Feed your brain this summer with a recipe from our Brain Geek Meets Food Geek series:

Brain food spotlight: Asian Twist Avocado and Cucumber Salad

Being a brain geek and a foodie is a win-win. You get delicious food with brain benefits!  The combination of avocados and cucumbers in the quick recipe is amazing. It’s somehow so much more than the combination of these few simple ingredients. My kind of salad.

Feel good about the ingredients:

Cucumbers—surprise—-are great for your brain! Turns out cucumbers have an anti-inflammatory compound called fisetin that appears to improve memory and protect nerve cells from age-related decline.  Fisetin has even been found in some studies to prevent progressive memory impairments in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. Cucumbers are also 95% water so they’re great for hydration. Fun fact: Your brain is over 75% water.

Avocados help lower blood pressure which is a risk factor for cognitive decline. They are also high in monounsaturated fatty acids which help protect nerve cells in the brain known as astrocytes, which provide support to information-carrying nerves. According to Steven Pratt, MD, author of Superfoods Rx: Fourteen Foods Proven to Change Your Life they are right up there with blueberries in terms of benefits to brain health.

The Recipe

Asian Twist Avocado and Cucumber Salad

Throw together this salad in 5 minutes. It comes from NY Times food columnist Mark Bittman and is #21 of his 101 Summer Salads, a terrific collection of tasty easy salads with surprising flavor combinations of which Bittman is a master.

Serves 2.

2 organic mini-cucumbers (also called Persian cucumbers) or  1 regular organic cucumber peeled and seeded

1 ripe avocado, peeled and seeded

2 Tbsp. reduced sodium soy sauce (I like Kikkoman)

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar (the straight stuff not the seasoned)

1 tsp. raw honey (plus another teaspoon or more for drizzling)

sea salt and pepper to taste

Rough chop cucumbers and avocado. Mix soy sauce, rice vinegar, and raw honey in small bowl or shake in a small jar. Pour over salad and toss. Add sea salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with a little more honey. Serve and enjoy!

Let us know if you try the recipe. We’d like to hear how your liked it and what brain related topics you’d like to see covered here in the future.

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References:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/22/dining/22mlist.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/08/23/health-benefits-cucumbers.aspx

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