A white plate topped with pasta covered in sauce
November 16, 2023
A white plate topped with pasta covered in sauce

Brain Healthy Ingredients: Cold water fish, Olive Oil

Serves: 4

Along with many other types of cold water fish like salmon, sardines, and trout, tuna is an excellent source of a type of Omega-3 fatty acid called DHA. DHA has been shown to be neuroprotective from the womb to old age. In addition to brain benefits, DHA intake is also correlated with better cardiovascular health.

If you’re going for canned tuna, keep in mind that white tuna meat has about 3 times as much DHA as light tuna.


  • 2 5-6 oz cans or jars of Italian tuna packed in olive oil
  • ½ cup pitted olives, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups cannellini beans, rinsed
  • 2 tsps lemon juice
  • Zest of half a medium lemon
  • 2 Tbsps parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsps celery leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ lb spaghetti
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a large bowl, combine tuna with its oil, sliced olives, beans, lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, celery leaves, and red pepper flakes. Add 1 ½ tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and lightly toss until well combined.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, until al dente.
  3. Drain and return to the pot. Add the tuna mixture to the pot and toss well. Add remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil and lightly toss until pasta is well coated.
  4. Warm until just heated through. Season with salt to taste.
  5. Garnish with additional chopped fresh parsley, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately.