Northeastern University Dining Services Blog

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Healthy Benefits of Fish

Monday, April 9, 2012 | 12:16 PM Posted by Northeastern Dining , , , , , No comments


With Northeastern Dining recently partnering with Red's Best to bring seafood straight from the waters off the New England coast to campus dining halls, it is a great time to discuss the health benefits of eating fish. The American Heart Association advises eating two servings of fish per week for maintaining health. Research studies are proving that consuming fish 2-3 times a week can enhance physical and mental health while higher daily doses can help treat illness, combat disease, and boost brain power. Fish is becoming a sought after health food as long-chain omega-3 fatty acids [Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)] are found in fish. These fatty acids have essential properties that can enhance health and improve health issues in a variety of ways including memory enhancement, improvement in inflammatory conditions, and a boost in the immune system.

The latest evidence shows fish can be effective for decreasing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. It has also been used in the treatment of inflammatory conditions such as asthma or arthritis. Omegas-3s in fish can have a direct effect on the brain. Oils in fish have been shown to improve memory and aid in the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease. The consumption of fish can also help in lowering the number of colds and other illness.

Below is a list of fish that is safe to consume 2-3 times a week:
  • Wild Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Haddock
  • Albacore tuna
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Rainbow trout
  • Crab
  • Herring
If you don’t like fish, you can still find omega-3 fatty acid benefits in non-fish food sources, such as flaxseed, flaxseed oil, walnuts, canola oil, soybeans and soybean oil. However, the evidence of the heart benefits from eating these foods or supplements are not as significant as when you get omega-3 fatty acids from eating fish.

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Contributions by Amy Bull, a graduate student of nutritionist Christine Clark in the MS in Applied Nutrition program through the College of Professional Studies at Northeastern University.

Nutritionist Christine Clark works with Dining Services to provide you with tips and techniques to stay healthy during your time at Northeastern. If you have any further questions about this topic or are looking for more information about any other nutrition or diet topic, such as food allergies or sports nutrition, please contact her at christine.clark2@compass-usa.com.

References:
  1. Cleland, G. "Dietary fats and Inflammation: The medicinal use of fish oil. Nutrition and Dietetics, 4-6. 2009.
  2. Geopp, J. "Omega 3 fatty acids increase the brain volume." Life Extension, 17-19. 2010.
  3. Gupta, P. "Omega 3 fatty acids." Health, 51-54.
  4. Hamilton, K. "Evaluation of the composition of omega 3 fatty acids dietary oil supplements." Nutrition and Dietetics, 182-189. 2010.
  5. Mahaffey, K. "Balancing the benefit of n-5 polyunsaturated fatty acids and the risks of methyl mercury exposure from fish consumption." Nutrition Review. Vol. 69, 493-508.
  6. Murry, M. "Omegas 3’s and Immunity." Better Nutrition, 26-27.
  7. Stephensen, C. "Fish oil and inflammatory disease: Is asthma the next Target for n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplements." Nutrition reviews, Vol. 62, 486-490.

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