A new study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania has linked higher IQ scores and healthier sleep patterns in children with fish consumption. Five hundred Chinese children were questioned on their eating habits, as to how many times they had eaten fish in the previous month. The kids were then given IQ tests. Their parents were also asked about the children’s sleeping habits. Results show a good correlation between eating more fish and doing better in the tests.
When asked the question regarding their diet, children were between 9 and 11 years of age. The IQ tests were taken at the age of 12, for all 500 kids. Those who had said they eat fish “at least once a week” scored between 3.3 and 4.8 points higher on IQ tests than those who said they “seldom” or “never” ate fish. Answers from parents questioned about their children’s sleep patterns also showed that eating fish leads to more peaceful rest for youngsters.
The study is quite general in scope, as children were too young to be questioned reliably on the type of fish they consume regularly. However, many fish have fatty acids containing omega-3, consumption of which has been linked by multiple studies to an increase in IQ, and has been shown to provide better sleep. Tuna, salmon and sardines are all popular types of fish that contain copious amounts of omega-3.
Researchers published the study in the journal Science Reports. Based on these findings, they recommend adding fish to children’s diets as soon as possible. Scientists are aware that fish can be an acquired taste for kids, so they even offer serving suggestions. For example, shredded fillets are safe for children, and are more appetizing than fish steaks. In any case, the study suggests that adding fish to a regular diet can have great positive impact on learning abilities. Which parent wouldn’t want that for their offspring?