While omega-3s include 11 classes of fatty acids, there are three specific types: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). They have been extensively studied and found to be critical in protecting and combating neurodegenerative disorders and neuroinflammation. These three types are exceptionally bountiful in specific groups of foods. For instance, while ALA is primarily found in plant compounds, both EPA and DHA are found in animal/fish ‘fatty foods.’
An increasing amount of research is dedicated to learning specifically how consuming omega-3s improves brain health. In fact,a recent study on Alzheimer’s showed a positive correlation between consumption of omega-3’s and memory. Moreover, studies show neuroprotective benefits from consuming EPA, ALA, and DHA.
These nutrients are bountiful in specific groups of foods. Plant foods rich in ALA include walnuts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and soybeans. Seafood, such as mackerel, salmon, cod liver oil, herring, oysters, sardines, and anchovies are excellent sources of both DHA and EPA. So, while one shouldn’t overdo it on the omega-3s, consuming between 250 to 500mg per day is optimal to reap the benefits of a healthier brain.
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