I eat, therefore I think

Other research has looked at particular fruits such as blueberries (especially the wild variety), which have come up smelling like roses. Both animal and human studies have repeatedly pointed to effects on brain function for those who regularly consume these berries. And while, in the past, they were limited as a summertime treat, frozen unsweetened wild blueberries are now available in freezer cases all year long.

Fish is another item to include on the menu as brain food. While it’s true that when fish replaces meat at meals, artery-clogging saturated fat counts drop, it seems fish offers a defence against cognitive decline due to its omega-3 content. In another Chicago study, researchers found that in subjects over 65 years of age, eating fish once a week was linked to a slower rate of cognitive decline and twice a week or more showed even better results.

But it may be only in a preventive role that fish with its omega-3 fats can keep mental function sharp. Swedish researchers tested fish oil capsules on subjects with both mild and advanced Alzheimer’s disease. While they offered benefit for those with very mild Alzheimer’s, they didn’t do so in those with the more advanced disease. The speculation is that the anti-inflammatory effects of fish oils on the brain are only effective before there are any signs of Alzheimer’s.

And fish’s nutritional perks are finally being recognized. It has even made it into the new Canada’s Food Guide recommendations, which suggest having it twice each week. Go for canned, fresh or frozen options. And speaking of the food guide, the new recommendations for fruit and vegetables for the 50-plus age group have been increased to seven servings each day. Are you there yet?

Fresh Salmon Burgers

Here’s a very yummy way to get in your omega-3s. While you can cut the recipe in half to make two servings, resist the temptation and instead have leftover burgers the next day. Enjoy the extras cold as a change of pace.

6 tbsp fresh whole-grain bread crumbs (1 slice of bread in the food processor) (90ml)

2 tbsp finely chopped shallots (25 ml)

1 egg

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (15 ml)

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill (15 ml)

2 tsp Dijon mustard (10 ml)

1 tsp prepared horseradish (5 ml)

1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper (1ml)

1 lb boneless, skinless salmon fillet, cut in chunks (500 g)

1 tsp olive oil (5 ml)


1/3 cup light mayonnaise (75 ml)

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh dill (15 ml)

2 tsp finely chopped shallots (10 ml)

1 tsp Dijon mustard (5 ml)

1 tsp fresh lemon juice (5 ml)

1 tsp drained and rinsed capers, finely chopped (5 ml)

Salt and freshly ground pepper

4 whole-grain hamburger rolls


4 large tomato slices

4 large onion slices Spring mix

•In food processor, combine breadcrumbs, shallots, egg, lemon juice, dill, mustard, horseradish, and salt and pepper; process until well mixed. Add salmon and process using on-off turns until salmon is coarsely ground and mixed with other ingredients. Form mixture into four patties about 3/4-inch (2-cm) thick. Place on large plate, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 4 hours.