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October 25, 2020 • Brain Health

Why Fish Is Brain Food

Healthy fat salmon, avocado, oil, nuts. Selective focus

I already consider regular fish consumption a “brainy” health habit, and I am happy to share a study that lends even more support to the wise selection of fish as one of the smartest protein choices you could make. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh sought to compare brain size as measured by MRI relative to fish consumption. In a group of 260 adults the scientists recorded how often they ate fish and compared rates of fish eating to the study subject’s brain volumes over time.

Those who reported eating fish baked or broiled, but not fried, once or more weekly, retained significantly more brain volume over the five to ten year study period relative to non-fish eaters. Consistent with their bigger brains, the regular fish eaters were about five times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s or cognitive impairment. This is an important study as it is the first to establish a direct relationship between eating fish, brain structure, and dementia risk. So go fish! (Annual Meeting of the Radiological Society of N.A. 2012)

Salmon Cakes with Yogurt Dill Sauce

Serves 8-10Canned salmon is an underutilized superfood. I grew up eating this recipe once a week and feel so grateful as I know my brain benefited. This is a good recipe for getting kids to eat salmon and is more economical than fresh.


Salmon cakes:

  • 2, 15oz cans of red sockeye salmon (with liquid)
  • 2 large omega 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (preferably whole wheat) or instant oats
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp canola oil


  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/3 cups plain  Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp of honey


For the croquettes:

Mix all ingredients together EXCEPT for the oil. Form into patties. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pan fry cakes until golden brown on either side. Serve with dill sauce (below).

For the sauce:

Mix all ingredients until well combined.


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