When you think of dietary fat, you probably only think of how it affects your physique or your heart health. There’s nothing wrong with worrying about body fat – the battle of the bulge is real and has long-term health effects, but what about your brain? We’re here to tell you that a fat brain is a smart brain.
Hopefully, you already know healthy fats are vital for almost every aspect of your health, and that’s equally true for your brain. In fact, your brain composition is 60% fat, making it the fattest organ in your body, so staying well-nourished with healthy lipids is one way to ensure you have a healthy brain.
Which Brain Fats are Best?
Omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), are prime sources for greater mental power. These healthy fats are crucial for mental performance and are heavily concentrated in the synaptic membrane.
EPA and DHA are especially important in early brain development, as they play a vital role in cognitive functioning because they’re required for neural cell growth and neural communications.
The most abundant Omega-3 fatty acid in the brain is DHA, which is tied to greater learning capacity, improved memory, and behavioral maintenance. While not as abundant in the brain as DHA, EPA is still vital, as it helps moderate both mood and behavior.
The combination of these two Omega-3 fats is tied greatly to academic performance, including reading, spelling, and overall learning abilities. Issues with ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disorders have shown positive improvements from DHA supplementation, so if you can learn better, then it can certainly be said that a fat brain is a smart brain.
Say “No” to Trans Fats
Not only are they bad for your body, trans fats aren’t good for your brain either. And while you may think it’s okay to let trans fats sneak into your diet occasionally, they’ve been shown to interfere with Omega-3 and to negatively affect brain synapses. They’re just plain bad, so avoid them at all costs.
The nutritional keys to developing brain power are to choose whole foods whenever possible, make sure you’re getting enough healthy fats, and avoid processed foods, fast foods, and all junk food as much as possible.
That may sound challenging if you eat processed or fast foods on a regular basis, but once you learn to love the foods that are good for you, you’ll never miss the junk.
All Omega-3 Sources Aren’t Created Equal
Flaxseed oil is a good source of the Omega-3 fatty acid ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), especially for those avoiding fish or other Omega-3 sources, but your body needs to convert that ALA into EPA and DHA, and it’s not the most efficient process.
That makes fish oil the best option when you need DHA and EPA, but finding contaminant-free fish at your local store can be nearly impossible, and the same goes with a lot of bargain fish oil supplements.
Your best bet is to supplement your diet with a premium, wild-caught fish oil source like SAN’s Premium Fish Fats Gold. That makes it easy for your whole family, including kids in crucial developmental phases, to get ultra-pure Omega-3 DHA and EPA fats without dealing with any bad odors, aftertaste, or fishy burps.
Don’t fear the fat, as long as it’s from a healthy source, and remember that a fat brain is a smart brain.
Note: For information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.