Eat Your Fish

Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

 

Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar.  Join us! 

Fish has long been known as “brain food” because it contains the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both brain-healthy nutrients that must be obtained from the diet. Certain fish contain more heart-healthy omega-3s than others. Be sure you’re eating the right kind. Cold-water oily fish, like salmon, mackerel, sardines, and tuna contain high amounts of omega-3s.

A recent study from the University of Pittsburg found that people who eat baked or broiled fish at least once a week are at decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment (less-severe memory loss that may lead to Alzheimer’s). The decreased risk was associated with increases in grey matter in certain areas of the brain associated with memory—the hippocampus, posterior cingulate, and the orbital frontal cortex.

A previous study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in 2009 found that eating baked or boiled fish gave better heart-healthy omega-3 benefits than eating fried, salted or dried fish. So how you cook the fish makes a difference.

One thing I always caution, however, is to be careful of the mercury content of certain fish. Take for example albacore tuna—yes, it contains a lot of omega-3s, but it’s also high in mercury. Not the best option, especially on a regular basis! Sardines and salmon tend to be some of the best sources of omega-3s low in mercury.

If you want to be sure to get the heart healthy omega-3s, but don’t want to eat so much fish, or risk consuming too much mercury, take a high-quality, purified, concentrated fish oil supplement. Look for the International Fish Oils Standard (IFOS) icon to be sure the product is certified to exceed world standards for fish oil purity.

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