The omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are considered ‘essential’ because they can’t be produced by your body. They must be taken in through diet. A study published inĀ Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, suggests that a diet lacking omega-3s might lead to faster brain aging, potentially reducing mental abilities and triggering memory loss.

Researchers looked at MRI scans of 1,575 healthy subjects in their mid-60s. They also tested mental skills and measured omega-3 levels from blood samples. Those with the lowest levels of DHA had lower brain volume compared to subjects with high levels of DHA. Low levels of DHA were also associated with lower scores on visual memory and problem solving tests.

True Strength Moment: Omega-3 fatty acids are found in cold water fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds and other foods. This study underscores the importance of the word ‘balanced’ in a healthy balanced diet. Even if you’re trying to lose weight, cutting all the fats out of your eating plan can have unwanted consequences. Avoid saturated fats and focus on the mono- and polyunsaturated variety. Your body uses fats in numerous ways.