As mentioned in a previous post, Medical reasons for choosing Organic vs. Non-Organic foods, I am sharing the latest data on food processing, food contaminants, and the implications to human health.
This article will focus on: WHAT TO EAT TO INCREASE OMEGA 3’s and DECREASE EXPOSURE TO MERCURY
Fatty fish are a great source of Omega 3, an unsaturated fat that is critical to overall health. Our bodies cannot make sufficient Omega 3. Our body depends on food sources for this healthy fat.
Omega 3 is needed for …….
- Brain development in fetuses and children. The most rapid brain growth occurs in the uterus and in the first 2 years of life. Furthermore, the brain continues to grow and develop into our late 20’s.
- Nerve connections that are constantly remade and are responsible for enhancing focus, concentration, memory
- Prevention of dementia
- Prevention of cancer, diabetes, eczema, allergies, asthma, arthritis, heart disease, acne – all inflammatory conditions. Omega’3 is a potent anti inflammatory
- Decreases symptoms of arthritis and muscle aches
- Decreases menstrual cramps
- Improves skin tightness (reducing wrinkles) and improves hair strength and shine
- Improves vision and helps with dry eyes
- Improves symptoms of depression, anxiety, and ADHD. Omega 3 fatty acids are critical in the development of nervous system molecules that are responsible for mood, focus, concentration
- Helps reduce colds, flu, sore throats, by enhancing our immune system
Most pregnant and nursing women have to little fish in their diet.
Children have too little fish in their diet.
Teenagers and adults have too little fish in their diet.
Everyone is petrified of Mercury.
So here are some ways to get healthy Omega 3, DHA and EPA into your diet and not be exposed to too much mercury
- Pregnant Women DO NOT EAT – Large fish like Shark, Swordfish King Mackerel, Sea Bass, Albacore Tuna or Tilefish
- Women of child bearing age, Nursing Women, and Young children are OK to eat the following small fish 2 times a week – shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna. Canned light tuna is very low in mercury and is not restricted
For the rest, Do not be afraid of fish, Choose Wisely!!
Other Sources of Omega 3
- Chia seeds – 3Tbsp = 4800 mg Omega 3
- Hemp Hearts (nutty flavor if any) – 3Tbsp = 3000mg Omega 3
- Flax Seed Powder (no taste) – 2 Tbsp= 2800mg Omega 3
- Barleans Flax Seed Oil is another great alternative that is sweet and flavorful, comes in Berry and Banana Strawberry – 1 TBSP = 1000mg Omega 3
- Walnuts – 1oz = 2654mg Omega 3
Why are we worried about Mercury??
How does mercy get into the environment?
- Coal burning plants
- Waste incinerators
- Industrial release from cement and metal producing plants
- Small scale gold mining
- Natural sources
- Disposal of latex paint, batteries, BP machines, compact fluorescent bulbs, skin lightening creams,
- Dental fixtures
Who is at risk?
Children are especially vulnerable because in the first 1-6months after birth the pathways to process chemicals and toxins are immature.
Fetus and children undergo rapid brain growth and critical development of their nervous system. This growth puts them at high risk for complications from exposure.
High Dose Effect – Mental Retardation, Cerebral Palsy, and Hearing Loss
Low Dose Chronic Exposure Effect – Motor function, information processing, memory, vocabulary, and attention
Primary Exposure is from fish consumption, LARGE FISH
Other exposures that have been considered worrisome, but with scientific research proving otherwise.
- ethy Mercury in vaccines. This has been removed from children’s vaccines since 2001 even though there was no evidence to support this.
- Dental sealants – two independent studies in 2006 showed no neurological effect in children 3yrs old with sealants.
In Good Health, Ana-Maria Temple, MD