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Eating baked or broiled fish once a week can help boost brain health and memory support.

Eating baked or broiled fish once a week can help boost brain health and memory support.

Fish has long had a reputation as "brain food," but a new study has gone one step further by finding that eating baked or broiled fish once a week can go a long way in bolstering memory support.

The research, conducted at the University of Pittsburgh's Schools of the Health Sciences and published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, determined that weekly helpings of fish improved areas of the brain related to memory and cognitive thinking. While the quantity of omega-3 fatty acids found in fish has long been tied to strengthening brain health, the study's lead author Dr. James Becker highlights that a nutritious omega-3 intake — from fish or otherwise — typically goes hand-in-hand with other healthy lifestyle changes.

"Our study shows that people who ate a diet that included baked or broiled, but not fried, fish have larger brain volumes in regions associated with memory and cognition," writes Dr. Becker in the team's official report, before adding that weekly helpings of fish were just one one piece of a larger puzzle. "[These findings] led us to conclude that we were tapping into a more general set of lifestyle factors that were affecting brain health of which diet is just one part."

One of the study's other lead investigators, Dr. Cyrus Raji of the University of California, Los Angeles, stressed the importance of eating fish that was only baked or broiled. Fried fish does not share the same health benefits as most of the fatty acids are destroyed by the heat of the frying process.

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