Charlotte Grainger

Plant-Based Meals That Are Good for Your Brain 

 Healthy vegan meals

Eating well is the foundation to health. While we can all get into a slump now and then (hello, Deliveroo and UberEats!), consuming a balanced diet could make all the difference to your everyday wellness. Now that we’re officially in 2022, it might be a good time to revamp your diet and start including more plant-based ingredients than before. Within this guide, we will take a look at why doing so is good for your brain and where to start. 

The Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

Switching to a predominantly plant-based diet yields countless benefits including increased heart health, weight loss, and lower blood pressure. However, new research points to further rewards you can expect to reap here. Published last month, a brand new study from the University of Barcelona suggests that a diet rich in plant-based ingredients could reduce the risk of both cognitive impairment and dementia as you age. 

Put simply, the food you choose to eat could have a direct impact on the way your brain works. The study authors found that there was a unique relationship with the metabolism of dietary components, intestinal microbiota, endogenous metabolism and cognitive impairment. Cutting out the jargon, that means that the way that your body metabolises your food and the microorganisms it produces in your gut impact your mind. 

Whether you choose to go all in and become fully vegan or simply add more plant-based options to your meal plan, you’re sure to improve your diet. Fortunately enough, there are plenty of delicious, cheap, and easy plant-based meals you can whip up in minutes. 

Healthy plant-based meals

The Best Plant-Based Meals to Try

Ready to get cooking? It’s time to grab your apron and chef’s hat and get to work. While there are plenty of different plant-based recipes out there, it’s worth being picky about what you make. Fake meat and processed ingredients are rarely healthy, even though they might be 100% vegan. With that in mind, you should always opt for wholefood ingredients, such as vegetables and legumes when making the majority of your meals. If you’re looking for some inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Here are some simple recipes to try now. 

1. Vegan Chilli Sin Carne 

Do you love heat when you eat? If the answer is yes, you might want to give a vegan chilli sin carne a whirl. The main elements of this recipe are lentils, beans, and vegetables alongside a spiced sauce that packs a whole lot of punch. You can be as creative as you please. For example, you might want to add some sweet potato for flavour or even grate some high-quality dark chocolate into the sauce for additional sweetness. 

Recipes: Vegan Chilli or Best Vegan Chilli

2. Lightly-Spiced Dhal 

Sticking with the spicy theme for a moment here, a dhal is a quick and easy recipe that everyone should have in their back pocket. If you enjoy South Asian food, learning how to make this from scratch will mean that you’re never at a loss. The basis for the dish is lentils, garlic, ginger, garam masala, and other spices. You can batch-cook a large amount of this warming, winter treat and freeze portions for later. Give it a go. 

Recipes: Red Lentil Dhal or Super Simple Dhal

Vegan Salad Bowl

3. Colourful Salad Bowls 

Looking for a snappy way to boost your nutrition? Creating a colourful salad bowl gives you heaps of vitamins and minerals, especially if you include a handful of raw ingredients. Salads don’t always have to be limp-looking lettuce and sliced beef tomato. You can tailor this plant-based meal to suit your taste. For example, if you’ve got a penchant for peppers, chop some up. If you’re a fan of hummus, scoop some up and put it in the middle. 

Recipes: Protein-Packed Buddha Bowl or Colourful Salad Bowl

4. Vegan Stuffed Peppers

When you’re in a rush, one of the easiest plant-based recipes you can make is vegan stuffed peppers. Simply grab some bell peppers, slice them in half and fill them with a wholesome ingredient of your choice. You may find that quinoa works well or some spiced beans. The choice is yours. Take the time to figure out what works for you. 

Recipes: Vegan Stuffed Bell Peppers or Italian Stuffed Peppers

Vegan avocado on toast

5. Avocado on Toast

Picture the scene: It’s Sunday morning, you’ve just put on a pot of fresh coffee and now you’re thinking about brunch. The obvious plant-based option has to be avocado on toast. Packed with potassium, folate, and fibre, this fruit is a healthy way to start the day. There are countless ways to season this dish. You may want to use lemon juice, chilli flakes, salt, or any other extras that you fancy. Extra points if you use sourdough for the toast.

Recipes: Avocado Toast or Avocado on Toast

The Takeaway

Fancy upgrading your everyday diet? Now that you’ve got some easy plant-based recipes under your belt, there’s nothing holding you back. It’s well worth learning a few dishes that you can make when you’re not entirely in the mood for cooking. Get started today.