Air pollution is a serious risk to our health—linked to things like asthma, cognitive decline, and more. A 2020 study in the journal Neurology found that exposure to particulate matter from air pollution (from things like vehicle exhaust and power plants) was associated with declining brain size (brain shrinkage) over 3 years in women aged 65-80.
The good news? Some of the women in the study we protected against the effects of pollution because of the foods they ate.
You probably thought I was going to say kale or garlic, right? I’m sure those foods would help too. But this study found that women who ate 1-2 servings per week of baked or broiled fish maintained larger brains than women who never ate fish.
Fish are one of nature’s best sources of omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA). These fats are anti-inflammatory and support brain health.
One word of caution when it comes to fish: some are high in mercury and other environmental toxins (kind of defeats the purpose of battling pollution in the body). According to the Environmental Working Group, here are some of the best options that are low in mercury and high in omega-3s:
🐟 Rainbow Trout
🐟 Atlantic Mackerel
What’s your favorite way to get omega-3s?
Chen C, Xun P, Kaufman JD et al. Erythrocyte omega-3 index, ambient fine particle exposure, and brain aging. Neurology. 2020.