Children who eat fish at least once a week get better sleep and have a higher IQ, according to a new study.
Researchers revealed that omega-3s, the fatty acids in fish, improve kid’s intelligence and found that those who ate more scored 4.8 points higher on an IQ test than children who said they rarely ate the seafood.
Those same children also reported getting a better night’s sleep, which previous studies have linked to higher intelligence.
The findings are the first of its kind that show sleep as the link between fish and heightened intelligence, leading researchers to suggest introducing kids to fish as young as 10 months old to improve overall cognition throughout their lives.
Kids who eat more fish get better sleep and scored 4.8 points higher on an IQ test than those who rarely consumed fish, according to a study from the University of Pennsylvania
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania conducted a study on more than 500 children in China aged nine to 11 to learn more about the effects of fish on intelligence and sleep.
The participants filled out a questionnaire regarding eating habits and how often they consumed fish ranging from never, seldom to always.
They took an IQ test where researchers then matched those results to the questionnaire.
The results published in the journal Nature showed a distinct association between fish and intelligence as those who reported eating fish more often scored 4.8 points higher than those who rarely at the seafood.
Children who said they sometimes eat fish scored 3.31 points higher than those who ‘seldom’ or ‘never’ consumed it.
The parents of the children in the study were also asked to submit a questionnaire regarding their child’s sleep quality.
The length of sleep, frequency of napping and tiredness were included in the survery.
Increased fish consumption was linked to fewer disturbances of sleep, supporting the notion that omega-3s promote better overall sleep quality.
Previous research has shown that the omega-3s found in fish have health benefits that can lower blood pressure, slow the development of plaque in arteries reducing the risk of heart attack and can improve sleep.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF OMEGA-3
Omega-3 fatty acids are often touted as being incredibly beneficial to a person’s health, with findings show that omega-3 may help to:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce triglycerides
- Slow the development of plaque in the arteries
- Reduce the chance of abnormal heart rhythm
- Reduce the likelihood of heart attack and stroke
- Lessen the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease