These brain food recipes feature ingredients that supply your brain with essential nutrients most diets lack. See how you can make any meal brain-healthy.
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One of the hardest parts of eating healthy for your brain is coming up with new recipe ideas.
There are literally millions of recipes online if you want to lose weight, shed belly fat, reduce carbs, or go gluten-free.
But there are very few sources of recipes created specifically with brain health in mind.
I’m always on the lookout for new recipes for personal use.
So, I’ve amassed quite a stash of recipes that are delicious, easy to make, and rich in brain foods like blueberries, walnuts, salmon, green leafy vegetables, chocolate, avocado, and coconut.
In this article, I’ve compiled a list of 50 recipes from my personal favorites that supply essential brain nutrients lacking in the typical Western diet.
Note: Below each recipe link, I’ve listed the key ingredients that make it brain-healthy.
Brain-Powering Breakfast Recipes
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.
Skipping breakfast is strongly linked to heart disease and obesity. (1)
Your brain can’t store energy, so, by morning, your brain is starving for nutrients.
Ideally, you should break your fast from the night before with high-quality nutrition.
But typical modern breakfasts are high in sugar, white flour, and processed foods — a nutritional nightmare.
Eating a bad breakfast, or no breakfast at all, can leave you mentally foggy, unable to focus, anxious, or depressed.
In these brain-powering breakfast recipes, you’ll see typical breakfast foods like eggs and coffee.
You’ll also see some foods not normally associated with breakfast, like bison, avocado, and broccoli.
Whether you’d rather grab a smoothie or a muffin or sit down to a hearty meal of sausage and eggs, I’ve got every breakfast preference covered.
Here are 8 breakfast recipe ideas that will get your brain fueled right for a great start to your day.
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coffee, coconut milk, coconut flakes, cocoa powder
blueberry, cocoa powder, coconut milk
sprouted grain bread, eggs, cinnamon, coconut oil, strawberries
eggs, spinach, avocado
eggs, carrots, pumpkin, almond flour, almond butter, cinnamon
eggs, coconut oil, sweet potato, spinach
eggs, spinach, broccoli, coconut oil
Brain-Boosting Soup Recipes
There’s a reason soup is often served to someone who’s “under the weather.”
A bowl of homemade soup is nutritionally dense — high in nutrients and low in calories.
It is easy to digest and is widely associated with being loved and cared for.
Soup may be the most versatile food.
You can eat it hot or cold and there are soups for every occasion — main course, appetizer, and even dessert.
If you aren’t much of a cook, making soup is foolproof since it’s hard to burn!
Here are a few of my favorite soup recipes, featuring brain-boosting foods as diverse as wild salmon and blueberries.
carrots, turmeric, ginger, coconut milk
kale, peppers, cauliflower, coconut oil
Brain-Healthy Main Course Recipes
When cooking a brain-healthy main course, the quality of the ingredients really does matter.
Wild-caught fish, grass-fed beef, and free-range poultry are by far the healthiest choices.
Compared to regular supermarket meat, poultry, and fish, they are low in contaminants and high in brain nutrients, particularly omega-3 fatty acids.
Any dish can get an extra brain boost by adding herbs and spices like turmeric and rosemary, and using the healthiest cooking oils — extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil.
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wild salmon, blueberries, horseradish, cinnamon
wild salmon, sweet potatoes, kale
15. Chicken Piccata
chicken, almond flour, coconut oil, olive oil, portobello mushrooms
whitefish, olives, tomatoes, olive oil
chicken, coconut milk, cashews, turmeric
salmon, coconut oil, wasabi
bison, tomatoes, red peppers, hot peppers
chicken, olive oil, rosemary
chicken, coconut milk, winter squash, coconut oil, curry paste
whitefish, cabbage, avocado, hot peppers, spices
canned salmon, avocado, beets, pistachio nuts, olive oil
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coconut milk, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, kale, coconut oil, curry paste, turmeric
wild Alaskan canned salmon, sweet potato, almond flour, eggs, coconut oil
grass-fed beef, coffee, coffee beans, cocoa powder, spices
salmon, eggs, avocado oil
salmon, shredded coconut, egg
Brain-Enhancing Side Dish Recipes
Almost all vegetables are brimming with antioxidants and other phytonutrients that make them excellent foods for the brain.
But a few standouts include green leafy vegetables, colorful root vegetables, peppers of all kinds, and avocado (which is technically a fruit).
The experts recommend eating 9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. (2)
But meeting this goal is a challenge!
It’s tempting to steam some broccoli or throw some lettuce in a bowl to try meeting the quota, but that gets boring.
If you want to eat plenty of veggies and still enjoy them, here are some interesting ways to prepare them.
If you are a vegetarian, some of these side dishes, especially those that contain beans, can be your main course.
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broccoli, walnuts, olive oil, cinnamon, ginger
sweet potatoes, coconut oil, curry powder
spinach, coconut oil, turmeric, ginger
turnips, collard greens, ginger
cauliflower, coconut oil, curry powder, turmeric
red peppers, olive oil
cabbage, red cabbage, bell peppers, avocado
avocado, blueberries, hot peppers
beets, walnuts, olive oil
sea vegetables, ginger, carrots
eggs, avocado, hot peppers, spices
kale, dried tart cherries, pecans, olive oil
Brain-Smart Dessert Recipes
There are healthy ways to appease a sweet tooth and nourish your brain.
These recipes avoid sugar and use healthier sweeteners like honey, stevia, and maple syrup in moderation.
When you start with delicious basic ingredients like fresh berries, dark chocolate, and coconut milk, you don’t need much added sweetener to make desserts that are enjoyable and satisfying.
blueberries, almond flour, walnuts, coconut oil
dark chocolate, eggs, coconut milk, raspberries
coconut milk, blueberries, rosemary, eggs
44. Jaden’s Flan
eggs, coconut milk
coconut milk, cocoa powder, dark chocolate
46. Raw Walnut Fudge
cocoa powder, coconut oil, walnuts, almond butter
almond flour, almonds, dark chocolate, shredded coconut, coconut milk, eggs
avocado, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, eggs
dark chocolate, coconut milk, cinnamon
Bonus: A Healthy Brain Meal Plan
If you’d like an example of an entire brain-healthy dinner, the folks at MyBrainTest.org created this 3-in-1 recipe post.
50. Bonus: The Complete Healthy Brain Dinner Recipe
- Roasted Kale Salad w/Kidney Beans, Walnuts & Chia
- Coffee-Spice Rubbed King Salmon
- Turmeric & Toasted Flax Risotto
Brain foods in these three dishes include kale, avocado, walnuts, chia seeds, coffee, salmon, olive oil, and turmeric.
Brain Food Recipes: Take the Next Step
There aren’t a lot of places online to find recipes specifically for brain health.
But now, you’ve got lots of recipes that include foods rich in the nutrients you need for optimal brain health and function.
Try one new recipe each week; in a year, you’ll have 50 new recipes that will delight your taste buds and please your brain.
We discuss what makes a food a “brain food” and why you should include them in your diet in 12 Brain Foods That Supercharge Your Memory, Focus & Mood.
READ NEXT: For more ideas on how to incorporate the best brain foods in your diet, check out 25 Tasty Snacks Featuring the Best Brain Foods and The MIND Diet: How to Eat for a Healthy Mind (+ 42 Recipes).