We all know sugar is bad for us. And the science supporting this fact continues to grow.
Consuming fructose, a fruit-derived sugar that’s common in Western diets – sweetened drinks, syrups, cereals, honey, desserts and juice concentrate – can alter hundreds of genes in the brain that may be linked to diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and ADD.
The good news is that scientists at UCLA recently discovered that DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, seems to reverse the harmful effects caused by fructose.
“Food is like a pharmaceutical compound that affects the brain,” said Gomez-Pinilla, a member of UCLA’s Brain Injury Research Center, “DHA strengthens synapses in the brain and enhances learning and memory.”
Yup. Food is medicine.
“DHA changes not just one or two genes; it seems to push the entire gene pattern back to normal, which is remarkable,” said Xia Yang, a senior author of the study and a UCLA assistant professor of integrative biology and physiology. “And we can see why it has such a powerful effect.”
Did you know your body is terrible at making it’s own omega-3 fats? That’s why it’s called an essential fatty acid – you need to get it from your diet.
Here are the top five ways to get more synapse-strengthening DHA into your body:
Fill up on fatty fish
Wild salmon is great. Anchovies and sardines are great, too – they’re smaller and lower down the (sea)food chain so contain less accumulated mercury. Aim for a fish dish twice a week.
Here are some yummy omega-3 packed fish recipes.
A spoonful of seaweed
Especially if you’re vegan and even if you’re not, eat what the fish eat to get their dose of DHA – algae. Toss a spoon of spirulina into your smoothie; sprinkle dulce flakes into your soups, stews or salads; make kelp noodles with walnut pesto.
Skip the fried foods
Omega-6 fats, although good in the right amounts, are abundant in our modern western diet (think anything in vegetable oil, baked goods, onion rings, potato fries, cookies, muffins, pastries). The issue with a disproportionately high omega-6 intake is it interferes with the pathway that makes DHA from dietary omega-3 fats. So it’s basically like omega-6 always gets to the train before omega-3 and takes the last seat and then poor omega-3 has to walk all the way and usually gives up, never making it to the destination. Please share the ride.
Mmm… egg yolks!
The poor egg yolk has endured much misplaced scrutiny from cardiologists, primary care doctors, drug companies and individuals the world over. But haters gonna make salmon frittatas, because eggs are back with a vengeance and they brought some DHA! So did poultry – stick to cage-free, free range for both.
You probably know that omega fats are one of the most popular supplements for managing inflammatory conditions and maintaining heart and brain health. Not to mention reversing the effects of fructose.
You want to be sure you’re using a high quality, third party tested, fish oil supplement that’s been purified of heavy metals. One of my favourites is NFH’s Trident SAP. The great thing about the Wellness Blueprint Health Centre, of course, is that you’ll be prescribed the perfect supplement for you.
Contact us and let’s work together to figure it out.