Eating baked or broiled fish as little as once a week may boost brain health and lower the risk for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease, new brain scan research suggests.
The study authors found that eating baked and broiled fish – but not fried – helps to preserve gray matter neurons, strengthening them in areas of the brain deemed critical to memory and cognition.
The study concluded that those who eat baked or broiled fish had larger brains and had larger brain cells in areas of the brain responsible for memory and learning. And the reason that’s important is that these brain areas are at high risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
In those people with larger a brain volume, the risk for Alzheimer’s and mild cognitive impairment went down by fivefold within five years following the brain scans we conducted. This effect was seen with eating fish as little as once a week. But fish and chips lovers, take note: No cranial benefit was evident with respect to consumption of fried fish.
The team cautioned that while eating baked and broiled fish appears to exert some cognitive benefit, other lifestyle and socioeconomic factors may play a role. For now, the connection must be viewed as an association, rather than a cause-and-effect.