Omega-3 are fatty acids which have many health benefits, and they play a key role in heart health and brain development as well as cognitive functioning.
A recent study has shown that there is a connection between consumption of omega-3 fatty acids and an increase in the functioning of brain for people in the midlives.
This cross-sectional study analyzed omega-3 blood levels of people in the mid lives and also analyzed their MRIs and cognitive skills to see whether there was any difference between people with higher and lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
What Is Omega-3?
Omega-3 are basically a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that play an important role for a number of functions in the body. In addition to playing a key role in heart held in cognitive functioning it can also be beneficial for parts of the cell membrane and improve self-functioning.
There are some fats, which are known as essential fats and omega-3 is one such essential fact that we need in our body and diet because we don’t have any ability to make them ourselves.
There are normally three types of omega-3 fatty acids:
- Alpha linolenic acid (ALA)
- elcosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Decosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Furthermore, there is a daily recommendation of those in omega-3 fatty acids for adults as well as people who are pregnant or breastfeeding. This dose varies from person to person.
- Men need to have 1.6 g per day
- Women need to have 1.1 g per day
- Pregnant teens and women should consume 1.4 g per day
- Breastfeeding teens and women should take 1.3 g per day
The dose is recommended for ALA as scientists have not yet established daily dose for other two types of fatty acids. While people can use supplements for omega-3 fatty acids, however, there are a number of foods which we can inculcate in our diet as good source of omega-3 such as fish, nuts and seeds.
Food Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Anchovies (411 mg per serving)
- Sardines (1,463 mg per serving)
- Oysters (329 mg per serving)
- Herring (2,150 mg per serving)
- Cod liver oil (2,438 mg per serving)
- Canola Oil
- Chia Seeds
- Kidney Beans
- Flax Seed
- Soy Bean
In order to prove the relationship between omega-3 fatty acid, and brain health, a study was conducted between people who have consumed omega-3 fatty acids and those who have not. Comparing the blood samples, the results of MRI and neurological assessment, authors determined that the higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids have a relationship to a higher hippocampal volume and therefore better abstract reasoning.
Many researchers believed that these people who have high levels of omega-3 also had higher gray matter volumes in their hippocampus, better reading skills and have slightly higher logical reasoning as compared to others as well.
In contrast, the people who have lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids were less likely to have a college degree. Most of them were smokers and have diabetes as well as compared to higher group.
‘Therefore, this study suggested that higher levels of omega-3 in blood and associated with higher and larger hippocampus volumes and better performance in abstract reasoning, even in cognitively, healthy middle-aged adults from the community, suggesting a possible role in improving cognitive resilience’ — write the authors.
Brain Health And Diet
The researchers have conducted similar studies in people with older age to see the impact of omega-3 supplements in those people, because these people start to experience cognitive decline after a certain age.
According to the authors, “One of the main challenges for some of these studies may be that dietary interventions are carried out, perhaps too late for significant improvements in symptomatic participants, as cognitive changes may be well established over the previous 15 to 20 years.”
Some other benefits of omega-3 Fatty acids are given below:
- Protect skin against sun damage
- Keeps skin hydrated
- Prevents premature ageing
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Boost hair growth
- Controls hair fall
- Helps combat obesity
Therefore, omega-3 fatty acids are found to be beneficial and hold it when it comes to improving mental health and functioning as well as developing cognitive skills. It contributes towards the overall wellness in considering disease, pathologies disorders and other things which affect your learning and memory.