Eating Healthy - Brain Food

Do not take your brain for granted: it too needs food!!

The brain needs fatty acids and water

All fats are not created equal. To function well, your brain needs a good supply of essential fatty acids. Since the body cannot produce these fatty acids, you need to get them from food and that is why they are referred to as essential.. Researchers think that these fats not only help supply oxygen to the brain, but work to protect the membranes of brain cells, prevent damage that causes dementia, Alzheimer's and other illnesses associated with memory loss.

What to Eat for brain health:
In order to help your brain function best, you need to increase your intake of essential fatty acids known as omega-3. These fatty acids are found in fish oils, nuts, and seeds. The traditional diet of the Japanese, for example, is high in fish, which explains why the Japanese have one of the longest life expectancies in the world. You can get your fats from fish (wild salmon), nuts (walnuts), olive oil and seeds (flax seed). We need the same research in Africa to see whether traditional fish eaters enjoy better health and longevity for this reason; and, whether they have higher IQ. All the same, whether for brain or not, white meats including fish are better for you in the long run than red meats.

While sub-Saharan Africa has the world's lowest per capita fish consumption, more than 200 million ( about 20% of the total regions population) Africans eat fish regularly. The FAO estimates that fresh, dried, salted or powdered fish provides 22 per cent of the protein intake in the region.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the only world region where fish consumption is actually falling. The main reason for this decline is the stagnation in capture fish production combined with a fast-growing population. Production needs to be stepped up because the protein source is a prime one.

Compiled by:
Ruth Oniang’o