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Top Three Brain Foods in One Meal!

Grilled Salmon with Chorizo and FingerlingsThe right diet can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure or cancer. But now health experts are finding that certain foods are beneficial to brain function. There may be no cure for Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but there are foods that play a positive role in overall brain health. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Association refers to a “brain-healthy diet” as “one that reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, encourages blood flow to the brain, and is low in fat and cholesterol.” We think you’ll love this recipe from Cooking Light that incorporates three of the top mind-boosting foods: salmon, spinach and extra virgin olive oil. A spicy turkey or chicken sausage can be used instead of chorizo, if desired.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 3/4 pound fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, diced
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 2 1/2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 4 (6-ounce) wild salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup chicken broth. Cover, reduce heat, and cook 3 minutes or until shallots are tender. Stir in remaining 1 1/4 cups broth, potatoes, and chorizo; bring to a simmer. Simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender; stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add spinach to pan; cover. Remove from heat; stir to combine. Keep warm.
  3. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and paprika evenly over fillets. Lightly coat fillets with cooking spray; arrange fillets in a single layer, skin side up, on grill rack. Grill 2 minutes. Rotate fillets a quarter turn on the same side; grill 3 minutes or until well marked. Turn fillets over; grill 5 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.
  4. Place 1 fillet in each of 4 shallow bowls; ladle 3/4 cup potato mixture over fish. Drizzle 3/4 teaspoon oil over each serving.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Nutrition (per serving): Calories 462; Fat 25.5 g; Sat fat 5.5 g; Mono fat 10.8 g; Poly fat 7.7 g Protein 39.3 g; Carbohydrate 17.7 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 100 mg; Iron 1.7 mg; Sodium 653 mg Calcium 46 mg

Key Ingredient Benefits

Chicken Broth: Chicken broth has been used for treating common colds for centuries. The heat, fluid, and salt may help in the removal of pathogens. Also, the broth may contain important minerals in a form the body can absorb easily – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. The gelatin present in the broth contains amino acids to support health

Garlic: Vampire jokes aside, garlic can protect us in many ways. It contains sulfur compounds that may protect cells from cancer, relax blood vessels and improve cardiovascular health. Research suggests garlic may help boost our cellular antioxidant production. There is some evidence supporting numerous health benefits from a diet rich in garlic.

Olive Oil: This type of oil contains numerous antioxidant polyphenols in addition to monounsaturated oleic acid. Both help support fat metabolism and cardiovascular health. Studies suggest a healthy combo of olive oil and fish oil (omega 3s) can work together in maintaining a pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory balance.

Paprika: Paprika’s top benefit is that it is extremely high in vitamin C. A whole paprika pepper is known to have six to nine times the amount of vitamin C as a tomato. Because of its high C content, paprika can also help you absorb iron-rich foods and may help your body fight common infections. Paprika is also loaded with capsaicin, the phytochemical that is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Salmon (wild-caught): Salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, with about half in the form of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and a slightly lower amount in the form of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Salmon also has a relatively small amount of omega-6 fats, providing a good ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids. EPA has the ability to lower inflammation. Studies have shown that increased intake improves cardiovascular health, high blood pressure and inflammatory autoimmune diseases. DHA is essential for proper brain function and helps maintain brain serotonin. Low levels have been associated with ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. DHA also supports the nervous system. At more than 100 IU per ounce, salmon is also an excellent source of vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, supports cognitive function, and helps lowering the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colorectal, and prostate. Contamination with mercury, pesticides, and persistent organic pollutants has become a problem in salmon habitats, however, wild-caught Alaskan salmon has been found to be one of the lowest at risk for contamination and regular consumption.

Shallots: These small, round vegetables are related to the onion. Shallots resemble garlic in that their structure is composed of cloves and they also have a bold flavor and strong smell. Like onion and garlic, they contain flavonoids; a type of antioxidant found in fruits and vegetables that help protect the body and may reduce the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Plus, one tablespoon of chopped shallots is high in potassium, vitamin A, and folate.

Spinach: A super leafy green, spinach is among the world’s healthiest vegetables. Rich in vitamins (good source of vitamin K), and minerals, it is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection.

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