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6 Double-Duty Beauty Foods (Page 7)

Salmon

6. Salmon

Beauty benefit: Protects your eyes
A recent analysis of nine studies that included more than 88,000 participants suggested that people who ate at least two servings of fatty fish (such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring or trout) per week were about one-third less likely to develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than those who didn’t. Lead scientist Elaine Chong, Ph.D., a research fellow at the Centre for Eye Research at the University of Melbourne, Australia, explains that omega-3 fatty acids—particularly DHA—in fish are key components of the nerve cells in the retina. "DHA is found in much higher concentrations in the retina than in other parts of the body," she notes, "thus, a deficiency may trigger AMD." So commit to eating more fatty fish, and don’t stop there: shellfish, such as oysters and crab, provide good amounts of zinc, another nutrient that’s found in the retina and may also help protect against AMD.

Health benefit: Mood booster
Those omega-3s in salmon (and other oily, fatty fish) alter brain chemicals linked with mood—specifically dopamine and serotonin. Low levels of serotonin are linked with depression, aggression and suicidal tendencies, while dopamine is a "reward" chemical that the brain releases in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating or having sex.

Related: Easy Salmon Recipes

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