Daddy's Christmas Angel

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Brain Fitness and Nutrition

How important is your diet when it comes to brain health? According to a great deal of research, it means a lot.

As I read about so many diets and plans, the thing that stands out most to me is that certain foods are almost always there. One of those is broccoli. I see it over and over as almost a miracle vegetable. In the article, "Eat Your Way to Brain Health", Amy Paturel cites a study from Martha Clare Morris, professor of nutritional epidemiology at Rush University, "people who ate one to two servings of green leafy vegetables a day were cognitively 11 years younger than those who ate fewer greens." (Leafy greens include broccoli, spinach, and kale, according to this article.)

Crab Cake Dinner ©Mary Montague Sikes
The MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet "emphasizes fish, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, beans, and a daily glass of wine." It also stresses berries and leafy greens. This diet claims to cut the risk of Alzheimer's by as much as a whopping 53%.

Over and over, I read about the benefits of eating blueberries to achieve "the best cognitive perks". Other important items to improve brain health are olive oil, avocados,tomatoes, walnuts, grapes, coffee, and dark chocolate. Writers especially appreciate the addition of dark chocolate to their brain fitness diets.

I hope that crab cakes fit under the fish category to provide a boost in brain health. Every night, I try to have a green leafy salad with arugula, tomatoes, and avocados as part of our dinner.

Here is a broccoli salad recipe I often use. Perhaps the addition of blueberries would make it even more brain healthy. The bacon might need to be deleted, but perhaps we can have one vice.

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Florets
6 to 8 slices of bacon crumbled
½ cup chopped yellow onion
1 package of craisins-5 oz. size
8 ounces cheese, cheddar or whatever, cut into very small pieces
1 cup Hellmann's mayonnaise (or whatever amount seems good)
Cherry tomatoes halved or grape tomatoes
Seasoned salt and pepper to taste

Cut up broccoli to manageable size pieces. Place in large bowl. Add bacon, onion, craisins, and cheese. Mix. Add tomatoes and mayonnaise. Add seasonings and toss gently. Place in serving bowl and garnish with tomato halves and arugula. 

Do you have a brain fitness plan?


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Monti - I eat a lot of salads and veg ... having a salad every lunch time and then something with veg in the evening. I love spinach - for some reason I've gone off broccoli - I think because it's the vegetable given when one is eating out. We used to have fresh veg while I was growing up and purple sprouting broccoli was delicious .. freshly picked from the plant.

I do look after my brain - but could do more! Crab cakes look and sound wonderful .. cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not a plan, but that's a lot of what I eat already. People don't realize how much effect food has on us, negative and positive.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Hilary, sounds like you are doing the perfect diet. I love crab cakes and often judge a restaurant by them. However, they probably are not good brain food except for the salad that often comes with them.

Alex, diet is definitely important. Some foods make me feel sluggish, so I stay away from them!

Birgit said...

I am hypoglycemic so I know food does huge service or disservice depending on what you eat. Do I cheat? Unfortunately, yes because I have a strong sweet tooth inherited from my dad but I try to cheat little-chocolate is my vice which I flunked on Friday and Yesterday because of Halloween. I bought the chocolate Friday night and had some. Other than cheating once in a while I actually eat a lot of fish, I have broccoli at least 3 times or more per week and love berries and fruit! I eat nuts. I love sea food so crab cakes is always good.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Birgit, it sounds like you have a great healthy diet. Dark chocolate is good for you! Thanks for visiting.