If you feel there is something fishy going on about something it’s better to think over it. But if you are unable to retrace your memory and bring back details then there is something very much fishy about your memory. It’s time for a serving of fish maybe-a food that’s suggested for improved memory has many other benefits on the human brain as well.
Fish is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, zinc, iodine, phosphorus, magnesium and proteins that have the ability to lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and lower blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week to acquire their advantages.
Omega-3 fatty acids add benefits to our body and one especially, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is most-trusted for brain health. Our body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids and we are bound to fulfill the required levels by consuming foods rich in these nutrients and fish, especially fatty fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, herring and canned mackerel are rich in these. DHA is much needed to keep the brain functioning normally. Our brain and nervous system have fats stored in them and in particular, they prefer DHA over other fats. This also brings us to an important part of the discussion where DHA levels affect brain health-not only in terms of remembering things and keeping our memory intact but also securing us from the risk of dementia and other serious mental problems. So, next time you remember to buy fish from the supermarket shelves you are saving your embarrassment of forgetfulness and long-term mental problems as well.
But, the idea to consume fish must strike you even before signs of memory-related issues crop up here and there. Strike before the iron is hot, likewise eat fish before it ruptures your brain health. Research studies favor the consumption of fish: long-term consumption of DHA improves memory, learning abilities and reduces cognitive decline. Remember that fish is not a pill for forgetfulness. It is a lifeguard against memory loss. The DHA content in fish and other sources such as fish oil, algal supplements and other DHA-fortified foods are all great for your brain health.
Lean proteins are a great advantage of these aquatic creatures. Besides being low in saturated fats compared to red meat, replacing burgers with tuna gives you added sources of omega-3s-that work wonders on your heart, lowers blood pressure and helps you stay energetic through an exercise session.
Cooking fish is not a big deal once you know the basics but if you are interested in reaping total benefits from your food it is advisable that you think of broiling or grilling it as fat from deep frying can prove to be disastrous on your health due to the presence of lean proteins. Try to choose ones that are low in mercury-maybe something like sardines and wild Alaskan salmon while choosing not to consume shark and swordfish as their mercury levels are above nominal. Pregnancy too restricts the pregnant woman from eating a number of fish varieties and for a complete ‘to avoid’ list please visit www.firsteatright.com.
Concerns arise for vegetarians/vegans in terms of consuming DHA. There’s no need to worry as algae is a great source of DHA and has been increasingly used in making DHA supplements. Another source of omega 3, AHA is present in walnuts, chia seeds and ground flax seeds and it is in our body that AHA is converted into DHA. The catch here is that our body can convert only 5% of AHA to DHA. For those who eat veggies and other non-oily fish for fulfilling omega-3 requirements it is better to consult your physician for any additional supplementation to fulfill the required omega-3 levels.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.