This Food Makes Us Smarter & Won't Break The Bank

salmon pastaMmm, BRAIN FOOD! Food for zombies? No, food that feeds your brain! A recent report shows that people who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week may be protecting their brains against Alzheimer's and other brain problems. Eating fish regularly is key to brain health.

There's a good New Year's resolution: Eat fish once a week. Right... except fish can be awfully expensive. And what about all the mercury some fish carry around with them? Well good news -- getting fish on your table every week doesn't have to bust your grocery budget. Here are 6 affordable ways to enjoy Brain Food in 2012.

  1. Get canned. It's not just tuna in those tins. Look for canned salmon and other fishes. These work well in casseroles or just tossed with olive oil (if you're avoiding mayonnaise) and put in a salad or sandwich.
  2. Don't make fish the main. You don't need a big, pricey hunk of fish on your plate to enjoy the benefits. Try eating fish as one of many ingredients in a stew, pasta dish, stir-fry, even on pizza. Get creative.
  3. Stick with the low end of the food chain. Little fishes like sardines and anchovies tend to be lower in mercury and they're more affordable. They're not for everyone, I know. But I happen to love them.
  4. Buy the whole fish. Okay, I know not all of you are up to this. But in case there are a few brave souls out there, I'm just saying -- whole fish costs way less than skinned fillets. And it's really easy to deal with. Most fish stores will scale and be-head the fish for you if you ask, and if you see whole fish at the grocery store it's usually read to cook. Just stuff with some herbs or sliced lemons, and bake or broil.
  5. Check out the sales. Costco is especially known for its seafood sales. You're probably safe with frozen sale fish, but be careful with cheaper fresh fish. Sometimes it's on sale because it's OLD. Do the smell test.
  6. Eat your veggies. It's not just the fish that feed your brain. Vegetables high in Vitamins C, E, and B are also great brain boosters. Look for broccoli, peas, bell peppers, cauliflower, dark leafy greens -- well, you get the idea. Eat a variety of different vegetables.

By the way, researchers did not find that eating fried fish had the same benefits. And foods high in trans fats seemed to have a negative effect. So that fast-food fried fish sandwich is doing you no favors. That's a fish option you actually can't afford. 

Do you already eat fish every week? 


Image via sushi<3ina/Flickr

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