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Salmon & Dill Green Bean Salad

Hungry Minds: The Best Brain Foods

By Kristin Kessler, RD

Food can feed your belly, food can feed your soul, but did you also know that food can feed your brain? While an overall healthy diet is important to keep your brain functioning at top speed, certain foods can boost brain function. Try some of our favorite brainy foods to make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients your hungry mind needs.


Opt for Omega-3 Fatty Acids


With all of the positive press, it should come as no surprise that foods containing a high amount of omega-3 fatty acids are number one on this list! Feed your brain with this light and refreshing Salmon & Dill Green Bean Salad, perfect for warm summer nights. If you’re not a salmon fan, substitute another fatty fish such as mackerel or tuna. If you’re a vegetarian or don’t like fish, pick up flaxseed oil or walnuts during your next trip to the grocery store.

Eat Probiotic-Rich Foods


Have you ever heard of the gut-brain connection? It may sound like something from a science fiction movie, but recent research has taught us that our gastrointestinal system and brain are much more connected than we thought. Keep your intestines happy and healthy with gut-friendly bacteria called probiotics, which can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and miso. For your next dinner, try out this Chickpea and Kraut Pasta Toss. To maximize intake of probiotics, avoid heating the sauerkraut too much or serve it on the side at room temperature. Your gut and brain will thank you!

Whole Grains for the Brain

You can literally feed your hungry mind by opting for whole grains throughout the day. The brain’s favorite supply of energy comes in the form of glucose. Whole wheat bread or pasta, brown rice and oatmeal are rich in whole grains and release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, helping you to keep you feeling happy and mentally alert throughout the day. The brown rice in this Creamy Coconut & Veggie Brown Rice Pilaf with Honey Roasted Pecans will help keep you sharp as a tack.

Summer Salads for Every Occasion

‘Tis the season for light, fresh meals full of flavorful veggies. We all have our go-to salads we make over and over again, but here’s some inspiration to pull you out of your salad rut to create delicious combinations the whole family will enjoy.

Super Food Salad

Dinner salads are a smart way to work in a variety of nutritious ingredients into one meal. Start with a leafy green such as romaine lettuce or spinach, add a colorful assortment of your favorite veggies and top it off with a protein source like hardboiled eggs, grilled chicken, beans, or canned fish.  For added flavor, incorporate fresh herbs such as dill, basil and parsley.  Beware of creamy dressings that can negate the healthy properties of your salad and instead opt for vinaigrette which is easy to make with a few staple pantry ingredients. We like this Salmon & Dill Green Bean salad as a complete meal in a bowl.

Salad for Picky Eaters

While it may seem that salads and kids don’t mix, sometimes picky eaters may be sensitive to particular textures or temperatures.  Mellowing out the intense textures in a salad could help.  For instance, if raw carrots are too rough or crunchy, try using Libby’s® Sliced Carrots and Sliced Beets over a bed of soft spring mix.  Our Beet & Carrot Salad is a great salad to start with.

Appetizer Salad for Backyard Barbecues

Complement your grilled burgers or chicken skewers with a tangy Easy Three Bean Salad instead of a high-calorie potato or macaroni salad.  This versatile salad can be served as a topping with tortilla chips or French bread, a top a bed of lettuce or simply on its own.

Salads in a Snap

With a well-stocked pantry, you can create a fantastic salad in minutes. Keep on hand canned veggies like Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn and Libby’s® Sweet Peas plus nuts, seeds, beans, canned fish and dried cranberries. In the fridge, store bagged lettuce and, if you have time, precooked quinoa and precut veggies. With all the ingredients right at your fingertips, a healthy, yummy salad is easy to throw together!