Want to stay mentally forever young? Make it a sushi or baked salmon dinner. Because according to a new study, a diet lacking in omega-3 fatty acids may cause the brain to age faster.
Published February 28 in the journal Neurology, a team of US researchers studied the MRI brain scans of 1,575 people who averaged 67 years old. None of the participants had dementia.
Researchers also measured their body mass and tested subjects' mental function and the amount of omega-3 fatty acid levels in their red blood cells.
After studying the results, researchers found that people whose levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) -- a nutrient in omega-3 fatty acids -- were among the bottom 25 percent had lower brain volume compared to people with higher DHA levels.
Those with low levels of DHA also scored lower on visual memory tests and executive function, like problem solving, multi-tasking and abstract thinking.
Meanwhile, a Spanish study has found that the roe of hake, lumpsucker, and salmon are the best dietary sources of omega-3.
Sardines, mackerel, salmon, soy beans, flaxseed oil and walnuts are also good sources of the nutrient.
The latest study builds on previous research which has found that this nutrient can do everything from helping cognitive function to protecting against Parkinson's, preventing nerve damage and reducing the risk of colon cancer.