It’s the latest nutritional fad: everything from apple juice to eggs is being fortified with omega-3 fatty acids in a bid to improve our brains. But is there any science behind this fad? Or are lots of people ingesting cod liver oil for no particular reason?
In the new issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience, Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a neurosurgeon and neuroscientist at UCLA, takes a critical look at the evidence linking diet and brain performance. He concludes that certain foods really do affect the way we think. In fact, the presence (or absence) of certain compounds may even explain the mental health of nations. (He hypothesizes, for instance, that the fish rich diet of Japanese is responsible for their extremely low level of depression.) Another superfood is folic acid, present in spinach and avocado, which seems to ward off the aging process in neurons. So do your brain a favor: swallow that cod liver oil.
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