Hi, friends! September is Healthy Aging Month, so today we’re talking about why you should embrace a diet rich in seafood if you’re not doing so already. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating (and enjoying!) seafood at least 2 to 3 times a week throughout your life, to reap the many nutritional benefits seafood offers. The benefits to brain health are especially crucial as you age.
For diets to protect the brain, the Alzheimer’s Association recommends following one of two particular heart-healthy diets: the Mediterranean Diet (which you know we love!) or the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.
While these two diets are slightly different from each other, they’re both centered on the importance of eating whole grains, fruits and veggies and limiting your red meat intake in favor of leaner protein, such as poultry and seafood.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, those who eat seafood once or twice a week, as suggested by both the Mediterranean Diet and the DASH diet, may reduce their risks of stroke, depression and Alzheimer’s disease. A 2016 study also confirmed that eating fish at least once a week increases grey matter in the brain, which is important for cognition and memory.
We hope we’ve inspired you to put a little more fish in your meal plan this week. To keep things super simple, below we’ve listed for you our top two takeaways from our research.
Aging and the Seafood Diet: Our Top Research Takeaways
- You’ll want to focus on eating fish vs. taking omega-3 supplements. While it’s important to be getting omega-3s, consuming fish also provides a wider range of nutritional benefits in terms of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals (particularly selenium).
- How you cook your fish also is important. Healthy cooking methods such as baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, and steaming offer better nutrition for your time, whereas frying fish tends to takes away from some of the benefits.
You already knew seafood tastes good. Now, you can feel good about eating it 2-3 times each week for healthy aging.