Protecting Our Grey Matter
Alzheimer’s disease causes shrinkage of grey matter in the brain.
Resulting loss of grey matter begins the decline in cognitive abilities.
So anything we can do to preserve our “grey matter” matters!
A recent study by Dr Raji has found a direct connection between the consumption of fish, the brain structure, (retaining our grey matter) and the risk of Alzheimer’s.
Dr Cyrus Raji, from UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, says brain volume is crucial to brain health and when it remains higher, brain health is being maintained. Declining levels of grey matter indicate that brain cells are shrinking.
‘The results of the study showed that people who consumed baked or broiled (grilled) fish at least one time per week had better preservation of grey matter volume on MRI in brain areas at risk for Alzheimer’s disease.’
There was also an overall increased level of mental activity In the people who ate baked or broiled fish. On the other hand, eating fried fish did not increase brain activity in the same way.
It is thought that fatty acids (omega 3) in fish oils may reduce inflammation of the brain and play a part in brain development or nerve cell regeneration. Fish that are oily contain higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids.
Eating baked or grilled fish alone may not be enough to stop or slow the shringkage of our grey matter entirely, but it’s certainly a beginning.
This study did not take into account other lifestyle factors such as diet or exercise which also have an effect. We know maintaining healthy grey matter also include eating a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables, a daily exercise routine, and to stop smoking if you haven’t already done so.
So now we know that Omega-3 from oily fish baked or grilled at least once a week is a most important nutrient for healthy grey matter. We should also remember to limit these fishy meals to no more than 3 per week to prevent increased levels of mercury.
But no worry– Omega-3 can be found in more than fish oil. It is also available in flax seed (which can be ground for a garnish) or walnuts. There is also a slight amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in green leafy vegetables, including broccoli and cabbage.
Have you had your baked or grilled fish for this week!
And the Fun part of Protecting our Grey Matter
Brain Games #1: Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day (Brain Games (Numbered))Solid Wood Brain Teasers – 7 Different Brain Busters by Cardinal399 Games, Puzzles & Trivia Challenges Specially Designed to Keep Your Brain Young.IQ TwistBrain Games #2: Lower Your Brain Age in Minutes a Day