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September 2019

Brain Health and Fish

Are you trying to keep your brain sharp?  Research suggests that improved memory is just one benefit of eating more fish to keep your brain healthy.  Fish is often referred to as brain food, it really is!  In fact, a recent study linked eating at least one serving of fish a week to a slower decline in memory loss and improved problem-solving skills.

The Brain & Fish Connection

  • Fish is high in omega-3s, specifically DHA, required to keep the brain functioning.
  • Studies link DHA deficiencies to a greater risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Adequate DHA is inked to improved learning ability and memory with reduced rates of cognitive decline.
  • Fatty fish such as salmon, albacore tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines are rich in DHA.
  • Saturated fats have been associated with dementia.  Fish is low in this type of fat.
  • Fish should be baked, broiled or grilled instead of fried or heavily battered for maximum health benefits.
  • Focus on omega-3 rich fish instead of fish oil supplements which may not offer the health benefits.
  • For optimal health, choose a variety of seafood. Be sure to include at least 1– serving of fatty fish per week.

Boosting Fish Intake
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines suggest aiming for at least eight (8) ounces of seafood a week or two 4-ounce servings.

Fish is readily available as fresh, frozen or canned. Select what is most convenient and affordable for you. If using canned (sardines, tuna, salmon, herring) try to purchase “reduced sodium” or rinse it off.

  • Make a tuna or salmon salad with light mayo & plain Greek yogurt. Add celery, onion and lemon. Place it on a bed of assorted greens or have it as a sandwich on whole grain bread with sliced tomato.
  • Simply bake or grill fish, top with fresh or dried herbs and lemon.  Leftovers can be used on a salad.
  • Use fish in pasta dishes instead of chicken or beef.
  • Add sardines to a salad or have with whole grain crackers and an apple as a snack.
  • Try salmon or fish patty instead of a burger.
  • When dining out, select a healthy fish entrée, one that is not breaded or fried.

Beyond Fish - Maintain Your Brain
When it comes to brain health, fish plays a vital role; however, there are other things to do to maintain a healthy brain:

  • In addition to fish, eat plenty of colorful fruits & vegetables. Include whole grains, legumes and poultry while minimizing saturated fats.
  • Challenge your brain with puzzles, games and reading.
  • Stay socially connected with family, friends and your community.
  • Keep physically active as this will increase blood flow to the brain.


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