Omega 3 fatty acids are the talk of our time currently, as more and more health benefits become associated with them. You may already be aware that dramatic breakthroughs have been made regarding their use in the management of a range of mood disorders, including depression, bipolar II disorder, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). Found in high quantities in fish oil, many people as a result of new information coming out about these essential fatty acids are making an effort to eat far more fish in their diets. Some also take fish oil supplements to boost their levels of Omega 3 fatty acids. New research reveals yet more reasons to opt for fish, readily available in Zimbabwe. Well known food wholesaler The Cheeseman supplies leading restaurants and hotels nation wide with various fish, including the very popular Claremont Trout products and Lake Harvest Tilapia. Grown in Zimbabwe, the former in Nyanga, the latter in Kariba, these health giving fish and fish products are frozen, packed and shipped so fast that they reach the restaurant table within days. The Cheeseman also supplies the hospitality industry with a whole host of other natural, healthy dairy and other gourmet food products and is the instigator and sponsor of the Restaurant of the Year contest soon to reach its climax. What’s new about the health benefits of fish, and their all important Omega 3 content? Now we know that these fatty acids not only assist with mood disorders, they also lower blood pressure, help prevent heart disease, decrease the risk of sudden death from cardiovascular disease, improve memory and decrease inflammatory pain. It is becoming common knowledge that our modern diet is deficient in essential fatty acids, and that this leads to many health problems. Until recently it was accepted dogma that all fats were bad for you. Cholesterol and fat were believed to be the unquestioned culprits in cardiovascular disease. We now know that many factors contribute to cardiovascular disease and that certain fats are not only good for you, they are essential. Thanks to the early work of Dr. H. M. Sinclair of Oxford University, we also know that fish oil, which contains essential fatty acids and cholesterol, has been shown to play a major role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
In 1952, Sinclair began studying the eating habits of the Igulik Eskimos of Greenland. When the temperature drops to below 34º Fahrenheit, the Eskimos live on seal blubber and meat, as their ancestors did. In summer they supplement their diet with fish and sometimes caribou. Although the Igulik Eskimos eat a tremendous amount of fat, Sinclair and his colleagues discovered that only 3½ % of all deaths among them were due to heart disease. In comparison, in 2000, 41% of all deaths in the USA were from heart disease! Heart disease is very rare in cultures where diets are high in omega-3s. 24 years later two other scientists expanded the study by investigating the diets of the Umanak Eskimos, who live in a more remote region of Greenland. Although seal meat and blubber make up the bulk of their diet, they also eat a large quantity of salmon. Like Sinclair before them, the scientists discovered that the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes is extremely rare in the Umanak culture where omega-3 oils are an integral part of the diet.
Fish oils have also been shown to protect against or help fight some cancers, memory and cognitive dysfunction, eczema and psoriasis, arthritis and inflammation, migraines and high blood pressure. Essential fatty acids are in fact critical to every cell of your body and essential for anti-aging. Since the body cannot manufacture them, they must come from the food you eat. Our very first essential fatty acids come from mother’s milk, and are essential to brain development. Diseases and symptoms linked to their deficiency include cardiovasular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, mental disorders, various skin conditions, PMS and menstrual cramps, osteoporosis, hair loss and infertility. Research has also found that children who regularly eat fresh, oily fish have a four times lower risk of developing asthma than children who rarely eat such fish. Need we know any more? Research results are proliferating about the benefits of fish oil and no doubt there will be yet more good news to come. Meantime, choose a fish for dinner!