Authors: The staff, Board of Directors, and chef ambassadors of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
November is National Alzheimer’s Disease and Awareness Month, a time to educate and better understand the progressive disease that destroys memory and other important mental functions. During the month of November, the Alzheimer’s organizations across the US will be sharing new resources and ways to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s, and honoring millions of caregivers.
Here at the Seafood Nutrition Partnership, we’re big on inspiring a healthier America and that includes brain health (in addition to the many other health benefits associated with eating a seafood-rich diet).
It’s not news that seafood is known as the ‘protein with benefits’ – not only is it a lean protein that tastes good, but it’s also packed with health benefits from essential omega-3s. Consuming omega-3s can improve brain health and may help reduce risk of dementia.
A study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine led by Dr. Cyrus Raji, a resident at UCLA, found that people who regularly eat fish have more voluminous brains than those who do not. This study found that eating fish—baked or broiled, never fried—is associated with larger gray matter volumes in brain areas responsible for memory and cognition in healthy elderly people.
“If you have a stronger hippocampus, your risk of Alzheimer’s is going to go down,” said Dr. Raji.
From pregnant mothers and babies to aging adults, omega-3s are important for brain health throughout the entire lifespan. They help with early cognitive development in the fetus and continue to improve learning and memory in adults.
Here are a couple of ways to increase your omega-3 and seafood intake for a healthier brain:
- Swap seafood for protein sources like red meat or poultry for dinner one night per week (Hint: this Cumin Scented Salmon is a great place to start)
- When preparing a seafood dish, double the recipe so you have leftovers for later in the week
- Snack healthier with a protein-packed tuna pouch, veggies and whole wheat crackers