Patch: Curing the Back to School Blues

Patch: Curing the Back to School Blues

Year after year, leaving the summer months behind and welcoming another school year can be a difficult and stressful adjustment. After relaxing and enjoying the sun-filled months, it can be a struggle to retrain your brain to focus, study and learn everyday. Luckily, there is one easy step that we can take to improve clarity and functionality.

Science shows us that eating a balanced and healthy diet doesn’t only ward off disease and build a strong immune system, but it also helps to improve brain function. Nutrition is a useful and fundamental tool in improving focus, memory and overall cognitive function.

In particular, foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, nuts and seeds improve mental skills like thinking, remembering and learning. Research also suggests that Omega-3’s also protect against Alzheimer’s, dementia and gradual memory loss. Fatty acids cannot be produced by the body, and therefore must be consumed through a balanced diet. Also vital to enhancing memory and thinking skills is Zinc and Vitamin E, which can be found in pumpkin seeds and spinach.

Adding these super-foods to your daily diet is an easy and effective way to improve cognitive function and make going back to school a bit easier. Follow the recipes below for some easy, flavorful and most importantly, nutrient-rich school night dinner ideas.

Recipe

What you need to prepare the salmon:
1 piece of salmon
1 cup of chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon of: olive oil, Stone Ground Mustard, honey
Half a cup of Panko
Half a teaspoon of dried thyme
Salt and Pepper

What you need to prepare the rice:
1 Cup Brown Rice
2 Cups Salted Water
Half a cup of pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil
Half a teaspoon of: Cayenne Pepper, Onion Powder, and Garlic Powder

Salad
1 Package of Spinach washed and dried
Have a cup of blueberries
1 Avocado, sliced
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
1.5 Tbsp’s Balsamic Vinegar

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For Salmon:
Step 1: Combine walnuts, panko, 1 Tbsp olive oil, thyme and salt and pepper in a bowl and mix. Combine honey and mustard in separate bowl.
Step 2: Place salmon in a greased baking dish and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brush with honey mustard mixture, and spread the walnut-panko mixture evenly across the piece of salmon, patting gently to ensure the mixture sticks.
Step 3: Place in the oven and cook for 35-45 minutes.

For Rice:
Step 1: Cook rice according to package instructions and keep warm on the stove.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine pumpkin seeds, olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Transfer to a frying pan over medium heat and roast seeds for 3-5 minutes.
Step 3: Combine rice and pumpkin seeds and serve.

For Salad
Step 1: Combine lettuce, blueberries and avocado and toss with balsamic and oil.
* Studies have shown that blueberries significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills. Blueberries also help to protect the brain from age-related issues such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
* Avocados are packed with Vitamin E, a valuable antioxidant that is proven to improve cognitive function.

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