“The final question goes to you, Annie. What world-heritage site was built in 1632 as a tomb for a beloved wife who died shortly after giving birth to their 13th child?”
LJ and the audience leaned forward breathlessly.
Annie paused, looked up, down, and then into the camera, “The Taj Mahal!”
“That is correct! You won Trivia!” declared Jay, the show’s host.
The applause was resounding. Bells rang, and the confetti flew. LJ made his way to the stage and picked up Annie in a bear hug. “I am so proud of you. Way to go.
After leaving the studio, they drove to Ruby’s Café for a celebration meal. Cheers met them as they came through the door.
“Congratulations, Annie. That was a great finish.”
“Thank you, Ruby. That last question was a stretch for me. I am not sure how I came up with the answer. Perhaps it has something to do with the healthy food here.”
Ruby smiled back at Annie, “I sincerely appreciate you saying that because I know you mean it. I’m serving my popular Grilled Rosemary Swordfish as part of your celebration dinner. I pay attention to our menu and try to feature delicious and healthy foods that are a source of omega-3s, which is especially critical for brain health. Omega-3s enhance learning and memory and help slow age-related mental decline and Alzheimer’s. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna are also good sources used by the brain to build its cells and nerve cells. I figure if I support brain health by offering the right food, my customers will live longer, be happier, and continue to patronize my café.
“I love your swordfish, Ruby. I am also a fan of plant-based protein,” said LJ. “It is crucial for making vitamins C, E, and K, neurotransmitters that promote memory and cognition. My other favorites are soybeans, quinoa, lentils, beans, broccoli, nutritional yeast, and sweet potatoes. I especially like your Vegan Pea Soup.“
“Speaking of green veggies that support brain health,” said Annie. “I am a fan of kale, spinach, greens, and swiss chard, excellent sources of folate. Research shows adequate amounts of folate daily boost cognition and support nerve signaling in the brain. Not enough folate raises the risk of dementia. I remember the first time I had your Sauteed Spinach, Kale, and Collard Greens, it was memorable, and we make it probably about once a week, right LJ?”
“Yes, I love it too. Can we include probiotics in this conversation? They are shown to help improve memory. They also reduce anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. Kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, and yogurt with active cultures are good sources of probiotics and help your gut absorb magnesium and zinc, two minerals known to regulate mood.”
“I don’t think we include enough spices like turmeric and saffron in our diets. Turmeric is a source of curcumin, a polyphenol known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidative benefits, helping to lower the risk of dementia. Saffron is a natural mood-booster that elevates dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Dark chocolate improves memory, reduces stress, and enhances blood flow to the brain. I am introducing Dark Chocolate Turmeric Truffles and Dark Chocolate and Saffron tart desserts to our menu.”
“Ruby, your knowledge of nutrition science and using it to serve your customers healthy foods is impressive. I also notice what you don’t serve at your café,” said Annie
“Thanks for noticing. You will never see soda, fried food, or anything made with nitrates or refined flour on our menu. Soda, white bread, and some pasta have corn syrup (high fructose) added, which floods the brain with too much glucose. Fried food causes inflammation, damaging the blood vessels supplying the brain with blood. Nitrates found in cured meats like bacon, salami, and other deli meats appear to be connected to depression. They are suspected of altering gut bacteria, leading to mental health disorders.”
As LJ helped Annie with her chair, he said, “when you eat brain-healthy foods, you feel and look better, and your brain functions better.”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.