Food for thought: easy one-pan fish dinner that’s good for the brain!
For most of us, a busy schedule means looking for easy, quick and convenient foods that take a relatively short amount of time to prepare. Usually, foods that meet these criteria are highly processed, pumped with sodium, and full of ingredients we can’t pronounce for the life of us! However, convenience, health and palatability merge beautifully in this easy dish that takes less than half an hour to make.
The main ingredient is salmon, which has high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. What makes this fatty acid beneficial to the brain is docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is important for brain and nervous system growth and function (1). DHA has also been demonstrated to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease (2) and in rhesus monkeys, a deficiency can lead to impairments in the photoreceptors and neural membranes that are important for eye function (3).
Speaking of eye function, the dish also has sweet potatoes, which have high amounts of vitamin A, an important component of proper eye function. Furthermore, sweet potatoes have great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and pro-immune functions that make this dinner perfect for the winter months. Adding in the ginger, garlic and lemon juice further adds to the immunity-boosting power of this dish.
Now most of us have heard about the repercussions of excessive salmon consumption, notably the presence of mercury in them due to water pollution. When shopping for salmon, opt for farmed and organic Atlantic salmon rather than wild Pacific salmon as the latter has a significantly greater benefit-risk ratio for carcinogens and non-carcinogens (4). Despite this, mercury levels in salmon are quite low and because of its immense benefits, the American Heart Association recommends consuming 3 oz. of salmon at least twice per week.
One Pan Fish Dinner
This recipe was created by Talia Chai, registered Holistic Nutritionist and Superstar Chef at The Hearty Soul.
2 Sweet potato
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 Tablespoons lemon juice
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
2 salmon fillets(will be determined at St.Lawrence market. choices: whatever sustainable and fresh ) Broccoli or brussels sprouts
1. Preheat oven 400F and bake sweet potato 15 minutes. (Make sure to still space them out a bit.)
2. Place your salmon fillets on the pan. Season both sides with salt and pepper and brush on the glaze onto both sides.
3. Place your broccoli on the pan and top with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, salt and pepper, 1 clove minced garlic, and 1/2 Tbsp. thyme.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes. (The salmon should flake easily with a fork when it’s ready.)
For more easy-to-make healthy recipes:
Innis SM. Dietary omega 3 fatty acids and the developing brain. Brain Res [Internet]. 2008 Oct [cited 2017 Jul 11];1237:35–43. Available from: http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0006899308021033
Lim GP, Calon F, Morihara T, Yang F, Teter B, Ubeda O, et al. A Diet Enriched with the Omega-3 Fatty Acid Docosahexaenoic Acid Reduces Amyloid Burden in an Aged Alzheimer Mouse Model. J Neurosci [Internet]. 2005 [cited 2017 Jul 11];25(12). Available from: http://www.jneurosci.org/content/25/12/3032.short
Neuringer M, Connor WE, Lin DS, Barstad L, Luck S. Biochemical and functional effects of prenatal and postnatal omega 3 fatty acid deficiency on retina and brain in rhesus monkeys. Proc Natl Acad Sci. National Acad Sciences; 1986;83(11):4021–5.
Foran JA, Good DH, Carpenter DO, Hamilton MC, Knuth BA, Schwager SJ. Quantitative analysis of the benefits and risks of consuming farmed and wild salmon. J Nutr [Internet]. American Society for Nutrition; 2005 Nov 1 [cited 2017 Jul 11];135(11):2639–43. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16251623