If you’ve been following the Mediterranean diet for a while now, this news will come as no surprise to you. According to a new study, getting more fish in your diet can lead to improved sleep — and a higher IQ to boot.
The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed the link between eating more fish and having better sleep, most notably, having fewer sleep disturbances throughout the night.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bdk3Hiel2PJ/ Sleep Review Magazine even shows that while previous studies showed a link between fish (and specifically, omega-3s) and improved intelligence, and omega-3s and better sleep, they didn’t necessarily link the two directly together. Until now. So get that sushi order placed.
Notably, the difference in getting omega-3s from food and not from supplements was key to the study, and showed that organically consuming the nutrient was the real secret to its powerful benefits. And getting started at and early age, and introducing fishy foods to children, can mean sleep benefits from the start.
“It adds to the growing body of evidence showing that fish consumption has really positive health benefits and should be something more heavily advertised and promoted,” says study co-author Jennifer Pinto-Martin, PhD. “Children should be introduced to it early on.”
While the study was only performed on children and needs a similar adult-only study to prove that the benefits and results translate to an older population, with all of the advantages of eating fish, the final boosts aren’t that hard to believe.
“Fish helps with sleep, and this results in higher IQ,” adds lead study author Jianghong Liu. “If parents want their kids to be healthy and high performing in school, they should put fish on the table.”
And adding a regular serving of salmon to your dinner table in place of other proteins could be just one way to improve sleep and boost the restorative benefits of rest.
“Doing that could be a lot easier than nudging children about going to bed,” adds co-author Adrian Raine. “If fish improves sleep, great. If it also improves cognitive performance—like we’ve seen here—even better. It’s a double hit.” Want to incorporate more fish into your diet? Check out our guide to picking and cooking the perfect fish.