Fish – especially fatty fish like wild Salmon, Tuna, Sardines, and Sablefish – are the only abundant food sources of the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids known as EPA and DHA.
The American Heart Association (AHA) says that the ways in which omega-3s reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease are still being studied, and that research shows that omega-3s have the following effects:
- Decrease triglyceride (blood fat) levels.
- Decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic (arterial) plaque.
- Lower blood pressure modestly.
- Decrease the risk of arrythmias, which can lead to sudden death.
In addition, omega-3s are shown to improve the ratio of HDL (“good”) cholesterol to total cholesterol, and this ratio is the most accurate predictor of cardiovascular risks.
Fish are also the richest food sources of three other valuable food factors:
- Vitamin D offers uniquely strong bone-building and anti-cancer benefits. Tuna and wild salmon are the richest food sources known; click here to see the vitamin D content of various fish species. For more information on this overlooked nutrient, go to our newsletter archive, see Articles by Topic in the right hand column, and click on the topics listed under Vitamin D.
- Astaxanthin is the powerfully anti-inflammatory, carotenoid-class antioxidant that gives wild Salmon its characteristic red-orange color.
- Selenium is an essential mineral needed to make enzymes that play key roles in the body’s internal antioxidant network.