Grow your brain with fish

Bigger isn't always better. But when it comes to your brain, you want it to be as big as possible -- because the more gray matter you have, the better your cognitive function.

There's no drug that can grow brain cells or even prevent them from dying off.

But there is something else that can do the trick -- a safe and natural habit I hope you have already. And if you don't, it's not too late to get started.

All you have to do is eat fish just once a week.

Enjoy a healthy salmon dinner on Fridays, for example, and your hippocampus will be roughly 14 percent larger than that of someone who eats little to no fish.

And if that's not enough, that same weekly fish dinner will increase the size of your orbital frontal cortex by 4 percent.

The hippocampus is where memories are made and kept. It's also essential to learning. The orbital frontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for executive function, or the ability to actually use what you know and make decisions.

As you get older, both of these regions shrink. While that's normal, a faster shrink rate is a major risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer's.

If eating fish can slow it down, then those salmon dinners just might help prevent this devastating disease.

The type of fish doesn't matter much, according to the study. But how you cook it does -- and if you want the brain-boosting benefits, then remember to bake or broil it.

Fried fish, on the other hand, won't help your brain to grow.

What's especially interesting here is that the study finds that the increased size of the hippocampus and orbital frontal cortex isn't linked to omega-3 fatty acids -- just fish consumption.

But since other studies have found that omega-3 fatty acids can protect and even enhance brain function, be sure to choose fish highest in EPA and DHA, such as wild salmon (and never buy the farmed stuff).

In addition, mercury contamination in seafood is a real threat, so avoid mackerel, swordfish and even most tuna.

For more on how to carefully choose the best seafood, dive into this free report from my House Calls archives.

With so many limitations, it's difficult to get all the omega-3 fatty acids you need from diet alone, so be sure to add a quality supplement from a maker you trust.