Warm-Spiced Chickpeas and Couscous with Grapes and Arugula

Give your brain a boost! Here are 5 ways to promote a healthy brain.

Within the realm of overall health, an understandable emphasis has often been placed on physical fitness. Yet, it is crucial to recognize the indispensable role that brain health plays in leading a meaningful and fulfilling life.

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As the central hub that directs the human body, the brain significantly impacts every facet of existence. Ensuring its health requires nourishment, proper rest, and the right form of stimulation.

Adopting a diet abundant in wholesome foods, inclusive of fruits and vegetables like grapes, sets the groundwork for optimal brain health. Studies have suggested that grapes may act as a safeguard against the brain’s metabolic decline associated with natural aging. In one investigation by researchers at UCLA, it was found that consuming approximately 2 1/4 cups of grapes daily preserved healthy metabolic activity in brain regions associated with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease.

Incorporating grapes into your favorite health-conscious recipes or enjoying them as a standalone snack can contribute to a healthier brain. Let’s delve into other ways to bolster brain health, as proposed by experts from the Mayo Clinic.

Sleep Health
Health specialists recommend a target of a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night. As highlighted by the Mayo Clinic, sufficient sleep can potentially enhance memory and brain health by offering the brain time to consolidate memories effectively.

Nutrition-focused Diet
A nutritionally balanced diet not only benefits the body in various ways but also plays a pivotal role in brain health. Diets like the Mediterranean diet, characterized by plant-based foods, whole grains, fish, healthy fats, and an array of fruits and vegetables, are particularly endorsed by health experts. An example of a beneficial recipe would be Warm-Spiced Chickpeas and Couscous with Grapes and Arugula. This recipe, being heart-friendly, underlines the adage that what benefits the heart, benefits the brain as well.

Active Socializing
Regular interaction with family and friends is critical. As per health experts from the Mayo Clinic, staying socially active helps counter the effects of depression and stress, factors that could potentially contribute to memory loss.

Regular Exercise
Regular physical exercise provides well-documented benefits for the body. Furthermore, it also benefits the brain by promoting increased blood flow. After finishing your workout, consider a post-workout snack like Grapes from California for a quick energy lift and natural hydration.

Keep Your Mind Active
Just as with the muscles in your body, the brain needs to be regularly used to keep it robust. There is an endless variety of ways to engage the mind, from crossword or jigsaw puzzles to reading, learning a new language, playing cards, or even tackling Sudoku puzzles.

For further information about the connection between grapes and health, or to explore nutritious recipes, consider visiting GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

Now for the good stuff.

This satisfying, nutrient-packed medley not only fuels the brain but also tantalizes the palate. Earthy undertones of the Israeli pearl couscous and chickpeas combined with the subtle heat of cumin, the unique hint of allspice, and the vibrant hues of turmeric, lends a delicate weave of flavors. The addition of sweet, crisp Californian red grapes lends a surprising yet harmonious contrast to the overall savoriness.

Ideal as a hearty side dish for your summer cookout, this colorful, texture-rich dish can be served warm or at room temperature.

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 20 mins

Serves: 4


  • 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


  1. 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.  
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

2 thoughts on “Warm-Spiced Chickpeas and Couscous with Grapes and Arugula

  1. Hey there! We absolutely love reading people’s blogs and the thoughtful content that creators like you publish. Your unique voice enriches the engaging online community that we all cherish . Keep sharing and connecting your audience, because your ideas can make a positive impact on the world. We can’t wait to read what you’ll create next!

    Thanks- Jason

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