If you’ve just read my article on nutrition for anxiety, then you will have read about this cold-water fish – salmon. I don’t live in Alaska, but I know a woman who does, and she swears by Alaskan salmon from the Yukon River which helps her moods. It’s not surprising that science now backs this up.
All fish provide some Omega-3 fats, but wild salmon is perhaps the best choice. You do have to be careful of some farm-raised salmon as they may be fed grains instead of their natural diets, which affects the levels of the special omega-3 fats in them, changing the ratio to Omega-6 fats instead.
Our menopause transition can set us up with numerous challenges, not least anxiety and mood disorders. I so remember the effect of these myself. However, because I’ve positioned our menopause transition in ageing science through my doctoral studies, and because peri-menopause is the start of our ageing, it makes sense to explore this phase of life in terms of nutrition that is better suited to this age and stage of life.
This means we can’t go past the available evidence today exploring anti-inflammatory nutrition, particularly the beneficial role of omega-3 fats on brain and nervous system ageing.
Whilst I know that fresh salmon may not be the best for your budget, even if you can get some canned salmon (in spring water), then this is helpful to your brain health. Sardines are helpful too, as is mackerel. All of these fatty fish help to reduce anxiety and boost your mood.
The brown rice in this delicious dish is also important for your heart health and nervous system, giving you the energy from carbohydrates that your body and brain need. If you are under the pump at work or you have increased anxiety levels, then don’t forget that your busy-brain is utilising around 25% of your daily energy! Hence, your body needs healthy fats and carbohydrates.
This dish provides both as well as a healthy dose of folate from spinach to calm down your ageing and irritable nervous system too.
Salmon on Pesto Rice
Salmon (enough to feed your family)
Brown rice (enough to feed your family)
2 handfuls of spinach, cooked or blanched
4 – 6 Tbsp pesto
Juice of 1 lemon
- Cook brown rice using your normal method.
- Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 Fahrenheit). Bake salmon in the oven for approximately 15- – 20 minutes.
- Blanche or fry spinach for 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach, pesto, lemon and salmon to the rice.
- Garnish with nuts, seeds or herbs of your choice. Serve with olives.