Ever wonder why salmon has gained such recognition and now has medical professionals touting that many people need to include this fish in their diet? Is there a reason behind this or is it just more misled hype like using margarine instead of butter?
Though many people may not like salmon, I love it. After I researched into why it was being thrown into the nutritional lime light, I loved it even more. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and is easily found in canned, frozen, and fresh forms. Other fish have omega-3 fats, however wild salmon carries a higher concentration than most. You may have heard mention of these fatty acids before, but if you are like me, you may not have realized the full extent of our need for them. To understand the solution, you must first understand the problem.
One of the ways our society is suffering from its fast food habits is in a deficiency that many may not know about: a deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids. This increases chance of heart disease and certain cancers. Imagine the causes behind some diseases and cancers… Heart attacks and strokes are caused by the clotting of blood cells in some area of the body. Cells inability to properly function in the lungs lead to asthma and other lung issues. Diabetes is caused by insulin resistance in the body with cells unable to do what is necessary to regulate sugars. A number of cancers are linked to similar cellular malfunctions. Now, how do these all tie in together?
Cellular function and health. Omega-3 fatty acids aid the human body to form healthy cell membrane, which improves its over-all cellular health. With a healthier cell membrane, blood cells will not clot as easily to form life-ending blockages. Through natural adjustments, omega-3 decreases the risk of developing the health problems we discussed above and so many more. There is even research being done on how these fatty acids decrease risk of mental problems and aid in recovery of current issues. It is suggested that it will help cellular brain functions as well, such as concentration, memory, and mood regulation. This means that it would help prevent and/or control such issues as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and depression. Will it cure all of these problems totally and all at once? No. However, if we can decrease our risk of these by doing something as simple as eating fish two to three times a week, I’m willing to give it a try! Are you?
There is still as much need for caution to potential over-dose in healthy foods as there are in medication. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing; balance is needed in foods as much as in all areas of life. If omega-3 fatty acids prevent your blood from clotting enough to cause you health problems, then consuming too much omega-3 could cause your blood to not clot enough and lead to extreme blood loss. Anyone on blood-thinners and/or aspirin should take caution when changing their diet to increase their omega-3 intake. Consult with the doctor who prescribed the medications before diet changes. It may be decided that you can use diet to manage your health more than medications.
Vitamin D is one of a few other essentials that we can get from salmon. It is similar to omega-3 in that it can help prevent cancers. Vitamin D, unlike other vitamins, acts more like a hormone in our bodies. This means that it can help reduce people’s risk of such cancers as breast, colon, ovarian, and prostate. Many food companies are coming out with vitamin D fortified versions of their products. This is handy, but I still prefer to get the majority of mine through natural means. Salmon and sunshine (both in moderation) can do that.
This is just a bit of the information out there about the benefits of foods like salmon. I found all of this and more in a book put out by Dr. Steven Pratt, M.D. and Kathy Matthews called “SuperFoods Rx.” I love learning about the benefits of foods and this is one of many books that I have on the subject.