Theories abound on how zombies came to exist. Contaminated food supply, mutated viruses, radiation exposure or parasitic infection. No matter the cause of the zombie state, one thing is consistent for all zombies – a need for BRAINS.
As we don’t have any zombies to consult for this article, we must rely on a bit of speculation as to why zombies have a nutritional preference for brains. The human brain is the fattiest organ in the body, made up of at least 60% fat. However if the fat was the only nutrient a zombie was interested in, adipose tissue (body fat) might be an easier target, especially in North America where roughly 70% of the population is overweight or obese.
What brain tissue has that body fat does not is a high concentration of a specific omega 3 fatty acid, DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Concentrations of this essential fatty acid are higher in the brain than any other tissue. Could it be that zombies are hungering for more DHA?
Functions of DHA in the Brain
DHA is essential for the development of the brain and nervous system in infants, and in the repair and protection of the brain in aging individuals. Perhaps zombies are seeking the known benefits of DHA on cognitive function (as their function has been significantly decreased by the zombie state). Some of the known benefits include:
- Improved memory
- Improved learning
- Improved mood
- Improved neuroplasticity
- Decreased rates of dementia
- Decreased rates of depression
- Increased brain size (less loss of brain size with age)
Novel Nutritional Recommendations for Zombies
I’d like to encourage all zombies, and zombie caregivers, to consider other sources of DHA and to leave the brains where they are best put to use – in the heads of healthy humans. While food sources of DHA are not abundant in the typical zombie diet, incorporating more of these foods may help to reduce brain cravings and support zombie health.
Food Sources of DHA
- Fatty fish – especially cold water fish like anchovies, salmon, mackerel, and herring
- Eggs – especially DHA enriched eggs
- DHA supplements
Dyall SC, Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and share effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. Front Aging Neurosci 2015;7:52 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404917/
The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes by the supernatural community. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed monster doctor. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Frankenstein, or other primary care provider is recommended for any supernatural being suffering from a health problem.