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7 Quick And Healthy Dinner Recipes For Busy People

7 Quick And Healthy Dinner Recipes For Busy People

If you’ve ever done a search for healthy dinner recipes, you’ll find that all the dinner ideas seem to be formal, Chef Cazzarana-type culinary works of art. As if modern people (like you and I) have time to whip up some snazzy hot meal with fresh-from-the-garden vegetables in Williams-Sonoma cookware every night! Most of us are usually happy to get dinner over and done with so we don’t have to listen to the zombie sounds from our stomachs while we get on to other things.

However, eating healthy is not just a beautiful concept, it is a way of life that can improve your overall health if done consistently. With a little patience and preparation, it is possible to cook and eat healthy, wholesome meals at dinner time. These meals don’t involve delivery pizza or microwave glorified lunchables. Without taking much time from your schedule, you can fix these meals for yourself, some friends, or for your entire family.

Here are 7 healthy dinner ideas for busy people just like you:

1. One Sheet Pan Parmesan Crusted Salmon with Roasted Broccoli

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    How easy is it to throw everything in one pan and let it cook together? This recipe from Cooking Classy has vegetables and meat all in one. It even is topped off with a crummy crust, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese.

    2. Slow Cooker Cheesy Italian Tortellini

    cheesy-italian-tortelini

      I’m with Betty Crocker on this one because I am so in love with cheese-filled Tortellini. With seven simple ingredients, you can put this together in the slow cooker on low in the morning or at noon time, and guess what? By dinner time, your food is hot and ready to serve.

      3. Fully-Loaded Sweet Potato

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        So if you’re not a big eater at dinner time because you don’t like to feel your stomach loaded right before you go to bed, this is a small scale dinner for you. This idea from Food Matters has all the garnishes you could love and takes just a little over an hour to prepare.

        4. One-Pan Italian Sausage and Peppers Pasta (Gluten-Free)

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          This is a helluva easy recipe from Iowa Girl Eats. Vegetables, meat, and pasta constitute this 30 minute dish and it’s all topped off with provolone cheese. Or maybe you could top it off with any cheese you like. Voila! While the quality of marinara sauce can be overstated, the shallots and cheese certainly bring out the taste.

          5. Chicken Milanese

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            Half Hour Eats presents this idea that takes just 20 minutes. Crispy chicken breasts join together with cool salad ingredients (like arugula) to create an inviting and lovely dinner, just for two, or for an entire crew.

            6. Mocha Hot Chocolate

            9 out of 9 Doctors prefer JAVA COAST ESPRESSO BAR

              I know. I know. This is not exactly a dinner but I couldn’t resist. Coffee flavored hot chocolate served up with your favorite biscotti is, well… the perfect dessert after a wonderful dinner. Come on, after all, it only has three simple ingredients. Go ahead. I know you want to.

              7. Slow Cooker Chicken Burrito Bowl

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                No. 2 Pencil serves up a snazzy idea of soft chicken combined with flavorful Mexican seasonings. With this recipe, you can throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning and forget it until dinner time. This makes great leftovers to freeze and works with burritos for tomorrow’s lunch.

                Featured photo credit: James Colquhoun / Food Matters via foodmatters.tv

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                Daniella Whyte

                Psychology Researcher

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                Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                1. Nuts

                The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                2. Blueberries

                Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                3. Tomatoes

                Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                4. Broccoli

                While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                6. Soy

                Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                7. Dark Chocolate

                When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                10. Gingko Biloba

                This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                11. Green and Black Tea

                Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                12. Sage and Rosemary

                Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                More About Boosting Brain Power

                Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                Reference

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