The cookbook author of “Power of 5 Test Kitchen Cookbook Your Guide to Healthy Cooking and Eating” Melissa Bernstein, OT, FAOTA, joined Gayle Guyardo the host of the global health and wellness show Bloom about the important of feeding your brain healthy foods.

“Our brain is a very important organ, one that needs protection, not only from external events such as biking or other sports activities where a fall or accident may happen. Protecting your internal brain, and that where healthy eating come in. Food is medicine and by providing a nourishing “clean diet”  primarily filled with whole plant based foods including fresh vegetable, fruits, grains, legumes, bean, lean protein (fish, poultry, tofu or lean meat) promote brain health.” said Bernstein.

She went on to say, “All of us need to take care of our brains.”

Bernstein explained many people are concerned about cognitive decline or developing dementia, and she believes the foods we eat can make a huge difference in our brain health. 

“Sugar consumption is a risk factor for many health conditions, including dementia.”, said Bernstein. 

Bernstein explained diets that contribute to inflammation put people at risk that is why there are 3 major items to manage in your eating lifestyle to reduce risk.   

Bernstein says brain foods can be delicious. “Healthy Chia Seed Power Pudding Inspired by The Minimalist Baker, is a healthy breakfast, snack or dessert.” she said. 

Bernstein went on to say, “Chia seeds are packed with fiber, minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, selenium,
and zinc, antioxidants that protect our body, and omega-3 fatty acids.”

 Here are the recipes Bernstein shared on Bloom:                                           

• 1 ½ cups almond or cashew milk (Use a full fat coconut milk to make a creamier 
and thicker pudding.)
• ½ cup chia seeds
• 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup, may omit
• 1 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 tsp. cinnamon, more to taste (I’m a big cinnamon fan!)
• ¼ cup blueberries, strawberries or sliced banana, as desired
In a mixing bowl, add dairy-free milk, chia seeds, maple syrup (optional), and vanilla. 
Whisk to combine.
Cover and refrigerate overnight (at least 6 hours). The chia pudding should be thick and 
creamy. If not, add more chia seeds, stir, and refrigerate for another hour or so.
Enjoy as is, or layer with banana or fresh berries! Keep covered in the refrigerator for up 
to 5 days.
This is such an easy recipe with a lot of variety based on your tastes. Other flavors to 
consider include coffee, chocolate, banana, or other fruits for flavor. Omit maple syrup,
or use your preferred sweetener as desired.
Serving: 1 serving – 164 Calories; 11.8g Fat; 5.3g Sat. Fat; 12.4g Carbs; 6.9g Fiber; 
3.3g Sugar; 0mg Cholesterol; 10mg Sodium; 3.3g Protein; 93mg Potassium; Vitamins A
& C; Calcium and Iron
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with light coconut milk, maple 
syrup, and without additional toppings/garnishes

Versatile Kale Salad:

• 4 bunches leafy, curly kale (about 1lb.)
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (low fat or plant-based Parmesan cheese)
• 3 bunches scallions (about 2 cups), finely chopped (can substitute with a sweet
• 6 stalks hearts of palms (about 2 cups), sliced widthwise
• 1 cup raisins (use currents or golden raisins if you prefer)
• 1 cup pine nuts or sunflower seeds, toasted
• 4 6 oz. grilled chicken breasts, fish, or tofu, for added protein
• 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil. Keep 1 Tbsp. aside for massaging the kale.
• 2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• Himalayan pink salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1. Prepare pine nuts or sunflower seeds by spreading them on an aluminum foil covered
baking sheet and toast in a small oven. Or you can toast them in a pan. Keep an eye on
the pine nuts because they burn easily. Once they are golden brown, set them aside.
2. Remove the leaves from the stems. (This is also called deboning the kale), 
To remove the leaves, hold the bottom of the stem with your thumb and forefinger at the 
bottom of the leaves. Hold firmly and push up on the leaves to the top of the stem in a 
quick motion. Chiffonade the leaves (cut very thin ribbons) or tear into bite-size pieces. 
Place the shredded kale into a large bowl, add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and a dash (or two) of 
salt (1/8 tsp.). This tenderizes and softens the kale. Begin to massage the kale with your 
hands until well blended. The kale will release its firmness in your hands and the oil and 
salt will be well blended.
3. Add cheese, scallions, hearts of palm, and raisins in with the kale and mix. 
4. In a separate small bowl, mix all the salad dressing ingredients

BLOOM is Tampa Bay’s only daily 1-hour TV show focusing on health & lifestyle.

You can watch weekdays at 2:00pm only on WFLA News Channel 8 — with an encore broadcast late night 3:00am. Tune into BLOOM and watch your life grow!

Bloom is also part of DBTV Network Seen In Over 300 Million Households worldwide, including Roku TV, and Amazon Fire. 

The health and lifestyle show also airs in 40 markets across the country, with a reach of approximately 36 million households, and in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and Madison, WI.