Knowing the benefits of fish oils and omega-3 fatty acids will help you stick to a fishy diet. Here’s a quick summary of how DHA-3 fatty acids and fish oil affects your brain health.
I recently wrote an article for Health magazine about keeping your brain healthy as you age – it’s scheduled for the September issue. Because of what I learned from the brain health experts I interviewed, I now take a fish oil (DHA) supplement every day! Omega-3’s are even claimed to be one of the foods proven to help treat depression.
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“Being called a ‘fathead’ is okay because 60% of your brain is fat, and 50% of that should be DHA,” says Michael Roizen, MD, coauthor of YOU: The Owner’s Manual – An Insider’s Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger and cofounder of RealAge, Inc. “Maximizing your intake of DHA, the omega-3 fat that is a building block of the brain, will support brain development and brain health throughout life.”
For more info about body and brain health, read YOU: The Owner’s Manual — which Dr Roizen wrote with Dr Mehmet Oz. And here are the brain health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, plus a few easy ways to get more fish oil in your diet…
The Benefits of Taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Fish Oils
The more DHA you consume, the more health benefits you’ll enjoy! Health benefits include:
- Improved brain health and repair
- Protection against Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
- Lowered risk of age-related eye disease
- Less depression
- Improves heart health by reducing arterial inflammation
- Decreases loss of brain neurons
- Less memory loss
- Reduced risk of advanced prostrate cancer
The health benefits of DHA omega-3 from fortified foods, supplements, and fish rich in DHA also improves myelin sheath repair in your brain. Dr Roizen says, “Myelin sheaths are the casings surrounding nerves that help the nerves decrease inflammation and facilitate fast messages – or a ‘quick’ brain.”
DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that helps build the brain, decrease inflammation, and speed recovery of injured brain cell membranes. DHA is the only omega-3 shown to provide brain, eye and heart health benefits, says Dr Roizen. One of the best brain health tips is to increase your fish oil consumption.
The World Health Organization recommends an intake of 220 mg of DHA per day for healthy adults, but research shows that the average North American takes in less than 100 mg of DHA per day. Dr Roizen makes sure he gets enough omega-3 fatty acids by taking 600 mg of a day as a supplement.
Always make sure you take high purity Omega-3 DHA fish oil.
How to Get More Fish Oils in Your Diet
You’ll find DHA in salmon or trout (these are the only fish sold in America that consistently have “fish fat” -the others are apparently fed such that their fats are not omega-3 any more-a big change in the last five years) and DHA-fortified foods. Dr Roizen suggests looking for foods and beverages that have the life’s DHA logo to ensure you’re getting a pure, plant-derived source of DHA.
DHA-3 Fortified Foods
- Baby formula
Dr Roizen says, “While we aren’t sure of all the mechanisms of omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils, we are sure of the health benefits: less age-related memory loss, less Alzheimer’s disease, less depression, and a quicker mind.”
Also – the Mediterranean Diet is high in omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils.
If you have any thoughts about taking omega-3 fatty acids and fish oils to improve your brain health, please comment below.
To learn about how foods such as fish oils affect your appearance, read Protein Rich Foods for Healthy Hair and Skin.
For more info on brain health from Dr Michael Roizen, visit Life’s DHA Index of Brain Health.