Brain Food: Eat Yourself Intelligent!

A recent study out of Gotenburg University (Sweden) has shown a clear link between eating fish and brain performance.

Researchers found that out of a group of 5000 15 year old boys,those who ate fish at least once a week scored better in tests that were carried out three years later.

Their findings indicate that omega-3 fats found in fish,especially oily fish such as mackrel and salmon are important in early brain development and to maintaining a healthy brain throughout life. It gives us further evidence that fish may indeed be brain food.

Past studies have found that children born to mothers who ate fish in pregnancy returned better scores in early learning intelligence than their peers and older fish eaters had a significant drop in the risk of cognitive impairment. This new study, however is the first to look at the effects on teenager’s intelligence. This is important given that the later adolescent years are critical in the development of brain plasticity that underlies intelligence and emotional and social behavior.

Plasticity being the brain’s ability to recognise connection between cells in everyday experience,anything from learning a new skill to injury. The robust range of the group took data from 5000 15 year old boys who completed detailed questionaires about lifestyle and diet andwho then took intelligence tests when they turned 18.

Taking into account outside factors such as socioeconomics and the education levels of parents,the study showed that those who ate fish more than once a week scored higher than those who ate fish less than weekly. The Swedish team, reluctant to make specific dietry recommendations for teenager did however concede that it appears fish in the diet can make a valuable contribution to cognitive performance in male teenagers.