Eat more fish for cognitive health?

Omega supplements have been marketed on the basis they will prevent dementia and keep our minds nimble for longer, yet the science does not back-up this claim. However, research suggests another chemical commonly found in fish might prevent Parkinson’s disease. A protein called parvalbumin is the one suspected to benefit our brains. Found in large quantities in the muscle tissue of many fish, it is also the most common trigger of allergic reactions in those who have fish allergies.

Over the decades, a serious amount of research has gone into investigating whether eating more fish could help to reduce the risk of dementia and improve cognitive health. Whether it is down to parvalbumin or not, the evidence supporting eating more fish is so strong, if you are not allergic, don’t focus on supplements, just tuck in and eat the food.

If your focus is on parvalbumin, herring, cod, redfish, carp, red snapper, and sockeye salmon contain high quantities of this protein, though levels fluctuate throughout the year. In fact, according to Nathalie Scheers, assistant professor, Chalmers University of Technology, the best time to eat fish in the northern hemisphere is coming up; “Fish is normally a lot more nutritious at the end of the summer, because of increased metabolic activity. Levels of parvalbumin are much higher in fish after they have had a lot of sun, so it could be worthwhile increasing consumption during autumn.”

This is no fisherman’s tale; best eat the whole fish, right down to the tail!

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