Salmon, oysters and other fish and shellfish are known to contain helpful omega-3 fatty acids. In fact, omega-3s are so good for the body that the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends people eat seafood twice a week to prevent heart disease.
New research from the University of California, Los Angeles has revealed that a diet rich in omega-3s may also keep the brain young.
To arrive at these results, researchers worked with 1,575 individuals with an average age of 67. Each of the study participants underwent magnetic resonance imaging scans, in addition to having their mental function and blood tested.
Individuals who had low levels of omega-3 fatty acids in their blood also possessed lower brain volume, whereas the opposite was true of those with higher levels. Those with less omega-3s in their blood also received lower scores on visual memory and executive function tests.
"People with lower blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids had lower brain volumes that were equivalent to about two years of structural brain aging," said Zaldy S. Tan, the study’s author.
Individuals who eat seafood several times a week and are curious to see what impact it has had on their brain may want to take an IQ test.