We’ve heard the phrase, “Eat more Chicken,” but how about “Eat more Fish?” Fish, but especially Alaskan Salmon has a lot of great nutrients in it such as the Omega 3s: DHA and EPA which are extremely healthy for the brain. But what we must know is that all fish are not equal, so what’s a mother to do?
According to Dr. Sears, fish can be considered a top super food, read more on why he says this first.
Here are some top reasons for eating quality fish:
- It builds better brains and there is a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s, dementia and cognitive decline.
- It helps the heart to be healthier by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, blood clots and even incidence of heart attacks.
- It is good for the gut and the endocrine system which means that the risk of inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer is reduced.
- It improves the eyesight and lessens age-related disease.
- It build better bones and can reduce osteoporosis.
- It can improve immunity.
- It can help alleviate asthma.
- It reduces the chance of cancer, especially colorectal and prostate.
- It can help skin issues.
- It may help with weight control as well.
A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that out of 254 volunteers that were tested for Omega 3 (EPA levels), the participants with the highest levels, lived the longest. (Sears p.192)
How much Omega 3 or fish should we eat daily?
The International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids and the US National Institutes of Health agree that we need at least 600 milligrams per day of Omega 3s, which include DHA and EPA. That means that if you eat 6 ounces of wild salmon twice a week, you would consume the equivalent of 600 milligrams a day.
Alaskan caught salmon can be expensive, so if you can’t do that every week, maybe buy an Omega 3 oil or vitamin to take daily. Remember if you are buying salmon, I do not recommend purchasing any from the Pacific waters close to Japan or from China. Because of the nuclear fallout years ago, coastal waters are still being affected. Also, there are many farmed fish coming from China and farmed fish are often GMO or genetically modified–not good! Read more about GMOs here. Remember farmed fish are typically bigger too.
What fish not to eat
There are also other fish that are good for you, but the salmon does have the highest ratios of DHA and EPA in them. Another rule of thumb, according to Dr. Sears is that “the bigger the fish, the longer it lives; and the more predatory the species, the more mercury and other pollutants it is likely to contain.” Shark and swordfish are at the top of his list. I personally do not recommend no-gill fish such as catfish, ground feeders such as tilapia, lobster and shrimp; and tuna, seaweed, kelp or any other fish that are from contaminated waters. When eating fish and seafood, you have to really do your homework these days unfortunately. I just think the bodies of water, including our rivers and lakes are just not as clean as they were even 50 years ago–hopefully I’m wrong.