(Family Features) When it comes to staying healthy, there is a natural emphasis on physical fitness. However, it’s important to know that nurturing and maintaining brain health is also important for leading a fulfilling life.
The brain is the command center of the human body and as such, influences every aspect of life. Maintaining brain health requires providing it with nourishment, rest and healthy stimulation.
Consuming healthy, whole foods, including vegetables and fruits, such as grapes, can help establish a strong foundation for brain health. For example, grapes may help protect against metabolic decline in the brain associated with natural aging; in a human study of elderly subjects with mild cognitive decline, UCLA researchers found consuming 2 1/4 cups of grapes every day preserved healthy metabolic activity in regions of the brain associated with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, where metabolic decline takes hold.
Adding grapes to your favorite healthy recipes, or enjoying them as a simple snack, helps support a healthy brain. Consider these additional ways to promote positive brain health from the experts at the Mayo Clinic.
Health experts recommend aiming for at least seven hours of sleep per night. As noted by the Mayo Clinic, adequate sleep may help boost overall memory and brain health by giving the brain time to effectively consolidate memories.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Eating nutritiously benefits the body in many ways, including playing a role in brain health. Healthy eating plans like the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes plant-based foods, whole grains, fish, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, are thought by experts to be especially beneficial. Recipes like Warm-Spiced Chickpeas and Couscous with Grapes and Arugula deliver an array of ingredients to support brain health in delicious ways. This recipe is also heart smart because what is good for the heart is also good for the brain.
Keep in touch with family and friends. According to health experts, including the Mayo Clinic, staying connected and interacting socially can help defend against depression and stress, which may contribute to memory loss.
Staying physically active provides well-known benefits for the body, and exercising can also benefit the brain by increasing blood flow to it. Once your workout is over, turn to a post-workout snack like Grapes from California for an energy boost and natural hydration.
Keep Your Mind Active
Like muscles throughout your body, the brain should be used continuously to strengthen it. With nearly endless ways to stimulate the mind, there’s something for everyone to keep their brains in shape from crossword or jigsaw puzzles to reading, learning a new language, playing cards or conquering sudoku.
To find more information about the connection between grapes and health, or discover nutritious recipes, visit GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
Warm-Spiced Chickpeas and Couscous with Grapes and Arugula
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 cup Israeli pearl couscous
- 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 can (15 ounces) no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
- 1 cup red Grapes from California, halved
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cups lightly packed baby arugula
- lemon wedges
- In large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and allspice; cook, stirring, until onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Add couscous and stir 1 minute to toast lightly. Add turmeric and water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until couscous is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir chickpeas, grapes and cilantro into couscous then season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer couscous-grape mixture to large bowl, add arugula and toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories; 12 g protein; 61 g carbohydrates; 9 g fat (17% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (2% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 8 g fiber.
(Family Features) Sharing a delicious, home-cooked meal with loved ones is something to look forward to and preparing such a meal can be easier than you think. Simple touches that add some flair make all the difference. For example, adding grapes as a signature ingredient adds a unique color and flavor accent that turns everyday meals into something special.
As a highly versatile addition to appetizers, snacks, main courses, sides and desserts, Grapes from California are an essential ingredient to keep on hand. In this Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner with Grapes, Carrots and Parsnips, the grapes – thanks to their delicate sweetness and juicy texture – enhance the savory chicken and earthy vegetables and bring all the flavors together for a delicious meal.
Visit GrapesfromCalifornia.com to find more sweet recipes fit for family gatherings.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner with Grapes, Carrots and Parsnips
- Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 4 bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed and visible fat trimmed
- 2 medium onions, sliced 1/3-inch thick
- 3 carrots, peeled and cut in 2-by-1/2-inch sticks
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and cut in 2-by-1/2-inch sticks
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 1/4 cups red Grapes from California
- Heat oven to 400 F with rack in center. Line shallow baking sheet (10-by-15 inches or 11-by-17 inches) with parchment paper or foil. If using foil, spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, stir oil, cumin, turmeric, salt and garlic. Add chicken, turning to coat, then transfer smooth side up to baking sheet. Add onions, carrots and parsnips to bowl and toss in remaining spiced oil then distribute around chicken on baking sheet. Season with freshly ground pepper, to taste.
