We’re introducing a new feature to our blog. Each day, we will be posting some of the great information that’s packed into our book, The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging. If you wish, you can purchase a copy of the book by visiting: The Best Kept Secrets to Healthy Aging
Our first topic is fish oil and omega-3 fatty acids… Here we go!
Life starts out tough (you can’t talk, you can’t move, you’re surrounded by strangers…) and only gets tougher as you get older. Was it always this way? Maybe…but then again, people used to be satisfied sitting on their porches watching the world go by after age 65. Not anymore – you want to be vibrant and active in all ways. What is the single most important thing you can do to keep the forces of nature at bay?
Of course, you can spend the rest of your life reading the many, many books out there that recommend nutritional means of achieving (they hope) “healthy aging.” And then you can spend all of your time downing dietary supplements by the handful as you try to implement all of that advice. But unless you’re addressing a very specific concern (such as poor digestion), you really want a simpler answer.
In a word (actually 4), the simple answer is: fish and fish oils.
The Oils That Form the Foundation of a Long Healthy Life
Anthropologists (not physicians or nutritionists!) first noticed that even though the Inuit, native people of Greenland, ate huge amounts of fat (from the sea animals and fish they hunted), they seemed to maintain excellent heart health. Investigations by nutrition-minded researchers led to the conclusion that there was something about the nature of all that fat they were eating that was actually protecting the Inuit from the harmful effects that would be expected if the same amount of beef fat was eaten every day.
To summarize decades of research, it turns out that it is the omega-3 fatty acids (called “fish oils” because they are mostly found in cold water ocean fish) that are the source of the “heart healthy” effects of eating ocean fish. Virtually every scientific study of these food sources published since the 1970’s has revealed yet another health benefit that can be obtained from eating fish from cold-water oceans or by dietary supplementation with their omega-3 oils. Research shows that these nutrients support more than just the heart and cardiovascular system – they can help maintain brain function, help minimize skin reactions to sunlight and other inflammatory triggers and contribute to smooth flexible movement. The avalanche of reliable scientific findings supporting these conclusions provides ample motivation for making cold-water fish and fish oils a fundamental component of your diet.
Stay tuned for more. Tomorrow’s topic: What are Fish Oils?