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Stress Management for Health Course

Fish

 

"Our epidemic of heart disease and cancer may be the result of a human fish oil deficiency state so enormous we fail to recognise it."

(Dr Ewan Cameron, MD, Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine)

 

Research is now showing that the old adage that fish is good for the brain is proving so true, but fish has not only been found to be good for the brain but regular consumption can also reduce our risk of developing a number of health problems.  People who consume regular amounts of cold-water fish like salmon and tuna have been found to have a lower risk of developing stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.  Eating fish once a week has been shown to reduce our risk of stroke by 43%. 

Fish that live in colder waters like the Arctic Sea contain fats that stop the cold water freezing their blood.  These oily fish contain Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's), which have been found to be useful to us in helping to combat a number of psychological and physiological health problems.  Oily fish contains Eicosapentanoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and other Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids which have been found to help reduce blood clotting and so help to lower the risk of developing health related clotting problems like heart attacks and stokes.  Essential Fatty Acids have been shown not only to have physical health benefits but also have a positive effect on our brain chemistry and can even help to prevent depression.

The World Health Organisation and UK Food Standards Agency recommend that we only need to consume 1 portion of Oily fish per week to gain all the benefits of Omega 3 EFA.  Omega 3 is found mainly in oily fish such as herring, kippers, mackerel, pilchards, sardines, salmon, tuna, trout and anchovies.  If you eat tinned salmon or tuna try to buy the ones that are packed in water instead of oil or brine. 

 

Fish and Psychological Health

Researchers are now looking into the role of fish related Essential Fatty Acid deficiency.  Studies are suggesting that low levels of Omega fatty acid may be one factor involved in depression; for example studies have shown that when people with depression take essential fatty acids in supplement form, it helps them to recover from their depression.  Dr Peter Willats a Psychologist from Dundee University in Scotland has carried out research on the role of essential fatty acids in children, his findings revealed that supplementation of EFA's can help children who have attention problems.  The data revealed that children on the supplements are able to concentrate more, they argue less and loose their tempers less; his research has also shown that there are psychological benefits in children who have no such problems.

 

Fish and Stroke

A study of over 40,000 people at Harvard School of Medicine found that eating fish once a week reduced a persons risk of suffering a stroke by 40%.

 

Fish and Cancer

Research indicates that regular fish intake can help to lower our risk of common forms of cancer of the breast, prostate and colon.

 

Fish and Heart Disease

Eating fish on a regular basis lowers the risk of developing heart disease, the chances of survival after a heart attack are also improved, this is probably because the vital fats in fish make our blood less sticky and less prone to clot, it also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

 

Fish Oil Supplements

If you do not like the taste of fish a nutritional therapist can recommend some Omega 3 fish oil supplements.

 

Caution

        Diabetics should not consume fish oil supplements as they can disturb blood sugar balance.

        In pregnancy women are cautioned not to eat fish in excess.

        The Food Standards Agency advises pregnant women not to eat too much salmon due to dyes.

        The Food Standards Agency say pregnant women, those trying to become pregnant or those breast-feeding who consume tuna fish should cut down because of mercury levels in the fish, there is a small risk to unborn children because mercury can harm their nervous systems.

 

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