Foods for Health

By Denise Albert Just as it felt like my last nerve was fraying from the strains of this global pandemic I hear,"Mom, I'm tired of this social distancing!" Finally, something my nine-year-old and I can agree on, I chuckled to myself. But the stress of this crisis isn't a laughing matter.

We are all doing the best, but it is still heartbreaking to see on the news that depression and anxiety is on the rise all over the world. So I wanted to spend a blog post sharing with you how nutrition can play a major role in keeping our bodies and minds healthier.

Good nutrition can increase our feelings of wellness, but let's address the elephant in the room, foods that make us feel lousy. They're easy to grab and we think they are bringing us comfort when in fact, they are complicating matters. So skip the chips and sodas. Set aside the cookies and that third cup of coffee.  

There are numerous evidence based studies that tout the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet and for good reason. This is more than a fad diet, it's an eating lifestyle that's full of healthy fats, vitamin and minerals, and antioxidants shown to keep our minds and bodies feeling their best. The Mediterranean diet focuses on colorful vegetables, spices that are rich in antioxidants, and fatty fish such as salmon that has a high content of good for your heart and brain fats.

Key to this and all healthy diets are vegetables, vegetables, and more vegetables!  Vegetables are powerhouses of the best variety of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants to keep your mind and body working properly. It's so important to find a cooking method for vegetables that you like. The Mediterranean Diet utilizes a roasting or sautéing cooking method which locks in those needed nutrients and adds a new component of flavor. The browning of vegetables especially while roasting is a favorite in my house. It's so easy!  If you haven't tried it I promise it will be your new go to for all your veg.  

Spices such as turmeric can have a significant positive effect on our metal health. Research suggests that it can help mediate pain and decrease anxiety. It can also help increase our immune system and boost our gut biome. I have seen turmeric turn up in everything from ice cream to coffee drinks because of these and many more amazing health benefits. And guess what? The Mediterranean Diet utilizes full flavored spices such as turmeric.  

Fatty fish such as wild salmon and rainbow trout are wonderfully flavorful but also contain some of the best fats known to keep our hearts and minds in tip top shape. Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids that are found in these oily or fatty fish are recommended for a least one meal per week. These type of fish cook up perfectly with any type of vegetable.

So guess what my family and I are enjoying this week? A wonderful salmon recipe that utilizes turmeric. Give it a try and stay healthy (mentally and physically) out there.    

Salmon with Turmeric Couscous Skillet

Serves 4


12oz portion Salmon cut into 3oz portions, or purchase 4 3oz portions at seafood counter

1 cup Couscous

1 1/2  cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon turmeric

3 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh or dried dill

1 tablespoon lemon zest

Season salmon portions with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, such as a Lodge iron skillet, mix couscous, chicken broth, and all ingredients except for the dill. Dill is added at the end.

Mix couscous mixture well. It will have a nice yellow color from the turmeric. Place salmon portions into couscous mixture skin side down. Cook over Medium heat with lid on for 8-10 minuets or until the couscous is tender and liquid is absorbed.  

Garnish liberally with dill and more lemon zest if desired. Enjoy this healthful meal that is good for your brain!

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