A new study from the University of Pennsylvania revealed that eating fish every week can dramatically improve sleep quality and boost IQ in kids. Researchers believe that the omega-3 fatty acids in fish brought the benefits.
The study involved more than 500 Chinese children in the 9-11 age bracket. Kids were asked to fill in questionnaires on their eating habits and the frequency they ate fish.
Some children never ate fish while others ate it once a week. Volunteers were also asked to take an IQ test called the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised to have their verbal and cognitive skills measured.
Parents were also involved. They answered questions about how well their kids slept at night and for how long. Daytime drowsiness and night disturbances were also reported.
The research team found that kids consuming fish on a weekly basis scored 4.8 points higher on the IQ test than their peers who only ate fish once in a while. The fish-eaters also had better sleep quality and reported fewer disturbances and daytime fatigue.
Food Can Influence Human Body, Mood
Nevertheless, the study has some limitations. It did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship as it was only observational. The research team plans a follow-up study with adult participants and controlled trials.
The latest study belongs to a new type of research documenting the effects of food on the human body and mood.
This area of research is not well-developed. It’s emerging,
lead author Jianghong Liu said.
It is not the first time a study finds some health benefits tied to omega-3s. The National Institutes of Health found that the fatty acids can improve the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.
Oter studies have found a strong link between omega-3s and better heart health.