Boost Your Memory with Omegas
We cannot stop our brain from aging, but we can promote healthy aging. Our brain is made up of different matters that play roles in intelligence and memory. Two separate studies looked at polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of 65 to 75 year olds. By testing cognitive performance, omega-3 fatty acids were found to be correlated with fluid intelligence.
While most of the research today focuses on the EPA and DHA omega-3s from fish, these recent studies shed light into land-based omegas providing as great of a benefit. Nuts, seeds and oils are neuroprotective as well and should be considered for brain health. That being said, a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids provides even more memory preservation. Unfortunately, the Western diet does not typically promote this balance as it is much lower in omega-3 fatty acids, with an abundance of omega-6. Pairing the two together results in strengthened neuro functions and reduces age-related brain decline.
Striving for a diet balanced in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids yields stronger memory preservation in older adults. While we tend to gravitate towards the sardines and salmon for omega-3, research is finding that flaxseeds, walnuts and even Brussels sprouts and cauliflower are land-based options that provide just as much benefit. On the contrary, the majority of omega-6 sources include vegetable oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils. We consume many of these oils in our diet, thanks to processed foods or by dining out at restaurants, because it is typically the less expensive option for such places to use when preparing foods.
Your body does not produce omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, we get them from our food. Omega-3s, also known as EPA, DHA, and ALA, are commonly known to protect against heart disease. Omega-6s are also necessary and boost brain function and muscle growth, but can also cause inflammation. Therefore, finding a balance between the two is ideal to avoid inflammation and age-related tendencies. The secret to aging is not a low-fat diet, but choosing healthy fats wisely.
Published July 1, 2017