- Roast chicken and vegetables 25 minutes. Sprinkle grapes over vegetables and roast about 5 minutes until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with tip of small, sharp knife.
- Note: For softer roasted grapes, add to pan earlier.
- Nutritional information per serving: 410 calories; 31 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (37% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (8% calories from saturated fat); 155 mg cholesterol; 470 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.
(Family Features) As children head back to school and parents work to balance hectic schedules, it can be difficult to maintain a meal plan that doesn’t consume too much time. Make your morning meals, lunchbox packing and meal prepping easier by including time-saving hacks like easy-to-use ingredients and recipes.
Getting back into a routine can be stressful, but Cheesy Quinoa Bites offer a kid-friendly, parent-approved breakfast option that can be enjoyed at the kitchen counter, on the way to school or as a snack during the day. Try making them Sunday evening then simply reheating throughout the week for an appetizing way to encourage kiddos to eat their veggies and start the day strong.
For a snack to be enjoyed as a mid-morning treat or afternoon pick-me-up, pack these Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars in lunchboxes to help boost energy with a sweet-and-savory combination. Or, you can store them in the fridge and keep them at home as a reward after a long day of learning.
Ready in just 10 minutes, Success Boil-in-Bag quinoa and rice are the keys to these quick and easy recipes with a no measure, no mess process that makes cooking simple. Enjoyed by kids and adults alike, they’re made using high-quality ingredients to help you and your loved ones enjoy hassle-free school days from start to finish.
Find more back-to-school snacking solutions at SuccessRice.com .
Cheesy Quinoa Bites
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 bag Success Tri-Color Quinoa
- 2 cups aged cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup broccoli florets, cooked and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup orange bell pepper, finely diced
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease 12 muffin cups. Cook quinoa according to package directions; let cool slightly.
- Stir together quinoa, 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, eggs, broccoli, bell pepper and salt. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
- Bake 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool slightly in pan on rack; invert onto rack and let cool completely or serve warm.
Substitution: Use finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, black olives or pickled jalapeno peppers for orange bell pepper, if desired.
Pine Nut Strawberry Rice Bars
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Yield: 36 bars
- 1 bag Success White Rice or Brown Rice
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup strawberry jam
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/2 cup unsalted pine nuts, chopped
- Prepare rice according to package directions. Coat 9-by-13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In bowl or electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, sugar and strawberry jam until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and lemon extract; continue beating until well mixed.
- In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder, turmeric and baking soda.
- Add rice to flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Combine rice mixture with egg mixture. Gently fold in strawberries and nuts.
- Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes.
- Remove bars from oven and cool in pan. Once cool, transfer to cutting board and cut into 36 bars. Store in refrigerator.
Source: Success Rice
(Family Features) Fun in the summer sun can mean anything from poolside play and outdoor exercise to simply relaxing in the shade. While these activities make the season special for people of all ages, the heat also leads to the inevitable: sweat.
Electrolytes, critical for the human body to function, are lost via sweat throughout the day. Drinking plenty of fluids, such as water, helps keep you hydrated. However, adding 100% orange juice to your diet can help replace those lost electrolytes in addition to aiding hydration. According to a study published in the “Journal of Nutrition and Health Sciences,” drinking 100% orange juice following exercise contributes to hydration equally as well as water and sports drinks, making the beverage a viable alternative for recovery.
“Electrolytes include nutrients such as potassium, sodium, magnesium and calcium,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “In fluids, these nutrients carry an electric charge, which allows muscles to contract and nerves to transmit signals, and are critical for the human body to function. Plain water contains few if any electrolytes, so you must replace lost electrolytes by consuming foods or beverages that contain these nutrients. Drinking fluids that contain both water and electrolytes, such as 100% orange juice, may help support hydration.”
