Cooking brings joy in times of crisis and the pandemic has permanently changed our relationship with food, in many ways for the better. Time spent cooking and eating with loved ones (whether over Zoom or part of the same household) is fast becoming one of life’s most cherished and loved pleasures.
We’ve been digesting some data recently which shows that the ‘Working from Home’ revolution has also revolutionised the way we eat. Many people now see cooking as a break from work. There has been a big increase in cooking meals from scratch for the evenings and eating leftovers for lunch the following day, as well as cooking to mentally relax in a mindful way.
There is a huge focus on foods that feed the brain, boost concentration and can help influence your mental health, and as we reach the last days of VEGANUARY we thought we’d share 6 excellent vegan foods which provide these important and healthy nutrients. You might also enjoy our blog on the health benefits of seeds.
There is no single silver bullet brain food, but certain foods are particularly rich in healthful nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids, B vitamins and antioxidants. This of course includes our vegan seed mixes (NB: not the honey or choccy ones)!
So, here we go ….
- Blue and Red Fruits – such as blueberries and goji berries are a powerful source of antioxidants, which can help to fight off free radicals (the damaging molecules all around us) and help protect the brain, especially as we age. Check out our delicious Super Berry seed mix and sprinkle it over porridge, yogurt, smoothies or cereal for an extra boost of flavour, crunch and berry goodness.
- Dark Chocolate – is there any bad news here? We all love chocolate and the darker the better (check it’s a vegan one though). Naturally rich in flavonoids, which are reputed to help improve cognitive function and reduce the impact of ageing, dark chocolate can genuinely become part of a healthy balanced diet (in moderation). We’re definitely putting this one to the test at Munchy Seeds HQ 😊
- Seeds – especially our Mega Omega Tamari 7 seed mix – are a fab source of Omega-3, and one of the most important brain foods to ensure you get enough of in your diet, and definitely one of the best sources for committed vegans. Optimising omega-3 intake has been linked with many amazing benefits for the mind, including reducing the risk of depression. Also rich in Vitamin E – eating seeds can help to refresh and renew our brain cells.
- Avocados – we love avocados and what a boon they are for any plant-based meal. A delicious source of healthy monounsaturated fat and brain-boosting vitamins B, C, E and folate, all combine to keep our brains fuelled, active and sparky. Try this easy lunch idea – Beetroot Hummus with Veggies which complements avocado perfectly.
- Walnuts – and nuts in general are excellent sources of protein and good fats. Walnuts are high in omega-3 in particular and higher walnut consumption has been linked to improved cognition.
- Cooked tomatoes – and fresh too … provide a superb phytonutrient called lycopene and can help to prevent the type of cellular brain damage associated with dementia. Cooking your tomatoes increases our ability to absorb this nutrient, so if you home cook a fresh tomato sauce you’re onto a delicious ‘Win Win’.
Content Sources We’d Like To Thank For Inspiring This Blog: Harvard Health Publishing, “Foods Linked to Better Brainpower”; Omvits, “7 Vegan Foods to Keep Your Brain Healthy and Support Your Mental Health.”
You might also enjoy our blog about Pumpkin Seeds here.