This recipe is a great way to incorporate many anti-inflammatory compounds into the diet. Besides being delicious, this dish is budget friendly without skimping on quality ingredients. A batch can be prepared for the week and stored in the freezer until ready to eat. The cakes can be added to sandwiches, broken apart for a salad topping, or eaten on the go. They may even be appropriate for those with dysphasia who require foods to be a certain texture. If you don’t like fish don’t be afraid of this recipe! The seasoning disguises most of the fish flavor!
Wild caught salmon canned with bones and skin
Besides being more budget friendly, salmon canned with the bones provide a good source of calcium. Being a cold water wild caught fatty fish, salmon is rich in anti-inflammatory Omega-3 DHA, EPA and vitamin D. The combination of vitamin D and curcumin, the polyphenol found in turmeric, has been associated with increased amyloid plaque clearance by white blood cells (Krause p. 856, Masoumi et al, 2009).
DHA is abundant in the brain, however our cells are inefficient in producing DHA from ALA. Eating whole foods sources is ideal as taking fish oil supplements does not show the same positive results for cognition. (p. 89)
Almonds contain antioxidant vitamin E, and minerals magnesium and potassium (p.84). They are also a good source of fiber!
Egg yolks are rich in choline which has been shown to aid cognitive health as it is a precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. In addition, egg yolks contain vitamin E, D, A, and B vitamins. Opt for pasture raised and omega-3 eggs (from chickens fed flax seeds) for the most nutrient impact (p.88).
Besides being delicious, the main spice found in curry is turmeric. Turmeric contains the polyphenol curcumin. In addition to being anti-inflammatory, curcumin helps stimulate the conversion of ALA omega-3 fatty acids to DHA, the omega-3 most abundant in the brain. It also helps inhibit the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, especially when combined with vitamin D (p.53). Turmeric also contains the aromatic-turmerone, which mail help in recovering brain function (p.53).
It has been proposed that the frequent use of this anti-inflammatory super spice in traditional Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine may be one of the reasons these regions have lower rates of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Alzheimer’s is 70% less common in India than in the United States!
p. 856 Krause cites:
Rigacci S, Stefani M. Nutraceuticals and amyloid neurodegenerative diseases a focus on natural phenols. Expert Rev Neurother 2015;15: 41.
Mahan, L. Kathleen; Raymond, Janice L. Krause’s Food & the Nutrition Care Process – E-Book (Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy) (p. 865). Elsevier Health Sciences. Kindle Edition.
Coconut oil is a source of medium chain triglycerides, which can easily be converted into ketones, a preferred fuel source for neurons (p.86). While more research needs to be done in order to determine the role of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s prevention, it doesn’t hurt to add a little in. It also tolerates heat better than olive oil. If you don’t like the flavor opt for expeller pressed!
Besides adding flavor black pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by 2,000%! (p.41)
2 cans of wild caught salmon canned in water with bones and skin
5 tablespoons of almond flour
1 tablespoon curry
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil (or expeller pressed for no coconut flavor)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Medium mixing bowl
Immersion blender or food processor
• Open the cans of salmon, drain off excess fluid, then place contents in mixing bowl (or food processor). Add eggs, almond flour, and curry powder. Blend with immersion blender (or food processor) until curry is mixed throughout. Batter should easily scoop with spoon and should not be runny.
(notice the thick consistency of the batter)
• At this point, begin preheating the skillet to medium-high.
• Add the salt, pepper, and lemon juice and blend again.
• Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil to skillet. Using a large spoon (tablespoon) scoop the batter. You may have to mash it slightly so that it is flat. Flip when edges are brown. Continue adding coconut oil as needed to prevent cakes from sticking. Enjoy!
Makes 15-18 small cakes!
Written by Rebecca Bailey, Dietetics Student