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Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Decrease Risk of Cognitive Decline

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Whole-person integrative medicine focused on healing you in mind, body and spirit. It's more than fixing what’s wrong. It’s about celebrating what’s right and making sure you’re on the path to a healthier, stronger you.

A new study published in the journal Neurology suggests that consuming higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a larger hippocampal volume (learning and memory) and better abstract reasoning in healthy middle-aged adults. Most other research on omega-3 fatty acids has been conducted on those 65+ years old, so this is the first study to show that starting earlier in life could be impactful.

So how can you boost your intake of omega-3 fatty acids? Here are some dietary inspirations to incorporate more omega-3 into your diet.

Wild-Caught Salmon

Eat wild-caught salmon one to two times per week. Depending on the season, wild-caught salmon can sometimes be difficult to find. If you cannot find this type of salmon in your local grocery store, you can order it from VitalChoice.com. Throw it on a salad for lunch or a quick snack. I like to top Simple Mills almond crackers with a piece of smoked salmon and a drip of mustard.

Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed and flaxseed oil are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Protein balls are a fun, flavorful way to add flaxseed to your diet. It’s easy to find protein balls with flaxseed at the grocery store, or you can get creative and make your own. See Lisa Markley’s recipe for Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites.

Supplements

For those who struggle incorporating omega-3 rich foods into meals, consider taking a supplement. My go-to brand is Nordic Naturals, but any omega-3 supplement will do.

Credits:
Association of Red Blood Cell Omega-3 Fatty Acids With MRI Markers and Cognitive Function in Midlife: The Framingham Heart Study
Claudia L. Satizabal, Jayandra Jung Himali, Alexa S. Beiser, Vasan Ramachandran, Debora Melo van Lent, Dibya Himali, Hugo J. Aparicio, Pauline Maillard, Charles S. DeCarli, William Harris, Sudha Seshadri
Neurology Oct 2022, 10.1212/WNL.0000000000201296; DOI: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000201296

About the Author

Megan Schlick, ND

Megan Schlick, ND

Dr. Schlick has special training in nutritional medicine, herbal medicine and lifestyle modifications and she is an expert in identifying nutrient deficiencies and accurately prescribing nutritional and herbal supplements. Much of her practice focuses on evaluation into the root cause of your symptoms, with much focus on digestive health, hormonal health, immune health and nutritional status. With overall wellness in mind, she works with patients to develop an individualized plan to treat illness and support optimal health.

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