The brain is one of the most vital organs of our body. Along with the well-promoted importance of heart health, we should also understand the significance of brain health. It is the brain that makes us superior to other animals. Through its special capabilities, the brain enables us to think, decide, remember, and concentrate to lead a healthy life. It is also no old wives’ tale that certain nutrients may help to safeguard and improve brain health as we grow older. When it comes to the nutrients required for optimum brain health, the importance of omega-3 can’t be denied.
Unlike all the other fats that are needed for the proper performance of physiological functions, our body can’t make omega-3 fats on its own. We need to take sufficient omega-3 to keep our brain and body healthy. That is the reason why omega-3 is an essential fatty acid. With the key role in optimal brain health, the deficiency of omega-3 may have significant impacts as well. Let’s have a look at how omega-3 helps our brain health.
Omega-3 and Brain Cells
The cell is the basic unit of life. The content of each cell is covered within a cover called cell-membrane. The brain cells, having high quantities of omega-3 in membranes, are thought to perform better when it comes to communicating with other cells. Research also reveals that omega-3 safeguards the integrity of the cell membrane by protecting them from any damage or inflammation. Therefore, consuming seafood and fish rich in omega-3 plays a key role in the optimal functioning of the brain.
Omega-3 and Brain Volume
When we talk about age-related dementia, the main culprit is the decreased volume of our brain. Our brain shrinks as we grow older. Research; published in a Neurology Journal reports that consuming seafood, rich in omega-3 may preserve one to two years of brain health. The research also claims that people having higher levels of omega-3 may have larger brain volume in their old age.
Omega-3 and Dementia
Dementia is a collective term that denotes memory loss, forgetfulness and cognitive decline. Several studies report about the increasing evidence of the role of omega-3 in optimal brain function. It improves brain function by increasing the blood flow in the brain. That’s the reason why it is often said that fish is brain food, as it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Consequently, consuming fatty fish that are rich in omega-3, may reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Omega-3 and Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer's disease is rapidly progressing and irreversible brain disorder. It destroys memory and cognitive ability leaving the person unable to carry out even the simplest tasks. Alzheimer's disease is characterized by the collection of amyloid (a kind of protein) between the neurons (brain cells). The research revealed that omega-3 limits the accumulation and production of amyloid. Consuming seafood and fish, high in omega-3, may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Mood Anxiety and Depression
When it comes to mood, omega-3 has a role to play as well. It maintains the higher levels of dopamine which is a chemical messenger responsible for the elevation of our mood.
The most commonly reported mood disorders in the world are anxiety and depression. Anxiety is characterized by constant nervousness and worrying, while depression denotes constant sadness and loss of interest in life.
None of us would like to suffer from any of the aforementioned problems. The good news is that studies have reported that consumption of omega-3 found in fatty fish and seafood may reduce the risk of depression.
It is rightly said that 60% of our brain is made up of fats. Our brain health is widely dependent upon the consumption of omega-3 fatty acids. We can incorporate seafood, especially fatty fish in our diets to fulfil the requirement. Wild salmon, especially Wild Spring Salmon and Wild Sockeye Salmon is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Forming a habit of consuming seafood or fatty fish twice a week, as a part of our balanced diet routine, may do wonders for our brain health.