Eating Fish is Good for your Brain – Yes

You might have been told by your parents when you were a kid that fish is good for your brain. Indeed, they are right as pointed out by researchers and is confirmed by Dr. Andrew Weil, a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, in his article on time.com. According to the article, fish contains omega-3 fatty acids and especially the one known as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is essential for the cell membranes of the brain. Without DHA, the brain can be weakened and be more vulnerable to diseases.

According to Dr Weil in his article, the Japanese consume more fish than the north Americans. This may be partly due to the fear of certain fish are contaminated with mercury and other toxins. To solve the problem, Dr. Weil suggested that one can get omega-3 fatty acid from fish oil products like cod liver oil which is safer for consumption.  High dosage of omega-3, according to the doctor, has been used to treat various disorders including attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, and autism. As mentioned in an article on Psychology Today, Andrew Stoll, director of the psychopharmacology research lab at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, believes that fish oil may help make bipolar and unipolar disorder more bearable. Canned Sockeyes Salmon, as pointed out by Dr. Weil, has one of the best source of omega-3 acids.

Dr Weil pointed out that a certain fruit or vegetable like walnut, hemp or flax also contains omega-3 fatty acids but a fish, in general,  has more. This is confirmed by Alice H. Lichtenstein, a professor at Tufts University in Massachusetts, who is also the vice chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee. According to the doctor, a walnut, hemp, or flax supplies a short-chain compound known as ALA that must converted by the body into DHA.  He warned that the omega-6 fatty acids found in certain processed food can interfere with the conversion. Therefore, it is better to consume fish as one of the omega-3  fatty acids is the DHA itself.

According to the article on Psychology Today, the omega-3 fatty acids found in a fish help maintain the cells of the brain and neurotransmission fluid. According to the article, fish is recommended because only seafood contains both DHA and  eicosapentaenoic acid otherwise known as EPA. It also pointed out the eating 3-ounce Atlantic Salmon can help a person to get 1,500 mg of omega-3 fat.

The article on Pyschology Today as pointed out the among of omega-3 acids available for our bodies to use depends on the amount of Omega-6s, Omega-3s, and how much alpha-linolenic acid (LNA) that can be found in flax seeds and plants with leaves is converted to DHA.

Reference:
1. Food for Thought: Can what you eat affect your brain health …
2. Can Eating Fish Really Improve Your Brain? | Healthy Eating | SF Gate