This post is sponsored by Dole Fresh Fruits and Vegetables. Dole provided me with compensation for my time and recipe development. As always, all opinions expressed in this post are mine.
March 16-22 is Brain Awareness Week. This annual event is a global celebration of the brain that brings attention to brain science advances and promotes brain research funding. Brain health is something that is important to me as I have a family history of aneurysms and Alzheimer’s disease. To do my part to promote Brain Awareness Week, I am partnering with Dole fruits and vegetables to bring you a recipe that promotes brain health along with a Brain Awareness Giveaway so be sure to read to the end!
When you feed your body you are feeding your brain as well. Your brain is a very complex organ that does a tremendous amount of really amazing work for our bodies. It’s important to provide the brain with the nutrition it needs to operate a peak performance.
Research shows that your brain consumes around 20% of your bodies energy supply so I created a salad that full of ingredients to power your brain.
- Dole Baby Spinach – Spinach is packed with nutrients that prevent dementia like folate, vitamin E, and vitamin K. (source)
- Dole Strawberries and Blueberries – It’s no secret that blueberries are powerful anti-oxidants but they’re especially good for your brain! A study by Harvard researchers found that a high intake of flavonoid-rich berries, such as strawberries and blueberries, over time, can delay memory decline in older women by two and a half years. (source)
- Avocados – Avocados are full of “good fats” that contribute to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure, both of which lead to a healthier brain. (source)
- Pecans – These tree nuts are high in omega-3s, which are important for brain health. Pecans are the most antioxidant-rich tree nut, and are ranked by the USDA among the top 15 foods with the highest antioxidant capacity. (source)
- Quinoa – This super seed contains iron which helps keep red blood cells healthy. Iron carries oxygen to blood cells and to muscles and increases brain function because the brain takes in 20% of our blood oxygen. (source)
I tossed the ingredients together with a light lemon vinaigrette for a healthy and delicious brain boosting lunch!
Boost Your Brainpower Spinach, Quinoa and Berry Salad
(Recipe developed by Jen DeCurtins, Peanut Butter Runner)
1 bag Dole Baby Spinach
1 cup Dole Strawberries, sliced
1 cup Dole Blueberries
1/2 cup pecans, toasted
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 avocado, diced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, honey and olive oil. Set aside. Place spinach in a large bowl and top with strawberries, blueberries, pecans, quinoa and avocado. Drizzle with the lemon vinaigrette and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt.
Yield: 4 servings
Looking for more brain healthy recipes? Check out these two delicious recipes from Dole!
Now for a Brain Awareness Giveaway from Dole!
– Dole Yoga Mat & Carrying Case
– Dole Tumbler
– Dole Headphones
– (3) Dole Salad
– “MINDfull: Over 100 Delicious Recipes for Better Brain Health” Cookbook by Carol Greenwood, Ph.D.
If you’d like to be entered for a chance to win leave a comment answering one of the following questions: What are your favorite ways to take care of your brain? Any favorite brain-boosting foods?
U.S. residents only. One entry per person. Contest open until Friday, March 20 at midnight EST.