Grow your brain with tuna and eggs – no yolk!


Have a bowl of B12 for lunch today! That headline was a joke, yolks are fine.

I love tuna fish – not the fancy smanzie yellow-fin variety – just the plain old “out of the can” kind that sells for 69 cents.  In fact, the first thing I learned to cook as a young adult was tuna casserole.

Who could forget that “go to”  casserole of the 70s, cooked up with noodles and a potato chip topping. Yummo.

My first husband hated that concoction, and I’m convinced that’s one of the reasons we couldn’t make a go of it. I wasn’t willing to give it up, and he wasn’t willing to eat it! To this day I called it my “How to get rid of a man casserole.”

Now I’m vindicated.  Turns out the latest research shows tuna and eggs are good sources of vitamin B12 which may help keep brain atrophy in check.  As if wrinkles weren’t bad enough, turns out our brains shrivel as we age as well.

In a five-year study, people in their 60s and beyond who were low – but not deficient in B12 – were three to six times more likely to have brain atrophy than people on the higher end.

Brain shrinkage is commonly seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease, and more and more research points to a connection between cognitive function and B12 levels.

Getting 25 micrograms of vitamin B12 from a supplement can make your RealAge 0.6 years younger. I’m in. So girls, hold off on celebrating my birthday until October! I’m doing eggs, tuna AND supplements and hoping it will reverse the shrivel everywhere!

If you can’t stomach the tuna casserole, here’s a more hip version for your repertoire – great to serve on triscuits as an appetizer. It’s low carb, low cal, low fat – a dieter’s dream. This would have sent my first husband screaming into the woods. Which now that I think about it, is just what happened!


  • 1 6-ounce can chunk light tuna in water
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves


1. Combine tuna, cream cheese, oil, lemon juice and cayenne in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl; stir in capers, parsley and thyme.

tuna sand Here’s My lunch for today:

Hot Tuna and Egg Salad Sandwiches
(modified from Quick Cooking Magazine)


  • 6 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • 2 cans tuna (6 oz each), drained and flaked
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 8 whole wheat rolls split


1. In a bowl, combine eggs and tuna.  Add the cheese, onion, and pepper; mix well. Stir in the mayonnaise.

2. Spoon about 1/2 cup onto each roll

3. Wrap individually in heavy-duty foil.

4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 8 serving


4 thoughts on “Grow your brain with tuna and eggs – no yolk!

  1. The boys and I always loved the Tuna Helper, Bubba did not.
    I finally gave it up, but hey this might be a good dish to bring
    back. Can’t wait to try your new tuna recipes. I’m rushing out
    to buy me a bottle of B12. I need all the help I can get! I bet
    fresh tuna on the grill would be a big booster, may buy some
    when I get my B12.

  2. As newly weds and graduate students in the early 70’s, I learned to prepare tuna in a variety of ways! I will never forget the day when Tuna Helper hit the shelves! It was a God-send! (I also added Hamburger Helper to my repetoire! )

    I think I will go out and buy a box or two of the old standbys and enjoy remembering the “good ole days”!

  3. Hi Em,

    AND…a low B-12 resulting from an aging gut, can result in real problems –like death, for instance. My father was diagnosed with pernicious anemia, which leads to this, and 13 months later, he died suddenly of a probable heart attack.
    The only treatment was to be put on B-12 injections which brought his blood cells back to normal eventually, but maybe the damage to his heart was already advanced by then.
    Since I have had problems with both fat soluble and water soluble vitamins due to a history of malabsorption, my B-12 fell to low normal levels as mentioned in your article. Endochrinologist didn’t take my brain out to measure it, but he did find some definite neurological signs which were corrected by taking B-12 supplementally. Instead of injections, I found that the sublingual tablets put out by Biochem brought my numbers well into the middle range of normal on the lab report. Even though most say 200 is the lowest normal number, the endo says that many people will have neuro symptoms lower than 400, so that SHOULD be the real low on those sheets. Perhaps most labs have changed that by now.
    My supplemental also has folate in it, and a little Vit C that must be needed at the same time for some reason. (I can’t remember why, but then, my brain has shrunk!)
    Seriously, those of us in our later years should seriously consider taking a B-12 supplement. The one I take contains enough B-12 that I don’t really worry if I forget a dose every once in a while, as I know that I’m getting enough over time. This should be an easy way to avoid some neurological issues or possibly even premature death as was the case with my father.

    Take care!

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