Cerebral Celebration

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March is quite a month for paying tribute to the brain─arguably among our most important organs. For starters, March 14-20 is Brain Awareness Week─a nationwide effort organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives and the Society for Neuroscience to promote the public and personal benefits of brain research. This global campaign unites the efforts of organizations worldwide in a week-long celebration of the brain.

Additionally, March 14 is pi day, when math lovers around the country celebrate pi, the irrational number commonly abbreviated to 3.14. Pi is the number you get when you divide the circumference of a circle by its diameter, or distance across.

But wait, there’s more on a brainy note. March 14 is also Albert Einstein’s birthday─one of the great minds of all time─which we celebrate with a quote: “There are two ways to live your life – one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

Ready for another way to celebrate your brain? Boost your omega-3 fatty acid intake. It turns out that omega-3s─which make up the outer membrane of brain cells─are a true cerebral health essential. Nerve signals must pass through this fat-rich cell membrane, and as daily learning and memory forge new connections between nerve cells, new membranes must be created to sheathe them.

All of your brain cell membranes must be continuously refreshed with a new supply of fatty acids, and numerous studies suggest that omega-3s are ideally suited for optimal brain function. If you eat at least 3.5 ounces of prime, low-mercury sources like wild salmon, sardines, or mackerel daily–enough to net you about 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids–that’s a great start. If not, high-quality fish oil capsules offer a simple, effective solution. Vegetarians can benefit from omega-3 rich flaxseed, hempseed and canola oils, as well as walnuts. Here’s a toast to brain health─this week and all year long.

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