Eating Seafood May Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Though mercury content may be keeping seafood off the table, eating fish isn’t fishy at all. A 2016 study out of Rush University suggests when it comes to brain health the benefits of eating fish may outweigh the risks.
Researchers examined brain autopsies of 286 individuals who were part of an aging study, assessing signs of Alzheimer’s disease progression and brain mercury levels. They noted anyone who carried the gene ApoE4, a genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s and they also analyzed dietary information to determine how often they ate fish.
Though dining on fish more often was linked with higher mercury levels in the brain, brain mercury content appeared to be harmless. Further, among those with the ApoE4 gene, eating seafood at least once a week was linked with lesser Alzheimer disease neuropathology. Fish oil supplements did not have a beneficial effect.
This is excellent news for all the seafood lovers out there. Seafood, including salmon, sardines, and rainbow trout, provides protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and plenty of vitamins and minerals (these fish also have low mercury content). Choose grilled, baked or broiled fish and avoid anything that is breaded or fried. Keep portion sizes to six ounces or less—about the size of a checkbook. For extra flavor add a light drizzle of lemon juice and your favorite herbs and spices.
Do your brain some good and remember to serve up some fish this week! Try our Grilled Miso Glazed Salmon and Pineapple Ginger Peach Chutney.
BONUS: Take advantage of spring asparagus—eating folate-rich foods may also help lower risk of cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Published May 1, 2016