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Food for Thought

How certain foods affect the brain

Everyone knows the saying, “an apple a day can keep the doctor away,” but there is more truth to that than people realize. There is a focus on food consumption, now more than there ever has been with new fad diets popping up monthly, it seems. Between Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, and so many others, it’s hard to navigate the ever-changing food trends. Now, there is evidence that what you eat not only affects your health and your heart, but also your brain.

Nutritional epidemiologist, Martha Claire Morris, PhD, recently published a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s & Dementia in which 900 adults between the ages of 58 and 98 years old filled out food questionnaires and underwent neurological testing. Participants to followed Morris’s Mind Diet had the cognitive abilities of a person roughly seven years younger.

The Mind Diet is broken down into ten food groups: leafy greens, other vegetables, nuts, berries, beans, whole grains, fish, poultry, olive oil, and red wine (just one glass a day, though). Foods that should generally be avoided on the mind diet are butter and sweet pastries. Red meat is allowed in small quantities.

If you’re unsure of what to cook that qualifies for the Mind Diet, try this recipe from the Food Network.

Salmon and Kale Salad


4 5-oz center cut salmon filets

3 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp olive oil

1 bunch of kale, leaves removed

¼ cup dates

1 cup blueberries

¼ cup grated pecorino

3 tbsp slivered almonds


4 whole wheat dinner rolls


  • Pat the salmon dry and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Chop the kale leaves.
  • Whisk together lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil and ¼ tsp salt in a large bowl. Add the kale and toss.
  • Cut the dates into thin slivers.
  • Add the dates, blueberries, pecorino, and almonds to the kale. Toss and set aside.
  • Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Place the salmon skin-side up in the pan. Cook until golden brown on one side (about 4 minutes). Turn the fish over, and cook about 3 minutes more.
  • Plate your salmon, salad, and dinner rolls and enjoy!

If cooking isn’t one of your strengths, keep in mind that Senior Helpers Charleston’s team of amazing Home Health Care professionals located in Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Daniel Island, Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, and surrounding areas can help your loved ones whip up delicious and nutritious meals during their in-home visits. To set up and free consultation give us a call at 843.489.8486!