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Eating Fish This Often Could Protect Your Brain From The Effects Of Air Pollution, Study Says

By | Eliza Sullivan |

When it comes to eating for brain health, there are plenty of foods that support brainpower—but can our diet help protect our brains from external threats like pollution?

A new study, published yesterday, found that eating broiled or baked fish just once or twice a week may help protect the brain from the negative impacts of air pollution, thanks to the powers of omega-3 fatty acids.

The omega-3–brain connection.

Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat that are deemed an “essential fat” because we cannot produce enough without eating it as well—and fish are a popular source for many diets.

“Fish are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and easy to add to the diet,” says study author Ka He, M.D., Sc.D., of Columbia University in New York. “Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to fight inflammation and maintain brain structure in aging brains. They have also been found to reduce brain damage caused by neurotoxins like lead and mercury.”

The new research, published in Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, set out to see if those benefits extended to other forms of toxins: “We explored if omega-3 fatty acids have a protective effect against another neurotoxin, the fine particulate matter found in air pollution,” says He.

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