Boost your Brain Health

June 30, 2014

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close up picture of almonds

Nutritionists and doctors have long emphasized the benefits of a low-fat diet, but not all fats are bad for your health! More than just the amount of fat, the types of fat that one consumes is what really matters. There are “good” fats, such as Omega-3 fatty acids which play a crucial role in cognitive function, as well as normal growth and development. Omega-3 fats aid in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, inflammatory diseases and cancer. Research has also shown a recent connection between the omega-3 fatty acids and brain function. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish such as salmon and tuna, may protect the brain against cognitive impairment. In a study conducted in the American Journal of Neurology, individuals with higher levels of omega-3s also had a 2.7 percent larger volume in the hippocampus area of the brain, which plays an important role in memory. In Alzheimer’s disease, the hippocampus is the first area which is significantly affected. Additionally, insufficient amounts of omega-3 fatty acids has been associated with decreased visual memory, executive function, and abstract thinking, all suggestive of vascular changes within the brain.

Omega-3 fats are necessary for human health, but the body cannot make them. Therefore, it is important for us to incorporate healthy fats into the foods we eat. For good health, you should aim to get at least one rich source of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet every day. Good sources of omega-3 fats include fish, walnuts, avocados, olives and flax seed oil. The answer to healthful eating isn’t cutting out the fat, but learning to replace bad fats with good ones!


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