Americans need to continue to increase their seafood consumption, as the ongoing research is clear that nutrients in the protein are critical for our physical, cognitive, and mental health.
Last week’s State of the Science Symposium produced by Seafood Nutrition Partnership convened the foremost researchers studying the health benefits of seafood and omega-3 fatty acid consumption. While research discussed over the past few decades has focused on seafood consumption linked with beneficial heart health, the discussion of this year’s Symposium was on the connection of seafood consumption with brain health and improved resilience.
Americans’ mental resiliency reached an all-time low during the pandemic. Many turned to alcohol to treat anxiety and other issues. Dr. Joseph Hibbeln, renowned omega-3 scientist and researcher, noted that severe alcoholism can lead to a 50% depletion of DHA and dopamine in the brain. However, research has shown recovering alcoholics are tenfold more likely to stay sober with increased omega-3 fatty acid intake connected with seafood consumption.
“You can’t enjoy life with a seafood deficient brain,” said Hibbeln. Speakers during the Symposium reiterated seafood and omega-3’s impact on brain health, noting that the brain is an “omega-3 organ.” As calcium is to bones, omega-3 is to the brain, said Linda Cornish, president of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership.
SeaShare continues to advocate for increasing the amount of seafood available in food banks and feeding centers. Approximately 90% of the population is not meeting the USDA dietary recommendation of eating a variety of seafood 2-3 times per week. Americans facing food insecurity shouldn’t have to make the impossible choice of feeding their family a nutritious seafood meal or paying energy or medical bills. SeaShare continues to make seafood available at food banks so families dealing with food insecurity have a better chance of increasing their mental resiliency in their time of need.