there’s no superfood that will turn you into a genius overnight, including certain nutrients in your diet might improve cognitive function, reduce your chances of developing dementia, and enhance your memory. To keep your mind sharp, try fixing one of these five “brain food” recipes.
1. Blueberry and Butternut Squash Couscous Salad
Eating blueberries may help reduce memory loss and improve coordination, researchers at Tufts University found. While these antioxidant-rich fruits are most commonly found in breakfast and dessert items, they’re just as tasty in this couscous salad recipe from The U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council.
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 cup raw couscous (or substitute cooked quinoa, faro, barley, or rice)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1½ cups blueberries
- ¾ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 3 cups baby arugula
Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, toss squash with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet; bake until tender, about 22 minutes; let cool.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring broth to a boil. Stir in couscous, remove from heat, and cover; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; cool.
In a small bowl whisk together remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper; set aside. In a large bowl combine squash, scallions, blueberries, cheese, and couscous.
Spread arugula on a serving platter and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Add remaining dressing to couscous mixture; toss to combine. Serve over arugula.