Isa Robinson Discusses Oily Fish
We spoke to the fantastic Isa Robinson, a training nutritionist with an interest in Eating Disorders, intuitive eating & gentle nutrition, on what her favourite tip for good brain health is. You can find out more about Isa & see the scientific references for her advice below.
As a nearly registered nutritionist, I am intrigued by the growing body of literature on nutritional psychiatry and how what we eat may influence mood.
One tip specifically I have with regard to supporting my brain health is including 2-3 portions of oily fish per week. I like to use the acronym SMASH to remember the types of oily fish which include sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon and herring. Trout also counts as an oily fish but tuna was recently removed.
Oily fish contain omega 3 fatty acids and specifically two compounds eicosapentaenoic acid and Decosahexaenoic acid known as EPA and DHA for short. EPA and DHA are powerful anti-inflammatories which can quell or reduce inflammation in the body including the brain which may be responsible for preventing progression of conditions like Alzheimer’s.
Moreover, the majority of the brain is made up of fat with DHA making up 50% of membrane composition of brain tissue. Therefore omega 3 is needed to produce and support brain cells.
Research further shows benefits of EPA and DHA to support memory, neuronal signalling, mood and prevent age related memory decline. Although these benefits should be considered as part of a broader healthy diet and lifestyle.
Fish is also delicious - canned counts too, and can be used in a whole variety of recipes.
If you don’t eat fish, Omega 3 does also exist in plant foods like walnuts, chia seeds and flax. However, these have to be converted to EPA and DHA by the body and rates have been found to be slow so vegans may also benefit from an algae supplement.
Want More of This? Get Some Brain Food Every Week.
No spam. Just a weekly email to help you reach your potential.
Isa Robinson is on a mission to empower women to practice a “healthy” and balanced relationship with food and their bodies. She is coming to the end of her masters in Eating Disorders & Clinical Nutrition at UCL, as well as her training as a nutritional therapist. By September she will a practicing Registered Nutritionist, hoping to specialise food for mental health.
She is passionate about the importance of balance and the need to maintain a holistic definition of health that encompasses the physical, social, emotional and psychological aspects of our wellbeing.
As well as her studies, Isa is an ambassador for the UK’s leading Eating Disorder charity Beat where she enjoys speaking at schools and conferences. She has also collaborated with brands including Morrisons and Birds Eye.
In her free time she enjoys baking, any form of passion fruit cocktail and a good ol’ boogey with friends.