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January 2012
Go Ahead, Join the Party!

Socializing can keep your brain healthy

This New Year, why not toast to a healthier brain? Research has shown that social interaction, a big part of the holiday season, has important benefits in regards to cognitive function. Along with a healthy diet and the right supplements, socializing with friends and family can keep your brain fit and young.

Though you may have come across brain-training puzzles and exercises, you may not know that something as simple as a nice chat may actually boost brainpower. BBC News cites a study conducted by University of Michigan researchers in which over 3000 participants were interviewed about their social habits and also given mental tests to determine memory and intellectual capacity. Though the participants ranged in age from young adults to elderly, the study showed that “regardless of age, those who were more ‘socially engaged’ fared better.” Oscar Ybarra, a psychologist who led the study, states that "the more socially engaged participants were, the lower their level of cognitive impairment and the better their working memory performance."

Though experts are not entirely certain why socializing is beneficial for sharpening the memory and brain function overall, Oscar Ybarra offers a possible explanation. "To some extent,” says Ybarra, “the human mind evolved to deal with social problems, so it's not surprising that exercising that aspect of our minds has downstream benefits.” Many experts have also concluded that a healthy social life can even help to keep Alzheimer’s disease and dementia at bay, according to aarp.org.

Of course, a night out on the town alone is not enough to keep your memory sharp and your brain healthy. Getting enough sleep, eating the right foods and supplementing when you need to are also crucial. One very important factor in cognitive health and function is the right amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Though Omega-3 fatty acids are not made by the body on its own, they are vital to many parts of the body, including the brain. These acids have been shown to be essential to proper memory and the function, growth and development of the brain,  according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.  The UMM goes on to state that “a number of studies show that reduced intake of Omega-3 fatty acids is associated with increased risk of age related cognitive decline or dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.” As such, DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid, is even thought to have a preventative effect on dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Since Omega-3 fatty acids are not naturally occurring within the body, it is important to obtain them through diet and supplements. Eating fish high in Omega-3s is a good start, but it is difficult to get the amount that your body needs through diet alone. A great choice to make sure that you get enough Omega-3 fatty acids is a high-quality fish oil supplement like  Pacific Health Fish Oil Plus. With balanced amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, Fish Oil Plus provides 1000 mg of Omega-3s in each soft gel. Taking three a day provides 540 mg EPA and 360 mg DHA toward your daily Omega-3 intake.

Ring in 2012 with a resolution for a stronger, healthier brain! Even after the holidays have gone, make it a point to socialize with friends, relatives and neighbors. An active social life, along with a premium fish oil supplement like Fish Oil Plus, will keep your mind sharp for many New Years to come!
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