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Love Anchovies? Your Brain Thanks You

A pizza Napoli with anchovies.
marco mayer/Shutterstock

A relatively new area of psychiatric study is examining the link between diet and mental health. One of the latest discoveries in the field has been the powerful effect anchovies can have on the brain.

Of course, not everyone adores the taste of anchovies. However, on a recent episode of the mindbodygreen podcast, Dr. Drew Ramsey, author of Eat to Beat Depression and Anxiety, said these little fishes can offer impressive benefits to the brain.

It’s all about the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids found in anchovies. These help form docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which is essential for brain health. This form of omega-3 helps improve memory function, repair brain cells, and might even prevent depression.

But does it have to be anchovies, you might ask? After all, omega-3 fatty acids (including DHA) are also commonly found in other fish, like salmon. Dr. Ramsey said anchovies are ideal due to their size. Because they’re so small, they’re less likely to absorb as much mercury and other pollutants as larger fish.

So, next time you order pizza, you might want to consider asking for some anchovies on top. If you just can’t do it, though, don’t worry—eating the kind of fish you enjoy is still good for your noggin.

[Via mindbodygreen]

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »

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