Our brain is made up of 60% fat. The most beneficial fat for our brain is omega-3 fatty acids. So it becomes important to understand the need to increase omega-3 in your diet. & ofcourse the better the fats in your diet, the better the fat in your brain.
What does omega-3 fatty acids do for your brain ?
The omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA are critical for healthy brain function and development throughout all stages of life. The vast amount of research associated with omega-3s, supports consumption for overall wellness, specifically including heart, brain, eye, and prenatal/maternal health. The body needs EPA & DHA omega-3s to develop and function optimally in every stage of life.
What are EPA and DHA omega-3s?
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (O-3s) that are abundantly present in cold water fish (primarily salmon and tuna), shellfish, some algae, ground flax seeds and flax seed oil, soybeans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, and omega-fortified eggs.
The best source of omega-3 is WILD CAUGHT ALASKAN SALMON. The reason being that the omega-3 fatty acids in salmon are pre-formed into DHA and EPA. In plant sources, it needs to be transformed by the body, and not all of plant-based Omega is actually transformed into the super-effective DHA. It is a small amount only.
How much Omega-3s do I need every day?
It is recommended to consume 500 mg of combined EPA and DHA per day for general health, and higher quantities for specific demanding life stages or health conditions.
Majority of the world’s population consumes significantly less EPA and DHA than recommended. We are not getting enough omega-3s to support proper cognitive performance. Thanks to the prevailing food trends, our intake of omega6 is way higher than it should be. The omega 3 and omega 6 ratio is highly disturbed. The loads of omega6 we are consuming every day non stop is the root cause of inflammation. Inflammation in itself is a welcome to a host of health conditions including heart disease.
EPA and DHA seem to have important roles even in the developing baby’s brain. In fact, several studies have correlated pregnant women’s intake of omega3s with higher scores for their children on tests of intelligence and brain function in early childhood.
The omega-3-fatty-acids are vital for the maintenance of normal brain function throughout life. They are abundant in cell membranes of brain cells. They preserve cell membrane health & facilitate communication between brain cells.
When animals are fed diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids, the amount of DHA in their brain decreases, and they tend to experience deficits in learning and memory.
In older people, lower levels of DHA in the blood have been found to be associated with smaller brain size, a sign of accelerated brain aging.
Clearly, it is important to make sure you get enough of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to avoid some of these detrimental effects on brain function and development.
Omega-3s are vital for normal brain function and development. Low levels of omega-3s may accelerate brain aging & contribute to deficits in brain function.