Few single foods can bring as many health contributions to your diet in significant quantities as wild Alaskan salmon. Wild salmon is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are necessary for optimum maternal and infant health.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
- Protect heart health
- Reduce risk of sudden death from heart disease
- Reduce risk of stroke
- Reduce chance of heart disease in Type 2 Diabetes
- Essential in infant brain and eye development during pregnancy and infancy
- Improve blood lipid patterns
- Improve blood vessel function
- Improve symptoms of immune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and some skin conditions
- Reduce the risk of some mental disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and depression
The protective role of fish against heart disease and cancer may be attributed to the type of oil found in certain species of coldwater fish, especially Alaska salmon. These fish oils, referred to as “Omega-3”, are polyunsaturated. Their chemical structure and metabolic function are quite different from the polyunsaturated oils found in vegetable oils, known as “Omega-6”.
The type of dietary fat (monounsaturated, saturated, or polyunsaturated) we consume alters the production of a group of biological compounds known as eicosanoids(prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes). These eicosanoids have biological influences on blood pressure, blood clotting, inflammation, immune function, and coronary spasms. In the case of Omega-3 oils, a series of eicosanoids are produced, which may result in a decreased risk of heart disease, inflammatory processes, and certain cancers.
Omega-3 oils also exert additional protective effects against coronary heart disease by:
- decreasing blood lipids (cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins or LDL, and triglycerides)
- decreasing blood clotting factors in the vascular system
- increasing relaxation in larger arteries and other blood vessels
- decreasing inflammatory processes in blood vessels
Additional studies have provided exciting news about the benefits of Omega-3 oils for individuals with arthritis, psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, lupus erythematosus, asthma, and certain cancers. Research studies have consistently shown that Omega-3 fatty acids delay tumor appearance, and decrease the growth, size, and number of tumors.
A recent study at the University of Washington has confirmed that eating a modest amount of salmon (one salmon meal per week) can reduce the risk of primary cardiac arrest. Cardiac arrest claims the lives of 250,000 Americans each year. Fresh, fresh-frozen, or canned wild Alaska sockeye salmon can provide up to 730 milligrams of Omega-3s per 3 oz serving, making it a great choice to add to a heart health-conscious diet.
Other studies, such as the Zupthen Study, a 20-year investigation of a Dutch population, confirmed similar benefits. The risk of coronary heart disease decreased (as much as 2.5 times) with increasing fish consumption. This suggests that moderate amounts (one to two servings per week) of fish are of value in the prevention of coronary heart disease, when compared with no fish intake.
The type of dietary fat we consume is very important. It has been well documented that saturated fat can increase the risk of heart disease. The amount of saturated fat in both high-oil fish and lean fish is minimal. Fish, and other seafood, also offers lean, high-quality protein, as well as many other important vitamins and minerals.