New York: Baked or broiled fish once a week is good for your kid's brain, regardless of how much omega-3 fatty acids it contains, says a study.
"Our study shows that people who ate a diet that included baked or broiled, but not fried, fish have larger brain volumes in regions associated with memory and cognition," said James T. Becker, a professor of psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh's school of medicine.
They found that people who ate baked or broiled fish at least once a week had greater grey matter brain volumes in areas of the brain associated with memory (4.3 percent) and cognition (14 percent).
They were more likely to have a college education than those who did not eat fish regularly.
But no association was found between the brain differences and blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
The lifestyle factors, in this case eating fish, rather than biological factors contribute to structural changes in the brain.
"A confluence of lifestyle factors likely are responsible for better brain health, and this reserve might prevent or delay cognitive problems that can develop later in life," Becker noted.
Scientists estimate that more than 80 million people will have dementia by 2040 which could become a substantial burden to families and drive up health care costs.
The anti-oxidant effect of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in high amounts in fish, seeds and nuts and certain oils, also have been associated with improved health, particularly brain health.
The paper appeared in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.