Fish May Fight Alzheimer's Disease

Sunrise Senior Living  |  September 4, 2014

Many foods are essential for boosting your brain, improving heart health and strengthening your immune system. For many years, scientists have stressed the importance of integrating fish into your diet, as this form of protein can provide the body with a wealth of nutrients.

Recently, findings published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine indicated that eating fish may be key for preventing Alzheimer's disease in older adults, as the protein has been linked to boosted brain activity and reduced memory loss. 

Eating fish may prevent brain cell loss
While all forms of fish can improve brain health, fish that was broiled or baked was linked to significantly higher levels of gray matter in trial participants. According to the study, people who eat a lot of fish have much healthier brains, especially where memory is concerned. Interestingly, researchers noted that the type of fish was not key for cognitive health.

However, the method by which this food was prepared could be linked to healthier gray matter, improved memory and increased cognition. Cyrus Raji, a radiologist at UCLA, explained to The Atlantic that fish only impacted brain health if it was baked or broiled - fried meals had no effect. He added that these findings were crucial for shedding light on Alzheimer's prevention, as the food could be an important component of treatment for this disease.

"If you eat fish just once a week, your hippocampus - the big memory and learning center - is 14 percent larger than in people who don't eat fish that frequently," Raji told the source. "Fourteen percent. That has implications for reducing Alzheimer's risk. If you have a stronger hippocampus, your risk of Alzheimer's is going to go down."

Since trial participants were largely older adults, the findings were crucial for seniors looking to boost their brain strength. If you're searching for easy and healthy ways to prepare this dish for your friends at the retirement community, consider one of the following recipes.  

Baked salmon with homemade marinade
As you're picking your favorite fish recipe, be sure to look for options that either call for baked or broiled options, as these are most likely to improve memory. This baked salmon recipe is ideal for serving along with your favorite green vegetable and iced drink.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. salmon filets
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a glass baking dish, place salmon filets and coat with garlic salt, salt and pepper. To mix your marinade, combine lemon juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, water, honey and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Using a brush, lightly coat both sides of the salmon with your sauce, then place the dish in the oven. Allow the fish to cook for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Broiled tilapia and Parmesan
Tilapia is a savory and nutritious offering for those who desire the healthy benefits of fish, but don't necessarily enjoy the taste of the protein. Try this recipe, which blends cheese, spices and vegetables for a delicious meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. tilapia filets
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1/6 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven broiler. Place tilapia filets on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. In a small bowl, combine garlic, Parmesan, butter and lemon juice. Stir until well blended, then coat tilapia with the mixture. Top the fish with salt, pepper, basil and onion. Allow the tilapia to broil for two to three minutes on each side until it flakes easily with a fork. Serve with your favorite vegetable, such as broccoli or collard greens.

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