Eating fish or other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids—such as flaxseeds and walnuts—at least weekly may protect against age-related memory loss in older adults, according to findings published in the journal Neurology.
Researchers followed 915 adults with a median age of 81.4 years for an average of five years. The volunteers, who had no signs of dementia at the start, were tested annually for cognitive ability and questioned about their dietary habits. Then they were divided into two groups: those who reported eating a seafood meal at least once a week and those who ate seafood less often.
Those eating more seafood had reduced rates of decline in their semantic memory (memory of verbal information) and slower rates of decline in their ability to quickly compare letters, objects and patterns. But there was no significant difference in the rate of decline for short-term memory used in mental functions in the present or in memory of personal experiences.