Fish and the ‘Brain Food’ Farce
Before I went vegetarian, my mom used to pack me a tuna sandwich for lunch on every exam day, believing that the fish oil would give my brain a boost and result in higher grades. From my test scores, I can tell you that the tuna sandwich never worked—but for the skeptics, new research now backs my theory.
In a study involving 867 seniors who took fish oil or a placebo supplement daily for two years, researchers in England found that fish oil did not make a significant difference in the cognitive function of the two groups. Participants were put through a series of cognitive tests for reaction time, memory, and processing speed.
Fish flesh is not a “brain food,” and consuming sea animals can be harmful to your health. The flesh of fish and sea animals can accumulate toxins—such as PCBs, insecticides, dioxin, cadmium, mercury, lead, chromium, and arsenic—up to 9 million times as concentrated as those found in the waters that they live in. In humans, toxins can cause liver and kidney damage, disorders of the nervous system, birth defects, and cancer. Scientists have found that children born to mothers who ate large quantities of sea animals during pregnancy were slower to talk, walk, and develop fine motor skills.
Fortunately, there are many nutritious vegetarian foods that are good for your body and your brain! Try some of nature’s real brain foods, such as flax seeds, berries, and even chocolate, wine, and tea! Not vegetarian yet? Take the Pledge to Be Veg, and we’ll send you our favorite tips for making the transition.
Posted by Ashley Fruno