Why is Fish Brain Food?
The health benefits of fish are widely known. But, in this article, we will discuss what makes fish so special for our brain health.
We will start with a brief overview of the different types of fish and their nutritional value. Then, we will move onto discussing Why is Eating Fish Good for Your Brain. Afterward, we will cover what studies have shown about how eating fish can help your brain. Finally, we will conclude by talking about some other reasons you should eat more fish.
So let’s dive right into it
What Is The Difference Between Types Of Fish And Their Nutritional Value?
There are many different kinds of fish available today. Some people prefer white meat while others enjoy dark meat. Some love seafood, and there are even those who like freshwater or saltwater fish. So which type of fish do you prefer? Well, if you want to know all the differences between them, then keep reading!
White meat refers to any fish without bones. It includes salmon, tuna, cod, halibut, sardines, mackerel, trout, etc. These are usually leaner than red meats because they contain less fat. They tend to be higher in protein as well. These fishes have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. They contain more protein than red meats. However, they do not provide as much iron or zinc compared to beef.
This category consists of fish containing bones such as beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, etc. These are often considered healthier options since they don’t have as many saturated fats as white meat. In addition, they provide essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, and minerals like iron, zinc, selenium, calcium, etc.
Fresh Water Fishes
These include catfish, carp, tilapia, bass, perch, pike, eel, sturgeon, etc. Freshwater fish are very low in cholesterol and sodium. They are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy oils. They are also an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids.
These include shark, swordfish, grouper, snapper, barracuda, sea bass, rockfish, flounder, etc. Saltwater fish are similar to freshwater fish except that they live in salty waters. They are richer in mercury because they consume more significant amounts of algae. Therefore, it is recommended that pregnant women avoid consuming large quantities of these fish.
Now that you understand the difference between each type of fish let us talk about why eating fish is beneficial for your brain.
What are the benefits of eating fish for your brain?
Pretty much everyone knows that fish is good for your brain, but what makes fish so special? It’s all about Omega 3 fatty acids. These are essential to healthy brain function. They’re also found in other foods like eggs, salmon, tuna, flaxseed, walnuts, soybeans, etc., they can be hard to get enough of from these sources alone. That’s where eating fish comes into play. The omega-3 fatty acid in fish has been shown to improve memory, attention span, concentration, mood, and overall cognitive function. This means that we will perform better at school, work, and home when we eat fish regularly.
Studies have found that pregnant women who consumed more fish during pregnancy gave birth to babies with better motor skills, verbal intelligence, and social skills. There is also a link between a mother’s consumption of fish during pregnancy and her children’s IQ later in life.
This is suggested to be the result of the increased blood levels of DHA in the baby, even though that’s probably not the only reason.
Plus, fish contains a lot of vitamins and minerals too. For example, vitamin D helps with bone health, magnesium supports muscle strength, potassium aids heart health, and phosphorus promotes strong teeth and bones. All of this contributes to making fish one of the best brain foods out there.
Which fish is best for the brain?
There are many types of fish available on grocery store shelves today. Some people prefer certain kinds over others because of taste preferences or personal preferences. However, some studies suggest that different species may offer varying benefits depending upon which part of the body they help support. Here are three popular choices:
Salmon: Salmon, has long been known to promote cardiovascular health by lowering bad LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol. Studies show that regular intake of salmon improves mental alertness and reduces risk factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Tuna: Tuna is high in protein and lower in fat than most meats. It provides essential amino acids needed for proper growth and development. In addition, tuna is rich in B12, a crucial nutrient in maintaining regular nerve cell activity.
Cod Liver Oil: Cod liver oil is made from the livers of codfish. It is considered a superfood as it is packed full of nutrients, including Vitamin A, E, K2, D, B6, iron, zinc, selenium, copper, and iodine. It is often used topically to treat skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Can Eating Fish Make You Smarter?
Eating fish might make us more intelligent because they contain high amounts of Omega 3 Fatty Acids. These are fats found naturally in seafood like salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, herring, trout, anchovies, etc.
Fish consumption has also been linked to decreased levels of mental fatigue and faster mental reaction times during challenging tasks. Moreover, fish eaters score higher on tests measuring spatial reasoning abilities in comparison to nonfish eaters.
In addition, a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids could protect the elderly from dementia.
What Others benefits does fish Have?
Fish has many other great qualities besides being excellent brain food. Here are some other benefits :
It lowers the risk of stroke by reducing bad LDL cholesterol:
A study published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that people who ate two or three servings of seafood weekly had lower rates of cardiovascular disease than those who did not eat any seafood.
Reduces risk of cancer
According to research conducted on mice, eating fish may help prevent certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Researchers believe that the high level of EPA present in fish oil could reduce inflammation, leading to cell growth and proliferation.
A meta analysis done in 2013 concluded that regular intake of oily fish was associated with reduced serum concentrations of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoproteins B100 and CII, and an increase in HDL cholesterol.
Improves skin condition
Studies show that taking fish oil supplements improves acne conditions. In addition, studies suggest that fish oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that make them effective against eczema and psoriasis.
Boosts immune system
A recent review suggests that consuming fish rich in long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid reduces upper respiratory tract infections. LCPUFAs include eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, arachidonic acid.
Fish & Brain: Q & A
Which fish has the most omega-3 fatty acid?
The highest omega-3 fatty acid comes from cold water species, including salmon, halibut, cod, flounder, sole, snapper, tilapia, catfish, perch, bass, grouper, pike, carp, and bluegill. The next highest source of omega-3 comes from warm water species, including shrimp, crab, lobster, scallops, oysters, mussels, clams, and octopus.
Which type of fish should I be eating more often?
Coldwater species have less mercury compared to warm water species. However, it’s still important to limit how much fish we consume because even small amounts of mercury can cause health problems. If you’re concerned about mercury exposure, try limiting yourself to one serving of fish each week. You’ll get plenty of nutrients in fish without overloading on mercury.
How Much Fish Should I Eat?
The frequency of fish intake depends on your age, gender, physical activity levels, body weight, overall dietary habits, and personal preferences. You’ll want about two servings per week for optimal results.
If you do choose to consume fish, make sure you buy wild caught varieties whenever possible. These contain higher amounts of beneficial fatty acids compared to farmed versions.
Can omega-3 supplements replace a healthy diet?
Omega-3 supplements are great if you don’t like fish, but they won’t provide all the benefits of eating fish regularly. Also, oily fish contains other vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in supplement form. Omega-3 supplements also tend to cost more money than buying fresh fish at the market.
So there you have the answer to your question, “why is fish brain food?” Eating fish regularly will provide a wide range of benefits to your body and mind.
And now let me ask you this… Do you know any other reasons why fish is great for our brains? Let me know in the comments below!