By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
August 18, 2014
- The food that fights disease and extends your life
- Lengthen your telomeres and reverse aging
- Boost heart, brain, joint and bone health
There’s one food we don’t eat nearly enough of here in the U.S. It’s something that can cut your risk of heart disease, boost your brainpower, reduce inflammation and even extend your life. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest foods you can place on your dinner table.
What food am I talking about? Fish.
Salmon, sardines, herring, trout and other coldwater fish are all rich in omega-3 fats – EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These omega-3 fatty acids control chronic inflammation that contributes to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and a host of other ills.
Not only are we getting too few of these good fats, we’re also eating far too many omega-6 fatty acids.
This is a big problem, because omega-6s promote inflammation. And they account for the majority of polyunsaturated fatty acids in our food supply. They’re found in vegetable oils, salad dressings, fried foods, margarines and many other foods. It’s easy to really load up on them without even knowing it.
Worse yet, these two fatty acids fight against each other for space in your body. So, when you eat too many omega-6s, it displaces the healthy, inflammation-fighting omega-3 fats.
This makes it even more important to boost your omega-3 intake. Let me show you what boosting your levels of EPA and DHA can do for you…
One of the biggest scientific breakthroughs in recent years is the discovery that omega-3 fatty acids can extend the length of your telomeres (pronounced TEE-loh-meers). If you’re a regular reader, you’ve heard me talk about telomeres before. They’re the caps on the ends of your chromosomes, sort of like the protective plastic tips on the ends of shoelaces.
This discovery about omega-3 fatty acids is big news, because today we’re learning longer telomeres may be the key to warding off age-related disease and slowing down the aging process.
You see, your cells divide as you age… and each time your cells divide, your telomeres become shorter.
That’s where the real problem arises. Because when your telomeres become too short, your cells can’t divide anymore. They just die. Ultimately, the more quickly your telomeres shorten, the sicker you become and the faster you age.
Well, now we know that people with the lowest levels of EPA and DHA have a faster rate of telomere shortening.
The good news is, it’s reversible…
It turns out that simply supplementing with omega-3 fish oil not only slows down telomere shortening, but can actually lengthen them. And this can happen in as little as four months!
Part of the reason fish oil works so well is because it puts your balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids back in order. This reduces several markers of inflammation that contributes to telomere shortening.
And just wait until you see what that means for your health…
The ability omega-3s have to fight off inflammation is incredible. In particular, it reduces C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
Now, you’ve probably heard about CRP. This protein is a strong predictor of a first-time heart attack, even when cholesterol levels are normal. It increases the risk of almost all types of cancer – and reduces the chance of a positive outcome. People with dementia have higher CRP levels than those without dementia. And Alzheimer’s patients have the highest levels of all.
And, what about IL-6? It’s pretty much the same story here. Heart disease. Cancer. Alzheimer’s and other inflammatory diseases.
So, it won’t surprise you to learn that reducing these inflammatory markers by supplementing with omega-3-rich fish oil can…
- Lower blood pressure, triglycerides and slow plaque build-up in the arteries.
- Greatly reduce your chance of a heart attack or sudden cardiac death.
- Cut the risk of dementia in half and reduce Alzheimer’s risk by about 40%.
Omega-3s can also improve joint pain just as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). They can slow down the progression of osteoarthritis – and cut your risk of developing it by half. Omega-3s even protect your eyes and ward off age-related macular degeneration.
With all of this good news, you can see why I always recommend adding plenty of healthy, cold-water fish to your diet.
To keep your mercury exposure to a minimum, I recommend avoiding deep-water fish and sticking with ones that are lower on the food chain. This includes salmon, herring, sardines, trout and flounder. I especially like wild king salmon. They eat primarily algae, seaweed and smaller fish, so there’s less mercury in their flesh. (Tip: Cooking fish with cilantro and garlic is also a natural way to reduce mercury.)
For your health, it’s also best to eat wild-caught fish, for much the same reason that grass-fed, free-range land animals are best. Fish that are raised in their natural environment tend to be healthier to eat.
I also suggest investing in a high-quality fish oil supplement. They aren’t all created equal. Look for one that contains oil from fresh, wild-caught, deep-sea fish. And make sure it’s been molecularly distilled and tested for purity (i.e., no mercury).
Take 4,000 mg. daily to help with telomere lengthening, or 2,000 mg. a day to decrease inflammation.
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