Fish – Cold water fish like salmon, tuna, flounder,. mackerel, cod, sardines, anchovies. They provide protein and Omega-3 fatty acid. Baked, broiled or grilled.
Chicken Breast, Chicken Tenders, Turkey – Excellent source of protein without a lot of fat (without skin). Bake, grill or saute in olive oil.
Beef – An excellent choice as long as it’s free range, grass fed. Be careful though. Some growers are marking their pen raised, grain fed beef as being grass fed when they suspend the grain feeding for 30 days before slaughter and feed the cattle grass..Make sure the label says “Free Range, Grass Fed”
Tofu – is a pressed, soy product and can be used as a meat substitute. Tofu can be soft, firm, or extra firm, has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. Depending on the dish being prepared tofu can seasoned or marinated.
Potatoes – Most varieties of potatoes you find in the stores are low in calories, high in vitamins and minerals, and high in carbohydrates and fiber making them a complex sugar. The healthiest potatoes are the varieties that have dark colored flesh like the Ruby Crescent Viking, and Yukon Gold. The pigments in these potatoes provide flavonids and carotenoids that promote good brain health.
Vegetables – Here you can get creative. Almost any vegetable will work with any of the meat dishes (fish, poultry, beef). Dark, green leafy vegetables are probably at the top of the least; spinach, kale, collard greens, mustard greens, Swiss chard, arugula, to name a few. But there’s also asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, tomatoes, acorn and butternut squash.
Beans – Beans are a brain healthy, super food with lots of protein and fiber. Beans make a good addition to any dish. There’s black beans, red kidney beans, soybeans, navy beans, garbanzo beans, lentils. Than there’s jicama referred to as a yam bean. It’s texture is somewhere between an apple and a turnip.
Rice, Quinoa, Barley, Oat, Rye – These are all grains. You want whole grains. That means brown, black or wild rice. NOT white rice. Quinoa, barley, oats and rye are typically whole grains and can be used nicely as part of a meal.
Whole Grains – If you’re going to add breads or bread products to a meal make sure they’re whole grains. Whole grains are high in nutrients and fiber. That includes whole grain pastas and whole grain pizza crusts. Don’t get fooled by terms like 100% wheat, multi-grain, seven grain or cracked wheat.
Spices – Following is a list of the healthier spices, but almost any spice works when you’re cooking a meal, and the neat thing about eating brain healthy is using and creating dishes with spices like sage, rosemary, turmeric curcumin, chile pepper, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, parsely, nutmeg, holly basil, cayenne pepper, fenugreek, garlic
Fruit and Berries – Fruit gets a bad rap because it typically has lots of sugar. But fruit also has a lot of fiber so that it enters the blood slowly. Fruit is full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Use fruit with the meal, as a desert or a snack. some of the best fruits are watermelon, cantaloupe, mangoes, oranges, apples, bananas, red grapes, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries.
Eggs – eggs have gotten a bad rap because of cholesterol, but they’re full of protein. Eggs are a great addition to meal plans but if you’re concerned talk to your doctor.
Peanut Butter – Peanut butter is a great source of protein. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread is almost a daily must.
Yogurt – Yogurt is great as a snack, with a meal, or as an addition to a sauce or recipe as long as the yogurt you’re eating is plain and low in fat with no added sugars. Plain, low fat Greek yogurt is a good choice.
Sweet potatoes, although really a tuber, are typically eaten as a potato. They come in two varieties, orange flesh and purple flesh. You may not be able to tell them apart just by looking. The orange fleshed sweet potato is rich in beta-carotene providing vitamin A, a strong anti-oxidant. Purple fleshed sweet potatoes have important anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredients. Both varieties are tasty, low in calories, high in potassium and high in fiber making them a complex sugar.