Essential fatty acids, known as EFAs, are those fats we can’t make in our bodies. We have to get them from food or supplements. EFAs such as omega-3s and omega-6s show a wide range of health benefits to us, such as heart protective effects, lowered blood pressure, and decreased chance of blood clots. If you prefer to get these benefits through natural food sources rather than supplements, an excellent choice is cold-water fish, especially wild salmon. Studies have shown that even small amounts of fish in our diets can reduce the risk of colon and breast cancer.
The benefits from eating wild salmon and other wild cold-water fish such as mackerel, trout, and certain tunas really can’t be emphasized enough. They’re high in omega-3s, which in itself is important, but the fish also provide a multitude of health and beauty benefits that many people aren’t aware of. Wild salmon is a high source of heart-healthy protein, which is essential for a well-balanced diet for women of all ages, and there are few, if any, downsides to eating it.
EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are omega-3 oils that are found in wild salmon in high levels. These particular omega-3s are extremely important to cardiovascular health. DHA has proven to be more powerful than EPA in lowering triglycerides and increasing levels of good cholesterol, which is important. It also has a significant effect in lowering blood pressure and markedly reduces the chemicals secreted during stress. As we age, cortisol levels in our bodies rise, making our cells resistant to the effects of insulin, so our body fat increases. Insulin resistance is present in people with Type 2 diabetes and often in people with heart disease.
Furthermore, some recent studies on omega-3s have made a connection between low fish intake and increased incidence of psychological issues such as depression, suicidal tendencies, bipolar disorders, and postpartum depression. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts found that patients with manic-depressive disorder who had been nonresponsive to conventional therapies showed dramatic improvement when they were had four ounces of fresh salmon daily. Wild salmon therapy has shown great success with no discernible side effects other than younger-looking skin and an increase in cognitive skills, and who wouldn’t want that?
There aren’t many cons when it comes to this subject, but there are a few to consider. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, omega-3s may actually increase the risk of bleeding. But the Food and Drug Administration has come forth and stated that up to 3 grams of these fatty acids per day isn’t likely to be a problem. So if you’re at increased risk of bleeding, consult your physician before taking any of these supplements, just in case.
Additionally, the fatty acids may interact with certain medications. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, some of these prescriptions include diabetes medications, blood-thinning medications, cyclosporine, and cholesterol-lowering medications. So, again, consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any of these supplements if you are taking prescription medications.