In fact, 100% orange juice contains about 90% water and can contribute to overall water intake. With no added sugar, it’s an ideal way to support hydration by drinking it on its own or by adding it to recipes like this Healthy Broccoli Salad with Miso Orange Dressing or Pineapple Orange Smoothie.
Consider these major electrolytes found in orange juice:
- Potassium: The major electrolyte within all cells, it helps balance fluid in the body with a strong relationship to sodium, the major electrolyte in the blood and outside the cells. Potassium is especially important for regulating heart rhythm and function. An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice provides 10% of the recommended daily value for potassium.
- Magnesium: The fourth-most abundant mineral in the body and essential in the regulation of muscle contraction, cardiac excitability, blood pressure and other vital processes. An 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice contains 6% of the recommended daily value for magnesium.
- Calcium: Found in fortified varieties of orange juice, calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, nerve transmission and the contraction and relaxation of the cardiovascular system. As an excellent source of calcium, an 8-ounce serving of fortified orange juice provides 30% of the recommended daily value.
Visit floridajuice.com to find more recipes that aid in summer hydration.
Healthy Broccoli Salad with Miso Orange Dressing
- 2 heads broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 cups purple cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
Miso Orange Dressing:
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 tablespoons miso
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 1 shallot
- To make salad: In bowl, toss broccoli, cabbage, raisins, almonds and green onions.
- To make miso orange dressing: In food processor or blender, pulse orange juice, canola oil, miso, almond butter and shallot until smooth.
- Pour dressing over salad, tossing to coat. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.
Pineapple Orange Smoothie
- 1 cup Florida Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup plain almond milk
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 scoop walnuts
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 2-3 ice cubes
- 1 scoop plain protein powder (optional)
- In large blender, blend orange juice, almond milk, frozen banana, frozen pineapple, turmeric, walnuts, cayenne, ice cubes and protein powder, if desired, until smooth.
- Portion into two small glasses.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
(Family Features) Mornings may look different from the norm for many families but staying on track with healthy choices remains a top priority. While you may not be stopping at your favorite coffeehouse on the way to work or school drop-off, a new way to enjoy coffee has grown in popularity, allowing you to get more out of your cup of joe from home.
The popular trend, known as "proffee," got its name from a protein and coffee combination that adds nutritional benefits to coffee drinks. By adding a protein-rich option like Premier Protein 30g High Protein Shakes to your coffee, latte or cappuccino - hot or iced - your cup can provide you with up to 30 grams of protein and 24 vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants vitamins C and E that help support a healthy immune system.
Available in nine indulgent flavors - including fan favorites like Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Cinnamon Roll and Cookies and Cream - these shakes make it easy to stay on track with your health goals and allow for "proffee" personalization. Plus, they can be enjoyed straight from the container as part of a nutritious breakfast, afternoon snack, post-workout boost or as an ingredient in a protein-packed recipe.
For those looking to make their own proffee, a Chocolate Latte is as simple as it is nutritious. Basic in the best way, you can enjoy the benefits of coffee, but with protein, vitamins and the addition of delicious chocolate notes. Or, for another warm coffeehouse-style option, you can take advantage of the many health benefits of curcumin and turmeric in a Golden Turmeric Vanilla Protein Latte. A sprinkle of pepper may sound odd in your latte, but the pepper can actually improve your body's absorption of the turmeric.
To learn more, visit premierprotein.com.
- 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee or 2 shots espresso
- 1 Premier Protein 30g High Protein Chocolate Shake
- 2 teaspoons cocoa nibs
- In large 14-16-ounce mug, prepare espresso or coffee.
- Pour chocolate shake on top to combine.
- Top with cocoa nibs.
Nutritional information per serving: 203 calories; 6.4 g total fat; 2.4 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 189.6 mg sodium; 7.7 g total carbohydrates; 4 g dietary fiber; 1.1 g total sugars; 30.9 g protein; 6 mcg vitamin D; 23 mg vitamin C; 3.8 mg vitamin E; 650 mg calcium; 3.5 mg iron; 538 mg potassium.
