Posted on

Seafood and Brain Health

Eat Seafood, Be Happy. Caleb Robbins with a large king salmon.
Eat Seafood, Be Happy. Fisherman Caleb Robbins with a large king salmon. Photo courtesy of SPC Members Caleb and Jessica Robbins.

Eating a meal of seafood or other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids may protect against memory loss and thinking problems, according to a team of researchers at Rush University Medical Center and Wageningen University in the Netherlands. Published in the medical journal Nuerology, the study took place over 5 years with 915 subjects, the study confirmed that cognitive function does indeed decline with age but that Omega-3s can mitigate some of that decline. Subjects that ate seafood more frequently (at least once per week) had reduced rates of decline in semantic memory (which is memory related to verbal information) and slower rates of decline for perceptual speed, the ability to quickly recognize patterns in objects. It has long been known that the Omega-3s in seafood prevent dementia, but the memory protective association of seafood was even stronger among individuals with a genotype that increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Seafood is a direct nutrient source of a type of Omega-3 fatty acid–DHA–that is a main structural component of the brain. Omega-3 fatty acids encourage brain cell membrane integrity and fluidity. Research suggests that a deficiency in EPA/DHA, long chain Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in seafood, like wild salmon, black cod, and albacore tuna, can predispose people to chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s Disease and impair cognitive function. Omega-3s block the actions of inflammatory chemicals, protecting the brain from harmful toxins that can alter function and distort mood.

On top of helping our brain function and improving memory, reducing the decline of cognitive abilities with age, seafood can improve your mood. The Omega-3s block the actions of inflammatory chemicals, protecting the brain from harmful toxins that can alter function and distort mood. So eat seafood and be happy.