Do you ever walk into a room and not remember why you went there? Open your refrigerator and find only that you can’t remember what you meant to get from it? Struggle to introduce a newcomer to someone you’ve known for years and suddenly come up blank on your old friend’s name? Or be introduced to someone and within five minutes forget that person’s name?
You are not alone. The fact is, they say, memory dwindles with age, especially your short term memory. It’s also said by audiologists and neurologists that lack of sleep interferes with brain function. While you are fast asleep, entertained by dreams, your brain does it’s housecleaning. If you have insomnia or just can’t get to sleep and stay asleep at least seven hours, for some people up to ten hours, trash piles up in your hippocampus, the part of your brain where your memory resides. It’s right behind your forehead. Have you ever smacked your forehead and exclaimed, “How could I forget that?” Well, it could be because you had insomnia.
Dr. David Perlmutter, a neurologist and author of two best selling books about the brain, says in “Brain Maker” that if your hippocampus is large and healthy, you’ll be mentally sharp. And if your diet contains probiotic foods, your hippocampus will be well nourished and healthy.
“What foods are probiotic?” you may ask. Dr. Perlmutter’s answer to that is every vegetable that grows above ground and low-sugar fruits. He also names fermented foods: sauerkraut, kimchee, pickled herring, et al. There are historical precedents: The Persians fermented grape juice into wine 7,000 years ago. The Chinese fermented cabbage 6,000 years ago.
Vegetables Dr, Perlmutter approves of include bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, chard, spinach, green onions, green beans, fennel, leeks, cucumber, parsley, also garlic.
Low sugar fruits: avocado, tomato, squash, pumpkin, zucchini, eggplant, lemons, limes.
Healthy fats: extra virgin olive oil sesame oil, coconut oil, pasture fed butter, ghee, cheeses except blue.
Seeds: chia, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, pumpkin.
Here’s a recipe containing many probiotic ingredients, and it’s cold and refreshing on a hot day.
Serves 4 to 5
¼ pound boneless white fish
¼ pound small scallops or large scallops halved crosswise
¼ pound large cooked shrimp sans shells
2 cups clam juice or fish stock
½ cup tomato juice
2 small red ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1 jalepeno, seeded and minced
2 green onions sliced thinly, tops included
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tablespoons minced cilantro
Cut fish in bite size pieces. Poach all seafood in the stock in a covered pan 5 minutes or until opaque. Add remaining ingredients. Add cold, filtered water to taste. Chill. Serve in glass bowls so all the ingredients can be admired.