Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
80 g dried lentils
1 tsp miso paste
2 tsp finely grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 lime, zested & juiced
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp black/white sesame seeds
2 X 150 g wild salmon fillets
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
60 g pomegranate seeds
140 g (1 box) spring mix salad
1 Avocado, sliced
1 handful of fresh cilantro (optional)
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook the lentils in a pan of boiling water for 20 minutes or until tender (not crunchy).
Mix the miso paste with 1 tsp of the ginger, the garlic, half the lime juice, the oil and sesame seeds.
Chop the salmon into 1-2 inch pieces and place in a bowl. Spoon 1 tbsp of the miso mixture over the salmon and stir gently to coat. Spread the salmon chunks evenly over the pan.
Roast for 5 mins. Flip and roast for another 5-8 minutes until crispy.
Tip the rest of the miso mixture into a bowl with the remaining ginger and lime juice. Add the lime zest, vinegar, red onion, pomegranate and cilantro.
Drain the lentils and toss into the salad.
Add the spring mix and toss again.
Divide between two places and evenly distribute the crispy salmon over top. Fan sliced avocado on top.
I love this recipe as it incorporates lots of yummy ingredients to support brain health.
The saying “You Are What You Eat” holds more truth than we might realize.
As a holistic nutritionist with a strong focus on mental health, I've always believed in the incredible connection between what we eat and how we feel.
Our body is a complex system that requires a delicate balance of nutrients to function optimally. The nutrients we consume not only fuel our physical body but also play a vital role in the health of our brain – the epicenter of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviours.
A well-nourished brain is better equipped to handle stress, manage mood swings, and even ward off certain mental health challenges.
Just a few of the top nutrients to promote mental health:
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: These essential fats are not only beneficial for heart health but also for the brain. Studies have shown that omega-3s are linked to reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. Sources include fatty fish like salmon, chia seeds, and walnuts.
2. Complex Carbohydrates: Carbs often get a bad rap, but they are crucial for maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Foods like whole grains, sweet potatoes, and legumes provide a steady release of energy, helping prevent mood swings.
3. Antioxidants: Colourful fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants that protect our brain cells from oxidative stress. Berries, leafy greens, and colourful peppers are excellent choices.
4. Probiotics: Gut health is intimately connected to mental health. Probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables support a healthy gut-brain axis.
5. Amino Acids: Proteins are composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks of neurotransmitters. These chemical messengers influence our mood and emotions. Incorporate lean proteins, nuts, and seeds for a balanced intake.
Putting it into practice: A Holistic Approach
Understanding the link between nutrition and mental health is a significant step, but applying this knowledge to our daily lives is where the true transformation happens.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Mindful Eating: Pay attention to your body's cues and eat when you're hungry. Avoid distractions and savor each bite, allowing your body to fully absorb the nutrients.
Balance is Key: Strive for a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods. Remember, it's not about restriction but really about nourishment.
Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can affect mood and cognition. Make water your beverage of choice throughout the day. Add fruit, lemons, limes, whatever works to get that water intake up!
Limit Processed Foods: Highly processed and sugary foods may provide temporary comfort, but they can contribute to mood swings and energy crashes.
It's time to shift our understanding around food and the brain.
Food should be something that you look forward to.
It should be something joyful, tasty, satisfying and something that many of us enjoy preparing for others.
It should also be seen as powerful tool for nurturing
not only our bodies but also our minds.
If you'd like to delve a little deeper - Here are a few links to articles I would suggest:
Thanks for staying with me on my own journey to holistic mental health.
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BA Hons., B Ed., RHN, CNE, OCT
Metabolic Balance® Coach
Intuitive Eating Counsellor Candidate
Care-Informed & Health At Every Size® (HAES®) Nutritionist