Wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna and any other kinds of oily fish are excellent sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Importance of omega-3 in the body
The brain contains high levels of omega-3 fat, so consistent ingestion of foods containing omega-3 fatty acids is vital for brain function. Deficiency can present itself in the form of low attention span, poor memory, learning difficulties and a reduction in heart health.
Omega-3 found in oily fish is converted into prostaglandins, which lubricate the eyes, arteries and your joints. It also strengthens the roots of your hair and makes your hair more shiny by encouraging natural oil production.
It is also thought to play a part in the function of your immune system. A study published in the journal “Paediatrics” on over 1000 pregnant women showed that mothers consuming daily supplementation of these essential fatty acids during pregnancy, gave birth to significantly healthier babies.
- The babies at the age of one month, where 25% less likely to develop cold symptoms, and when they did, they had a shorter duration of coughs, phlegm, and wheezing.
- At the age of three months, the group of babies whose mothers had been supplemented, were ill 14% less often.
- The babies were also, the researchers noted, 100g heavier at birth on average, and almost a centimetre longer (taller) than average at the age of 18 months.
Oily fish is a great source of vitamin D
Usually, you manufacture vitamin D in your skin through Sun exposure. However, if you do not get enough sun, you run the risk of having insufficient vitamin D. This is where adding fish to your diet can greatly increase your health – particularly in colder countries where sun exposure is reduced.
Insufficient vitamin D levels are linked to pretty much every age-related disorder there is, including heart disease, cancer, chronic inflammation, depression, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and osteoporosis. If you have to obtain your vitamin D from your diet, try to cook your fish with coconut oil, because polyunsaturated oils hinder the binding of vitamin D to D-binding proteins that allow the vitamin to be used in your body.
Alternatives to fish
If you can’t bring yourself to consume greater quantities of fish, then organic Flaxseed oil is a good supplement for the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Combine this with a supplement containing vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) to obtain many of the benefits. Be aware however, that vitamin D2, a synthetic form of vitamin D is not the same and has not been shown to have the same anti-cancer benefits.
The dangers of farmed fish
You should also bear in mind that not all fish are equal. For example, farmed salmon does not have the same health benefits as wild salmon. Many farmed fish contain dangerously high levels of mercury and other contaminants such as pesticides and antibiotics. A study carried out in the UK in 2001, discovered that farmed salmon could contain as much as 10 times more dioxins and PCBs than wild salmon (both of which are carcinogenic). These are waste products and pollution relating to the manufacturing of plastics, and the residues from insecticides.
The danger of these particular compounds is that they cannot be broken down within the body, so they can build up to dangerous levels. The best way to avoid this is to buy ocean caught fish, such as wild Alaskan salmon. The added advantage is that it can contain as much as three times greater levels of omega-3 oils, along with higher levels of antioxidants.
If you would like to learn more about preserving your health, consider Cancer Uncensored – Your Step By Step Guide to Cancer Prevention, Early Detection and Cancer Survival.
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