Golden Turmeric Vanilla Protein Latte
- 1 Premier Protein 30g High Protein Vanilla Shake
- 2 shots espresso
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 dash black pepper
- Froth vanilla shake using frother on warm setting. If you don't have a frother, simply shake in container 45 seconds, pour into mug and microwave 45 seconds.
- Add espresso to 14-16-ounce mug then top with frothed shake, turmeric, cinnamon and black pepper; whisk to combine.
Nutritional information per serving: 171.3 calories; 3.3 g total fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 238.6 mg sodium; 6.6 g total carbohydrates; 1.7 g dietary fiber; 1.1 g total sugars; 30.1 g protein; 6 mcg vitamin D; 23 mg vitamin C; 3.8 mg vitamin E; 650.2 mg calcium; 2.5 mg iron; 348 mg potassium.
Source: Premier Protein
(Family Features) Stir up sippable, flavorful drinks and snacking soups for easy ways to add more wellness to your day. Start with robust flavors like turmeric, cayenne and ginger then pair with wholesome ingredients like pineapple, dandelion greens and cucumber to create delicious sips to help you awaken, stay energized or replenish.
Fill your glass (or mug) with a breakfast boost to jumpstart your morning, a smoky sipping broth for an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening elixir to help rebalance after a busy day.
- Spiced Cucumber and Apple Morning Boost – Start the day right with this fresh, homemade drink. This invigorating wake-me-up blends clementine, cucumber and Granny Smith apple with ice, while a pinch of red pepper brings the zing.
- Fizz ’n’ Fruit Energizer – Your morning can get a boost with this citrusy refresher, mixing sparkling clementine juice with muddled apple and cucumber, and a splash of cayenne-spiked simple syrup.
- Smoky Avocado and Mushroom Drinkable Soup – This satisfying, snackable soup combines fragrant smoky chipotle pepper with creamy avocado and fresh cucumbers. Top it off with chopped oyster mushrooms sauteed with herbs and pistachios.
- Herbed Mushroom Sipping Broth with Avocado Oil Drizzle – Power through the day with this rich, filling broth made with fresh oyster mushrooms and seasoned with aromatic herbs like rubbed sage and thyme. For the perfect finish, drizzle avocado oil before serving.
- Ginger, Turmeric and Beet Sipping Elixir – Rebalance at the end of the day with a tangy, spiced sipping elixir over ice. With ingredients like ginger, turmeric and apple cider vinegar, it’s loaded with nutritional goodness. Transform it into a tasty Old Fashioned cocktail with the addition of bourbon, orange liqueur, sugar and a maraschino cherry garnish.
- Pineapple Turmeric Mocktail with Muddled Dandelion Greens – Finish the day with a replenishing mocktail. Muddle fresh pineapple with ginger, turmeric and dandelion greens then top with a splash of sparkling water.
(Family Features) Although you may share a passion for a favorite sports team, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to the tailgating menu. Enter these seven dips: from a yogurt turmeric dip to spicy buffalo chicken dip, you’re sure to please nearly every game-day guest.
There won’t be any trash talk when it comes to this dip. It’s the ultimate ooey, gooey, cheesy dish that’s sure to be all the rage at game-day parties and social gatherings.
Games and wings go hand-in-hand, but you can keep hands mess-free with this alternative that combines all the flavors of savory Buffalo chicken wings in a warm, creamy dip.
Think outside the box this season with a dip that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Bacon, Georgia peaches, sweet onions and a brown sugar bourbon marinade are complemented by pecans for a nutty, crunchy finish.
Low-fat yogurt and milk blend with golden turmeric and cinnamon for a tangy dip just waiting for crispy dippers like pita chips and veggies.
Move over cheesy, chili dips – the tangy sweetness of orange juice, carrots and honey make for a simple dip you can feel good about devouring.
Warm up with this crowd-pleasing dip made with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese and Parmesan.
Simply mix together a can of black beans, chopped tomatoes and spices like chili powder and cumin for an easy dip to throw together for last-minute guests.