March 28, 2022 3 min read
Your brain makes up only around 2 per cent of your overall body weight, but it consumes about 20 per cent of your body’s total energy requirement. It also needs nutrients to function, just as every organ in your body does.
Evidence is growing that deficiencies in these nutrients contribute to poor brain and mental health. In fact, there is not a single point in the lifespan, from conception to old age, where nutrition doesn’t play an important role in brain structure and mental health.
For example, we know that it is important for women trying to conceive to take folic acid (a B vitamin) to prevent neural tube defects conditions such as spina bifida. Of course, it’s not just folic acid that the developing brain needs. The essential omega-3 fatty acids form the structural building blocks of brain cell membranes.
One of these fats, DHA, makes up between 10 and 20 per cent of the brain’s total fatty acid content. DHA promotes healthy neuronal morphology and cell signaling, allowing brain cells to communicate efficiently. During pregnancy, accumulation of DHA in the brain and retina is necessary for proper brain development and visual function.
The body is unable to synthesize adequate amounts of DHA, so it must come from the diet. Fortunately, it is abundant in seafood and oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, salmon and trout, and one 140g serving of mackerel supplies enough omega-3 for a week.
Comments will be approved before showing up.