As a registered dietitian, Elizabeth Somer is very aware of the importance of a healthy diet in maintaining healthy brain function. She advocates eating whole foods that are good for both your heart and your brain.
Ms. Somer was Editor of the Nutrition Report and is now Editor-in-Chief of Nutrition alert! which is a newletter that sifts through nutrition research from over 6,000 journals for its readers. She is also a Contributing Editor to Shape magazine.
(Transcribed from video interview)
Registered Dietitian Elizabeth Somer:
Foods that manage long-term brain function is all real foods. That would be, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, all the foods that you know that are not only good for your heart, but good for your brain. There are a few that are getting a lot of attention right now and exciting research is coming out on them, and in particular, the omega-3 fats and even then, certain omega-3 fats are more important than others.
I think people think, "Oh, omega-3 is, I’ll just have flax seed. That will take care of it,” but the omega-3s in flax won’t do your brain much good. You need the omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herrings, sardines. If you don’t eat two to three servings of those a week, then you need to get foods that are fortified with the omega-3 fat DHA because that’s the fat, 97% of the omega-3s in your brain are DHA, and research is showing that those omega-3s not only lower your risk for memory loss, but possibly dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and more.
So it’s very important that pregnant women get enough omega-3s to make sure the brain function in their babies is good, but that we get enough of those omega-3s throughout the lifespan.
About Elizabeth Somer:
Elizabeth Somer, M.A., is a registered dietitian who has carved a unique professional niche as one of the few, if not only, dietitians who is well-versed in nutrition research. For 25 years, she has kept abreast of the current research, packaging that information into easy-to-read books, magazine articles, lectures, continuing education seminars, and practical news for the media.