As we age, we are confronted more and more by memory lapses and information retrieval malfunctions. (Isn’t that a smart way of putting it?) I’m not talking about computers here, I’m talking about our brains. That irritating glitch we find in our ability to download a word or a name is something that no techno-wizard can cure. We don’t want to lose our precious memory data, and we want to stay sharp for as many years as possible—so what can we do? Fish nerds to the rescue!
Eating fish saves the day again. I’m not saying eating fish is a cure for “whatchamacallit” but it sure might help. New research tells us that we can call upon the omega-3 fatty acids in fish and shellfish to help us keep our brain’s neuro-pathways functioning at their best. A very important study, performed as an offshoot of the famous Framingham Heart Study, was just published in Neurology by Dr. Zaldy Tan of UCLA. In it he suggests that “people who are already consuming fish as part of a balanced diet can take stock in the promising findings of this study that omega-3 fatty acid may benefit not only their heart but their brain as well,” Dr. Tan said.
Amazingly enough our brains begin to shrink over time. Through MRI scan studies, this research work focused on comparing participants’ brain size and volume to their body’s omega-3 fatty-acid content. Instead of a dietary report, actual blood levels of omega-3s were utilized for data. When brain size was compared to omega-3 levels, the results were stunning. “People with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about 2 years of structural brain aging,” says study author Zaldy S. Tan, MD. (Learn moreâ€¦).
Those with high scores in omega-3 blood levels had the largest brain size and function. So what we get from this study is that it is a good idea to eat foods high in omega-3s. Delicious fish has beneficial effect on omega-3 blood levels because fish contain lots of these omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon has the highest levels of omega-3s but you can find them in most other fish, too. From tuna to trout and from oysters to shrimp, a vast array of fish, mollusks and shellfish are here to nutritionally support our brains. Many doctors recommend eating fish at least three times a week to help maintain a healthy body—and healthy mind, too. And Salty’s waterfront seafood restaurants are always happy to help. So don’t forget, the moral of the story is, if you want to stay smart, eat fish!