It’s right on the tip of my tongue but I just can’t get it out. Is it happening more frequently these days? How about processing or what we call “hitting the buzzer?” As we age verbal intelligence remains the same, but the speed at which we process or hit the buzzer begins to slow. Or it could be as Mark Twain wrote,” A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” Who of us has reached the ripeness of middle age without a few things we would rather not remember?
So in reality there probably are some things we would rather not recall; and sometimes there is a benefit in using your age to conveniently forget. After all remembering everything is a lot of responsibility and at some point none of us really want to keep processing. But we do want to keep the old noggin working. That of course is the good thing about getting older. You can remember what you want and forget the rest. Who cares about algorithms, bandwidth and 404 error (do you even know what 404 error means? That’s why we have Google!). But that first kiss, the best of sex, the summer Sergeants Peppers came out or where I stashed some cash; well those things are firmly etched in my brain. But where in hell did I leave my keys? That’s just normal!
What can we do to keep the brain functioning? A healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet, exercise and getting plenty of rest. Let’s start by making a healthy dinner that includes all the essential vitamins and mineral for keeping the memory on track.
First we need to get plenty of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that plays a vital role in the aging process. Human cells grown in a culture of vitamin E lived longer than cells grown in an ordinary solution. Scientists believe that what might work for cells in an experiment may just hold true for the cells in your body. Did you know vitamin E is reputed to give more testicular power? It is also helps the body to reproduce more superoxide dismutase, an enzyme that fights free radicals. Free radicals age the body as evident with the age spots on your skin.
Folic acid or Folate work closely with Vitamin B12 in the metabolism of amino acids and the synthesis of proteins. A lack of folic acid is believed to contribute to the decline in brain functioning. That’s because folate derivatives act as coenzymes for neurotransmitters and neurotransmitters are the zap the brain needs to keep processing and functioning. Scientists have actually found that a lack of folic acid is typically found in the cerebral fluid of Alzheimer’s patients.
Antioxidants are like scavengers that patrol the body and eat up free radicals which are the guys that damage our cells. As we age the division and replacement of our cells begins to slow. Free radicals destroy our cells. Antioxidants destroy the free radicals leaving our cells to divide and conquer!
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential when it comes to anti-aging. Some research suggests that Omega 3 fatty acids have a positive effect on dementia and general over all aging. What we do know is that omega 3 fatty acids form the cell membrane and a strong cell membrane helps protect cells against invaders such as free radicals.
Whole grains are an important source of the B vitamins (including folate), dietary fiber and the minerals iron, magnesium and selenium. Minerals play an important role in anti-aging. Selenium is an antioxidant and magnesium helps to maintain our immune functioning, keeps the heart regular, supports stronger bones and even assist with nerve functioning. Iron keeps the blood strong and gives us energy.
So now let’s make a light and healthy dinner so we can remember where we put the car keys, how many years we’ve been married and the ages and names of our children!
Poached Salmon Salad and Oatmeal Peanut Butter Berry Cobbler – dinner for two
3 cups water
1 cup white wine
1 lemon sliced
¼ cup scallions (chopped)
¼ teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of pepper
2 1 inch thick salmon steaks
In large skillet, combine water, wine, lemon slices, scallions, salt and pepper. Heat to a boil, add salmon steaks and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 7 to 10 minutes. Remove fish from liquid. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Meanwhile let’s make the cobbler.
3 cups of mixed berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries) mix with ¼ cup of sugar, 1 ½ tablespoon of flour and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Transfer to a small baking dish.
Combine ½ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup rolled oats, ¼ cup almonds chopped, ¼ teaspoon of lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, 2 tablespoons of cold unsalted butter cut into ½ inch pieces and 1 tablespoon of smooth peanut butter. Use your fingers to work butter and peanut butter into coarse crumbs.
Scatter the topping over the berry mixture. Set baking dish on a baking sheet and cook at 375 degrees for about 45 minutes. Let cool before serving.
Arrange a mixture of dark greens on two chilled plates. Slice a small avocado and arrange half on each plate. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top. Place chilled salmon on top and drizzle with olive oil. Top with dill sauce which is simply plain non-fat Greek Yogurt mixed with plenty of fresh chopped dill weed. Pour two glasses of rose wine. Serve with side of crusty whole grain bread.
For dessert scoop a serving of the cobbler in dessert cups and top with a tablespoon of vanilla gelato.
Here in one meal is your Vitamin E, antioxidants, folate. Omegas and B vitamins – all you need to feed the brain as you keep hitting the buzzer!