You probably heard the old adage that fish is brain food. If you’ve been following the latest medical research, then you know that this is true. Fatty fish, such as tuna and salmon, are loaded with fatty acids called omega-3s. There is a special type of omega-3, which is believed to play a role in healthy brain function, and that is called DHA (docosahexaeoic acid). Low levels of DHA in the brain have been linked to depression, dementia, and other mental illnesses.
Mussels, like fatty fish, are packed with DHA. A three ounce serving of mussels has over three times the amount of DHA typically found in most omega-3 supplements. Mussels also have a high amount of vitamin B12, which is important to healthy brain and nervous system functioning.
As we age, our brains shrink as a natural part of aging. However, people with high levels of DHA have been found to have slower rates of brain shrinkage. Whether this has any link to age related mental decline has yet to be proven. Many people have concerns about pollutants in mussels. Mussels are filter feeders so contamination in the water could contaminate the mussels. Most mussels consumed today are farm-raised where water quality is less of an issue.
Bottom line, mussels are a great source of DHA, and they provide an additional option to tuna and salmon. They are packed with B-vitamins, and they are quite easy to cook. Check out our recipes for mussels for ideas. Mussels fit well in any of our meal plans for weight loss. Mussels are high in protein, low in carbohydrates, have a low glycemic index, and are a key component of the Mediterranean diet. The only problem is that they need to be cooked soon after purchase making them a bit of a challenge for the on-the-go dieter.