“Only one food has the reputation from time immemorial of being a “brain food”. That food is fish… you should plan to eat a seafood meal seven days a week — and salmon at least five times a week.”
– Nicholas Perricone, M.D., “The Perricone Prescription”
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.
All these benefits combine to make wild Alaskan sockeye salmon the natural choice for anyone concerned with their own or their family’s health.
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:
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 Alaska sockeye salmon provides the highest amount of Omega-3 fatty acids of any fish — 2.7 grams per 100 gram portion.
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.
Salmon is also a good source of Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants, which also include Vitamin C and beta carotene, act at the molecular level to deactivate free radicals. Free radicals can damage basic genetic material, and cell walls and structures, to eventually lead to cancer and heart disease. Vitamin E lowers the risk of heart disease by preventing the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), thus reducing the buildup of plaque in coronary arteries. Other research has found that Vitamin E plays a protective role against cancer and the formation of cataracts, and may possibly boost the immune system in the elderly.
Trying to keep track of your caloric intake, or just interested in the nutritional content of your seafood meals? Use the link below to find out number of calories, grams of protein and fat, and other nutritional values for all the Alaska seafood we carry.
Is mercury or mercury poisoning a concern for you? Women who are pregnant or breast feeding, children under 12, and those who eat a predominately seafood diet need to be aware of their level of mercury consumption. Mercury is a naturally occurring element that is found at some level the world over. Fish that come from heavily polluted fisheries, are slow growing or can attain a substantial weight are all more likely to have a higher mercury level than those fish that have shorter life spans and are harvested from clean fisheries.
Alaska Seafood comes from some of the cleanest fisheries in the world, and as a result, have lower mercury levels than most wild caught seafood. In fact all species of wild salmon, young halibut and ling cod, Alaska pacific cod, and black rockfish are so low in their mercury content that there are no dietary restrictions on the amounts anyone can eat of these species. The links below provide mercury levels for some popular species of fish, and dietary recommendations for the consumption of fish, based on their mercury levels.
Mercury levels in popular seafood: