Fish and walnuts can help speed up recovery after injuryPeople who’ve suffered bodily injury should consider a fish dinner full of omega-3 fatty acids in order to speed up recovery and help damaged nerves regenerate, according to a team of British researchers.

Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for the body’s normal growth and development. Because the body doesn’t produce omega-3 fatty acids naturally, they have to be consumed in foods such as oily fish or in supplements.

The new study, published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, has found that omega-3 fatty acids could play a significant role in preventing and protecting nerves from injury.

Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London focused on peripheral nerve cells which transmit signals between the brain and the spinal cord and the rest of the body. After injury, these cells are able to regenerate provided the damage is minor.

After simulating damage in mice by stretching the cells or starving them of oxygen, researchers then enriched the cells with omega-3 fatty acids. The result was decreased cell death and significant protection.

The same was true of sciatic mice. Administering a high level of omega-3 fatty acids helped mice recover from sciatic nerve injury more quickly and more fully, researchers said. Their muscles were also less likely to waste following nerve damage.

Meanwhile, another study published this week found that omega-3 fatty acids can help boost fertility in men by helping sperm develop fully.

Sardines, mackerel, salmon, soy beans, flaxseed oil and walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.