THE ONE-PAGE ARTICLE* EXTOLLED the virtues of four foods scientists suggest may have a protective effect to enhance memory and mental abilities into our senior years. The headline on the magazine article promised we could maintain our cognitive brilliance into old age, if we ate these brain-boosting foods every day.
OK, I’M IN! Today, I will eat all four (4) of the brain -boosting foods.
IT SEEMS THAT THE ANTIOXIDANTS in the blueberries may result in more oxygen-rich blood circulating to the brain. The goal is to eat a cup of blueberries daily. In one briefly quoted study of 16,000 women, researchers found the women who ate more blueberries had “younger minds”. .
I LOVE BLEUBERRIES, so this one is easy. When blueberries are in season, I freeze several large containers for the freezer. Since they can be frozen without being washed, it doesn’t take much time. They freeze in separate, sweet balls. Throughout the year, I can grab a handful, rinse them well, and add to cereal, smoothies, muffins, ice cream, or salad.
FOR BREAKFAST TODAY, I add blueberries to wheat chex cereal, with strawberries, bananas and walnuts. The wheat chex adds additional fiber for a healthy start to the day, and a breakfast so crunchy and sweet tasting.
YOGURT THAT IS FORTIFIED with vitamin D will give us about 20% of this vitamin we need every day. It is suggested that vitamin D may help strengthen connections among the cells of the brain, and some research has found that a loss of cognitive ability is associated with lower levels of vitamin D.
YOGURT CAN BE USED IN MULTIPLE WAYS in the kitchen, such as: a yogurt and dill topping for grouper or talipia; added to muffins for moistness; fruit and yogurt as a dessert or snack.
I DECIDE TO MAKE A YOGURT smoothie today. I blend the following ingredients in a smoothie blender: ice, yogurt, skim milk, blueberries, strawberries, vanilla flavoring, honey, strawberry Slimfast protein powder. Hmmm. So icy and creamy and very filling!
I DO LIKE CABBAGE, BUT I don’t know if I want to eat it every single day. We could have cooked cabbage and potatoes, a favorite of my Scotch-Irish grandmother. Or, cole slaw with carrots and onions and a creamy dressing.
I COULD SWITCH OFF and prepare roasted cauliflower or Brussel sprouts, other cruciferous vegetables with health benefits. Some studies suggest the glucosinolates in these vegetables may lower rates of forgetfulness. Wouldn’t it be great if it really were this simple to lower the incidence of Alzheimer’s ? Anyway, it’s recommended we eat 2-3 servings a week to benefit.
FOR DINNER TODAY, I make one of my favorite meals, a hearty vegetable soup, more like a stew with thick vegetables and a savory broth. In this soup, I cut up the vegetables I have on hand. I like to enjoy each of the different vegetables, so I cut them up in large chunks,…toss them in the crock pot and let them cook for 4 hours until done and the flavors blend: chicken broth, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions, zuchinni, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper, bay leaves (3) tomatoes, 1/4 cup red wine.
THE HOT SOUP smells rich and savory as I sprinkle it with parmesan. This is a satisfying meal.
THE VITAMIN E IN ALMOND BUTTER may be a memory booster for the human brain, by reducing oxidative damage, according to a new study in The Journal of Nutrition , Health and Aging, quoted in the magazine article.
I HAVE ONLY RECENTLY BEEN BUYING ALMOND BUTTER. I use it in banana-almond butter smoothies or as an ingredient for an icing for muffins. This evening, I make an evening snack of almond butter toast, drizzled with wildflower honey, and a cup of English breakfast tea. A spot of tea on a rainy evening with a good book, is a lovely way to end the day.
WELL, I DID IT! I ate all four of the brain-boosting foods heralded in the woman’s magazine article in one day. Now, where is that crossword puzzle I couldn’t finish this morning?
(* Information quoted in this post referencing the 4 brain foods and quoted health benefits were based on: “Eat These to Keep Your Memory Sharp”, p. 63, Redbook Magazine, March 2016)
Sue Marquis Bishop, PhD