Supporting Brain Health: Simple Ways to Add to Your Wellness Routine

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(Family Features) When most people think of wellness, diet and exercise are the first things that come to mind. Brain health is another essential part of your overall well-being, as it affects your quality of life in several ways.

Brain health is the foundation of your ability to lead a productive and successful life through communication and problem solving. It is the driving force behind your daily function.

Give your brain some extra support with these tips:

Stimulate your mind
Like any muscle, your brain needs exercise. Your brain training gear can include activities like puzzles, reading, learning an instrument, a new hobby, or learning a new language.

Focus on foods that support the brain
What you eat doesn’t just affect your physical health; it also affects your brain health. One example is the Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND) diet, which is the result of more than 20 years of data collected by researchers at Rush University Medical Center and Harvard School of Public Health.

It follows the Mediterranean style of eating whole foods with minimal processing and emphasizes plant-based foods, including leafy greens, whole grains and heart-healthy legumes, as well as fish and small amounts of poultry. The MIND diet aims to build on these principles and emphasizes antioxidant-rich berries, dark leafy greens, and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, or sardines.

A dish like Kale and Quinoa Bowl with Salmon reflects the MIND diet guidelines and is a delicious and smart way to support your brain with good nutrition.

“Feeding your brain starts with your plate,” said Melissa Halas, MA, RDN. “This tasty kale, quinoa and salmon recipe from Alton Brown has smart ingredients that fit the MIND diet. Plus, the results are delicious. Supporting your brain with the right nutrients is so important.

Sleep well
While you rest, your body is working hard to rejuvenate all of your systems, and your brain is no exception. Getting enough sleep each night gives your brain time to repair itself so you wake up feeling alert and focused.

Add a supplement to your daily routine
Most people don’t reach recommended nutrient levels with their diet alone. Supplements can help fill the void. An option like Neuriva Plus can help support key indicators of brain health: reasoning (thinking and figuring things out logically), concentration (zooming in and filtering out distractions), accuracy (reacting more quickly and precisely) , memory (recording and recalling stored information), learning (retaining new information), and concentration (focusing on tasks for longer periods of time).*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Available in capsules and gummies, Neuriva brain health supplements include naturally-derived ingredients like Neurofactor™ (coffee cherry extract) and plant-derived phosphatidylserine (PS), as well as B vitamins for support brain health.

“I recently turned 60 and over the past two decades I have been very focused on taking charge of my health from the inside out – first with my food, and now by taking steps to support my brain health,” said award-winning chef and cooking enthusiast Alton Brown. “Neuriva fits perfectly into my holistic regimen, which for me is just simple lifestyle practices like exercising, eating a balanced diet, and getting a good night’s sleep.”

To manage stress
Keeping your stress under control is good for your mental well-being, but it also affects your physical and cognitive health. Practicing yoga, meditation or listening to music are ways to reduce stress while improving your cognitive functions and performance.

Connect with others
Personal interaction also sharpens your brain, as it encourages you to practice communication and other cognitive skills. You can protect and improve your brain health by creating and maintaining connections with friends and family.

keep moving
Your brain needs lots of oxygen to function well. Physical activity burns calories and builds muscle while increasing oxygen flow and stimulating nerve cell growth.

For more ideas to support brain health and wellness, visit neuriva.com and download the Neuriva Brain Gym app.

Salmon Kale and Quinoa Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown on behalf of Neuriva
Servings: 4

Bowl of kale and quinoa:

  • 1 bunch lacinato or “dinosaur” kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons (about 4 ounces, stem)
  • 1 bunch (1 1/2 oz) flat-leaf parsley, stems removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice only
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 4 ounces firm feta cheese, divided
  • 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) walnuts, toasted and lightly crushed, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups cooked white quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • freshly ground black pepper

Salmon:

  • 2 skin-on salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick and 5 ounces each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  1. To make kale and quinoa bowls: In a large bowl, toss the kale, parsley and shallots with 2 tbsp of olive oil; set aside 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, puree the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, yogurt, 2 ounces of feta, 1/3 of the walnuts and salt.
  3. Pour the dressing over the greens then stir in the quinoa, remaining walnuts, cherries and remaining feta.
  4. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving with a few black peppercorns.
  5. To make salmon: Wrap the fillets in paper towel, then heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
  6. When the pan is hot, salt the fillets. Add oil to the skillet and tilt carefully to evenly coat the bottom. When the oil shimmers, slide the fillets in, skin side down, pressing each fillet firmly with a spatula.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3 minutes, then cover and cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Carefully flip fillets, cover and cook for 1 minute, or until fillets reach desired doneness or internal temperature of at least 130 F** on a thermometer inserted in the center.
    ** The United States Department of Agriculture recommends a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. To serve, separate the kale and quinoa mixture into four bowls. Cut each fillet in half and place over the kale and quinoa.

Content courtesy of Neuriva

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman eating on laptop)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (woman doing a puzzle)
Photo courtesy of Lynne Calamia (Salmon Kale and Quinoa Bowl)

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