Heart Health and Cold Water Fish Connection

Cultures that thrive on a diet of cold water fish tend to have a better health profile than cultures that don’t. When researchers began to study this interesting phenomenon, they discovered some remarkable nutrients in fatty fish. Nutrients that may help people all over the world support heart health, either by increasing their intake of fresh fatty fish or taking fish oil supplements.

Greenland Eskimos. This group of people first came under research in the 1970s when two Danish scientists began to study the dietary patterns of Eskimos living in Greenland. Up until this time, scientists believed that all fat was bad.

The typical Eskimo diet consisted of mainly fats from fish, whales and seals. Researchers noticed these Eskimos maintained a healthy heart profile and the incidence of heart-related ailments was much less when compared to other cultures that subsisted on high-fat diets. After closer study, scientists were able to conclude that not all fat was bad. In fact, the “fat” in fatty fish, namely, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), may actually impart health benefits and could be the reason for the higher heart health statistics prevalent in this culture. The Greenland Inuit study encouraged scientists to study omega 3 fatty acids in greater depth. It was at this time that fish oil supplements as dietary aids were considered a viable option for those living in other parts of the world.

The Mediterranean Diet. The Mediterranean diet is wholesome and mainly consists of fish, vegetables, nuts, olive oil, whole grains and a moderate intake of red meat and red wine. The peoples living in this region form some of the oldest civilizations in the world and are known to have the highest longevity. Although this diet spans different countries, and differs from culture to culture around the Mediterranean region, the essential components remain the same.

In the 1970s, Dr. Ancel Keys, PhD of the University of Minnesota compared diets of major societies to their nation-wide heart statistics. He recognized a direct relationship between a high-fat diet and prevailing heart-health related ailments. The only exception to this was the country of Crete, a small island off the coast of Greece. Although the typical diet in Crete was high in fats, the fat was the good kind derived from olive oil or fatty fish which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.

The Mediterranean diet gained global recognition in the 1990s. Since then it has been considered a model diet for healthy living and is believed to form a natural defense to support heart health. Those who do not like fish, or find it hard to eat fish regularly, find a fish oil supplement equally beneficial.

The Japanese Diet. Japanese men have similar health profiles when compared to their American counterparts. In fact, Japanese men smoke more than American men, but in spite of this, surveys indicate more men die of heart-related ailments in the United States than they do in Japan. Researchers believe that this higher incidence of heart health may have something to do with their diets. Although Japanese diets are more “westernized” these days, Japanese men still continue to eat about 3 ounces of fish a day. This is about 8 times higher than the average American, according to Dr. William Harris, researcher at the American Heart Association.

Statistics show that poor heart health is a major killer around the world. It accounts for 30 percent of deaths globally. The good news is that there continues to be a growing body of research that supports the health-promoting benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish oil supplements combined with a heart healthy diet and exercise regimen are known to have a positive impact on heart health, perhaps even lower the incidence of heart-related ailments by 50 percent according to some studies.

Because of these culture studies, further research on omega 3 fatty acids confirms the beneficial influence of omega 3 fatty acids on many other aspects of health. Fish oil is considered to be brain food and research shows it supports healthy brain functions, including cognitive abilities and mental well-being. DHA is required for healthy development of the brain, eyes, and reproductive system. Omega 3 fatty acids help promote joint health and respiratory health. Fish oil is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and supports immune health.

Since these nutrients must be obtained through diet alone, a regular intake of fatty fish or a daily dose of fish oil supplements is necessary. Those who do not get an adequate intake through diet alone are encouraged to take fish oil supplements. Pharmaceutical grade fish oil supplements like Triple Strength Omega 3 are of the highest purity, since they are free from contaminants. Such fish oils also have the highest potency of EPA and DHA. Since fish oil supplements could help better your health in a number of ways increasing your intake of omega-3s through fish oil supplement, or fresh fatty fish intake, could prove to be a major health investment!!

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