By Sally Kuzemchak, RD
What's in it: Kale, salmon, walnuts, and blueberries with lemon dressing.
Salmon is one of the richest natural sources of DHA, a kind of healthy fat that helps messages zip from one brain cell to the next. Adults who eat fish at least once a week are less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, says a study from Rush University Medical Center.
They're full of compounds that help keep you sharp, and research has linked them to better learning and memory.
Eating walnuts daily can reverse signs of aging in the brains of animals, research from Tufts University shows. The nuts are loaded with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for optimal brain function, so it might work for us, too. They've also got vitamin E, which snatches up free radicals before they can damage brain cells.
Haven't tried this trendy green yet? Women who eat lots of leafy greens like dark, robust kale have better mental function than those who don't, say Harvard Medical School researchers.
Remove kale leaves from tough center spines, then toss leaves with this dressing at least 1 to 2 hours before serving to soften them a bit. Whisk together 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water, 1 chopped garlic clove, and salt and pepper to taste.