Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Do You Have a Fat Brain? If Not You Should

Seriously, everyone needs a fat brain. In a world where "skinny" is good, if you want a healthy happy brain, you need a fat brain. Get this:

Did you know that 60% of your brain is made of fat?

No kidding. It's a scientific fact. Look it up if you don't believe me. Most of those fats are polyunsaturated fat, so, sorry, but eating Twinkies isn't going to help your brain.

Instead these fats are omega-3 fatty acids, and form the cell membranes that cover neurons and other cell organs. These fats are also the main ingredient in your synapses and dendrites, which are the connections between your neurons. In short, these fats form the parts of your brain that allow you to think. Huh, imagine that!

So What Kind of Fat Does Your Brain Need?
Omega-3 fatty acids are what your brain needs to function. Specifically, the brain needs two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA. There's been a lot of news lately about DHA, and that is because studies show that a low intake of DHA fats can lead to depression and other brain impairments, while increasing intake of DHA relieves these problems.

Why Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids Hard to Get?
Unfortunately, because of food processing methods and industrial methods of raising livestock, most of the omega-3 fatty acids have been removed from the foods we eat. I'm not just referring to Twinkies here, but basically any packaged food and meats that are not organic.

So unless you are eating food out of your own garden and raising your own livestock, you may need to supplement your body's natural supply of omega-3 fatty acids ... that is, if you want to have a fat brain. In fact, your brain needs to be really fat to function well.

Here's another interesting fat fact: fat makes up 25% of a healthy brain's total brain. That's pretty fat!

Healthy Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you want to supplement your body's omega-3 fatty acids, look to the ocean and think Eskimos. As a population Eskimos have been shown to have some of the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Why? Because they eat a lot of coldwater fish like cod, mackerel and salmon. These cold-water fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids because they, in turn, eat a lot of blue-green algae.

So to increase your levels of omega-3 fatty acids, you can eat fish, take fish oil supplements, or go straight to the source and eat blue-green algae. In fact, going to the source may be best because many fish suffer from environmental contamination, and many fish oil supplements degrade by the time they reach your local health food store's shelves. The University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter strongly recommends eating AFA blue-green algae as an alternative to fish oil supplements.

Personally, although I quite like to cook and eat fish, especially salmon, I find that taking blue-green algae capsules to be a convenient daily supplement to ensure that my brain's getting enough fat.

I've never wanted to be fat in my life, but these days, I'm thinking being fat in certain parts of my body is a good thing.

I'm going for a fat brain ... what about you?

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