Photograph: Denver Hendricks
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines and pilchards. Omega-3s help boost brain power by improving blood flow. A study published in the Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association shows that consuming Omega-3s may improve memory and learning in older adults with minor cognitive impairments. “Omega-3s are beneficial for brain and eye function, as well as lowing inflammation,” says dietician Jeske Wellmann.
“Omega-3s can help in the prevention of weight loss associated with cancer and cancer treatment. Studies have shown that it can also protect against the toxic effects of cancer treatment, like Chemotherapy,” explains Wellmann.
The bonus of this dish? It contains fab fibre – thanks to the chickpeas – and antioxidants thanks to the tomatoes and olive oil. Swap the green beans for asparagus to mix things up. You can use store-bought basil pesto, but it’s always better and less-fattening to make your own (see recipe below).
Salmon, Green Bean, Tomato and Basil Pesto Chickpea Salad
What You Need
200g green beans, trimmed
200g cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained and rinsed
12 black olives, pitted
½ cup basil pesto
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
400g salmon fillets, fresh or frozen
Freshly ground black pepper
1/ Steam the green beans until soft but still tender.
2/ In a small pan over medium heat, heat the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar until the tomato skins start bursting.
Remove from the heat.
3/ Gently combine the chickpeas, olives and pesto. Transfer to a large salad bowl and top with the tomatoes and beans. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
4/ Heat the oil in a frying pan and season the salmon with black pepper. Fry the fish until cooked to your liking. Serve with the chickpea salad on the side.
What You Need
60 g fresh basil
3 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp pine nuts or macadamia nuts or flaked almonds or cashew nuts
1 tsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or macadamia oil
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp water
Salt and pepper
1/ Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Season to taste. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for no longer than three days.
For more nutritious recipes, get Eat Well, Feel Well: Fighting Cancer With Nutrition by dieticians Adéle van der Merwe and Jeske Wellmann. R229 at Loot.co.za