There’s no such thing as a magic bullet to protect you against disease. But a few things come close. And it turns out fish is about as close as you can get.
The fact is a dinner pulled from the deep-sea delivers a long list of science-backed health benefits. And if you’re not already eating two servings of fatty, wild-caught, cold water fish a week, it’s time to change that.
Put more fish on the menu to reel in the benefits
You’re practically guaranteed to reel in the following 10 health benefits when you make fish a regular part of your dining routine.
1. Wards off blindness:
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among seniors. But research shows that just one serving of fatty fish per week could slash your risk of this devastating eye disease by more than 30 percent.
2. Fights diabetes:
Research has revealed that folks with the highest levels of the omega-3s EPA and DHA are more than a third less likely to get diabetes than those with the lowest. And your best source of EPA and DHA is, of course, fatty, wild-caught cold water fish such as mackerel, tuna, and herring.
3. Slashes heart disease risk:
One recent meta-analysis revealed diets high in EPA and DHA also lower the odds of heart disease in folks who are at high risk. In fact, people with high triglycerides who had more omega-3s in their diet had an impressive 16 percent lower risk of developing the disease than their peers. And those with high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol had a significant 14 percent lower risk.
4. Protects against strokes:
Lab research shows that DHA can help protect the brain against the devastation of a stroke. In an animal study, the potent omega-3 reduced swelling and neurological deficits in the hours that followed a stroke. Ultimately, the research found that DHA could reduce stroke-related brain damage by a whopping 59 percent.
5. Fight brain shrinkage:
Experts say omega-3-rich fish can also offer a buffer against other cognitive threats including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, high levels of the fatty acids boost blood flow to the brain’s memory centers and limit the brain shrink we usually see with aging.
6. Combats mental illness & anxiety:
Lab research hints that in some cases DHA may even be powerful enough to help balance bipolar disorder in a way that’s similar to psychiatric drugs. In animal experiments, DHA blew away depression and suppressed stress-triggered mania in bipolar mice. And in one clinical study with stressed out medical students, omega-3s drove down anxiety levels by 20 percent.
7. Soothes stiff, aching joints:
Omega-3s are natural inflammation-fighters. And the same benefits that beat back heart disease pack a punch against arthritis, too. Clinical studies show that fatty fish can send joint pain and tenderness plummeting. In some cases, the results are so dramatic that folks were able to ditch risky painkillers altogether.
8. Smooths out wrinkles:
Regularly eating fish could help you look younger too. Omega-3s help to protect against the wrinkles that form when your skin is exposed to too much UV light. And as natural anti-inflammatories, they help reduce collagen damage, while easing the kind of redness and puffiness that can add years to your face’s age.
9. Reduces gum disease risk:
Men and women who fill up on EPA and DHA rich fish have a 20 percent lower risk of developing gum disease. Plus omega-3s fight of oral bugs such as Streptococcus mutans, Candida albicans, and Porphyromonas ginigivalis.
10. Conquers cancer:
The inflammation-fighting power of a fish dinner makes it the perfect choice to help reduce your cancer risk too. In fact, clinical research shows that folks who ate the most omega-3 fatty acids cut their colon cancer risk by more than half. And their risk of the most common form of breast cancer was slashed by nearly a third.
The trick is to focus on fatty, wild-caught cold water fish such as mackerel, herring, salmon, and tuna. Avoid the farm-raised variety, which tends to have higher levels of mercury, can be lower in healthy omega-3s, and are often more highly contaminated with pesticides, antibiotics and other man-made chemicals.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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