How fish could help reduce risk of dementia

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We believe it’s extremely important that the elderly stay well hydrated and eat the right meals to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.

We have previously blogged our top tips for the elderly to eat well as well as listing lots of food items that should be incorporated into their diet (garlic, bananas and kale to name a few). One food in particular that we would highly recommend as a regular in anyone’s diet, and the elderly’s in particular, is fish, as it’s full of omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce cognitive decline.

Research carried out by the Rush University in Chicago found that 1,000 people in their 80s who included fish in their diets at least once a week in the form of tuna sandwiches, fish cakes, lobster, crab and fresh fish had less age-related memory loss and thinking problems than those who didn’t.

The research also showed that people who ate more seafood had reduced rates of decline in the semantic memory, which is used for verbal information, and showed slower rates of decline in a test of perceptual speed and the ability to compare letters, objects and patterns.

Omega-3 is a fat that is found in cell membranes in our body and, according to the Alzheimer’s Society, it is important for our brain throughout life and brain cells with high levels of omega-3 in their membranes are thought to be better at communicating with other cells, an important process for brain function.

When omega-3 is taken up by the body, mainly via our diet, some of it is broken down into other molecules that have important roles in the brain. Some are found to reduce the body’s immune response, while others are thought to be involved in protecting cells from a harmful process called oxidative stress.

The Society also says that other nutrients in fish may also play a role in reducing risk, so it’s important you get all the goodness from having it as fresh as possible. That means no fried fish and chips and instead lots of healthy crab or salmon salads, tuna sandwiches and fresh baked fish.