If there was just one thing that you could start taking today that would help to improve your memory and brain health, what do you think it might be? There are quite a few things really, but this one, I believe is one of the most important ones.
The answer is omega-3 fatty acids containing DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) — fish oil.
To understand why this is so important, I will give you a little information about your brain. Your brain is composed of 60 per cent fat and is the fattiest system in your body.
Animal based omega-3 fats contain two fatty acids crucial to human health. They are DHA and EPA. Most of the neurological benefits of omega-3 oils are derived from the DHA component rather than the EPA.
In fact DHA is one of the major building blocks of your brain. About half of your brain and eyes are made up of fat, much of which is DHA. This makes it an essential nutrient for optimal brain and eye function.
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Your brain activity actually depends greatly upon the functions provided by its outer, fatty, waxy membrane to act as an electrical nerve conduction cable.
In your brain alone, DHA may have the following benefits:It may help to maintain healthy inflammatory levels.It may stimulate neuron growth and the development and repair of synapses. Your brain is a vast complex system of nerve cells sending and receiving signals (electrical impulses) across junctions called synapses. The small space between the two cells is where the action occurs. One neuron may synapse with as many as 1,000 other neurons. Sophisticated functions like learning and memory require this type of high quality messaging.It may promote focused attention and calmness during stressful situations by supporting optimal dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that supports motor skill development and focus and also plays an important role in many complex brain processes.
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A study presented at the 2009 international conference for the Alzheimer’s Association found “older people with memory complaints who took DHA soft gels (900mg daily) for six months scored dramatically higher on a learning and memory test than those given a placebo. In fact, the DHA users showed the learning and memory skills of people three years younger”.
Omega-3 is found in fatty fish and the high fat fish delivers more brain protection than that of lean fish. The best types of fatty fish are salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna and herring.
Another way of obtaining omega-3 is to take fish oil capsules. There are many on the market to choose from but remember though, that it is vitally important that you obtain the better quality fish oil capsules.
Being proactive about your brain health is one of those things that should be on your list of priorities. By ensuring you have omega-3 daily in your diet is something simple that you can do to help improve your memory and brain health.
Do you enjoy fish? What other ways do you keep your brain healthy?