Brainpower: Recipes to Feed Your Head

Food for Thought
One way to maintain your mental faculties as you age is to eat a proper diet, and the sooner you start nourishing your brain, the better. Generally speaking, foods that are good for the heart are beneficial to the brain because both organs demand a steady stream of oxygen to perform optimally. For this reason, heart disease and mental decline often go hand in hand.

Antioxidant-rich foods like pomegranates, grape juice and blueberries help protect the brain from free-radical damage, while omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, leafy greens, walnuts and flaxseed can help aid communication between neurons.

We've chosen a few of our favorite recipes which are sure to stimulate your taste buds as well as your brain:

Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie
This breakfast drink is based on a cancer-fighting recipe developed by Dr. Joanna Budwig, a six-time Nobel Prize nominee. We swear by it.

Salmon With Mango Salsa
When it comes to the health benefits of fish, the fattier the better. Fish like salmon are loaded with omega-3s, essential to proper brain functioning.

Hazelnut-Crusted Goat-Cheese Salad with Blueberry Vinaigrette
The tang of the warm goat cheese complements the sweet touch of our blueberry vinaigrette.

Smoked Turkey Salad with Blueberries
Blueberries make an unusual, but delicious partner for the tomatoes and smoked turkey in this red, white, and blue salad.

Double Fruit Whole Wheat Pancakes
We cram our pancakes with all the fruit they will hold, and even top them with a fruit syrup that replaces the empty calories of classic maple topping. Whole wheat flour punches up the fiber and vitamin E in the recipe. A simple tip for healthy cooking is to add fruit and vegetables wherever possible, and these pancakes are a perfect example.

Garlicky Spinach Salad

Spinach, broccoli and other leafy greens are some of the best foods for slowing down mental decline. Scientists also believe what's good for the heart is good for the brain, making garlic a good choice as well.

Strawberry Tomato Salsa
Researchers have found that strawberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and may even reduce the effects of age-related related declines in brain function. This recipe offers a new twist on the old standard, with its combination of diced ripe strawberries, baby Roma tomatoes, piquant red onion, lime and jalapenos. Your brain will be saying, "Ole!"

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