You probably never thought of canned fish as a home
remedy, but thatís a mindset we hope to change. Eating fish
just a few times a week will make your
heart stronger and healthieróand thatís
only one of the considerable health
benefits youíll gain as a fish eater. Discover the virtues of
canned fish, and a sharper memory, a happier mood, and
potentially, a longer, healthier life will be as close as your
whatís in it?
Certain kinds of canned fish, especially salmon, sardines,
herring, and, to a lesser extent, tuna, are loaded with
omega-3 fatty acids. These help your body manufacture
compounds called series 3 prostaglandins, which are helpful
hormone-like substances that make platelets less sticky,
reduce inflammation, and improve blood flow.
what science says
Sonic studies suggest that people who eat omega-3--rich
fish are less likely to suffer from a decline in age-related
thinking skills and memory. Other studies link low levels
of omega to higher rates of depression.
In the landmark, 25-plus-year-old Physiciansí Health
Study, which is still producing data about health, the men
who ate fish at least once a week were 52 percent less
likely to die of a heart attack than men who ate fish once
a month or less. Itís not yet known whether the effect is
due to one factor or many, but evidence so far points to
the ability of omega-3s to decrease the stickiness of blood
platelets, making it less likely that they will clump together to
form dots. They also increase the flexibility of red blood cells,
enabling them to pass more readily through tiny vessels, reduce
inflammation of the artery walls, and lower levels of triglycerides
in your blood.
A study of more than 43,000 men, published in
2003, showed that men who ate about 3 to 5 ounces (85ó140 g)
of fish one to three times a month were 43 percent less likely to
have an ischemic stroke, the most common type of stroke, which is
caused by blood clots.
High levels of mercury are a concern for fish
eaters. In general, smaller-sized fish like wild salmon and herring
contain less mercury than large fish, like tuna. Of the canned
tunas, choose light tuna, because itís lower in mercury than
albacore. Some consumer groups recommend that pregnant women eat no
more than 6 ounces (170 g) of light tuna every 4 days; every 10 days
Wild-caught salmon has the lowest mercury content
and the highest omega-3 levels; almost all canned salmon is wild
caught. Pacific North west salmon is the best choice because of the
purity of those waters.
good to know
A cup of tuna thatís canned in water is 179
calories. The same amount of tuna canned in oil is 289 calories. So
if flavor isnít an issue, choose water-packed varieties. One
suggested exception: tuna packed in olive oil is so delectable on
salads, that except for a spritz of lemon, youíll need no other
dressing. Enjoy this as an occasional treat, since oil packed tuna
contains more mercury than water-packed.
Do keep an eye on your omega-3 intake, especially
if youíre taking blood-thinning medications. More than 3 grams of
omega-3 a day may increase your risk for bleeding.