Ioften say food is information, not just calories. Food influences just about every part of your health including gene function, hormones, your immune system, and gut flora.
So if you want to help a particular area of your health, you’ll want to look at which foods provide the most nutrients for the systems involved.
And since most of your brain is made up DHA, which is a long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, we already know that quality omega-3 fats can improve cognition, memory, and mood.1 In fact, scientists have found that aged rats that were given omega-3 supplementation reversed age-related neuronal changes and maintained learning and memory performance.2
It’s clear that if you want to support your brain and memory you’ll want to eat plenty of omega-3 fatty acids which are found in oily fish such as mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines, and—this recipe’s star—salmon.
Conversely, research also shows that omega-3 deficiencies increase the likelihood of depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and bipolar disorder.1
The addition of cucumbers in this recipe may also protect your brain. That’s because cucumbers contain an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin that may be useful to brain function. In one study, fisetin was found to prevent progressive memory and learning impairments in mice with Alzheimer’s.3 So if you want to remember better, whip up this recipe for a delicious brain and memory booster.
- Sinn N, Milte C, Howe PR. Oiling the brain: a review of randomized controlled trials of omega-3 fatty acids in psychopathology across the lifespan. Nutrients. 2010 Feb; 2(2):128-170.
- Dyall S. Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. Front Aging Neurosci. 2015; 7:52.
- Currais A, Prior M, Dargusch R, et al. Modulation of p25 and inflammatory pathways by fisetin maintains cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease transgenic mice. Aging Cell. 2014 Apr; 13(2):379-390.
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tbs caraway seeds
1 tbs yellow mustard seeds
¾ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp, plus a pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 large seedless cucumbers, thinly sliced
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skin-on wild salmon fillets
5 ½ ounces baby arugula
1 Belgian endive, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh dill, plus more for garnish
1 tbs almond oil or extra-virgin olive oil
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
Combine vinegar, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, ½ tsp salt, and a pinch of black pepper in a large bowl. Add the cucumbers and stir to coat. Let stand, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the salmon. Heat a well-seasoned stovetop grill pan or large skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the flesh side of the salmon fillets with ¼ tsp each of salt and pepper. Place the fillets skin-side up in the pan and cook until the flesh releases easily from the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until the salmon is just opaque throughout, about 4 more minutes.
While the salmon cooks, toss the arugula, endive, dill, and oil with cucumber mixture. Divide the salad among four plates. Top each with a salmon fillet and garnish with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and dill. Serve immediately.