LoveYourBrain Tips: Eat Your Fats





The title of this week’s tip may sound appealing considering it’s Halloween!  But, we’re not talking about the fat found in Twix bars and Candy Corn.  No, this Tip from our Community is all about the healthy fats.

LYB community member, Shilo Zeller, draws upon her neuroscience background for this week’s tip:  

“Your brain is approximately 65% fat and essential fatty acids (EFAs) have been shown to improve brain integrity and performance. EFAs cannot be synthesized by the body and must be obtained via a healthy, balanced diet.  Physiologically, EFAs have been shown to help improve immune system function and they are also involved in the synthesis of many neurotransmitters, which are the brain's messengers. Similarly, the myelin sheath, which helps promote signaling between neurons, is mostly comprised of fats. Therefore, maintaining a diet that is rich in EFAs will keep the brain in optimal condition. An appropriate intake of healthy fats can help stave off age-related cognitive decline. Primarily, intake of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) or, as it is more commonly known, omega-3, has been shown to have extremely beneficial effects. It has even been shown to help decrease the risk of developing disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer's.”

Margaret Weber, another member of our LYB community, adds that “natural anti-inflammatories help to reduce brain swelling after an injury and promote brain health. The best anti-inflammatory for your brain is animal-based omega-3 fat which can be found in fish such as salmon. Adding more fatty fish to your diet or taking a daily fish oil supplement can help the brain heal and might even help to increase resilience to another injury.”