Saturday, August 23, 2008

Benefits From Fishoil To Optimize Your Brain

Much has been written about the benefits of fish oil for the heart.The benefits of fish oil are well established, not just for heart health but also for optimum functioning of both body and mind..

Fish oil is the best source of two long-chain essential fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)--the omega-3 fats we hear so much about. Essential in this context means our body cannot synthesize them, so we must get them from food or supplements. Food is usually preferable to supplements, but in this case fish oil, in capsule or liquid form, may be a better source than the fish that produce it because it is purified to be free of mercury and organic toxins. I have long recommended that people consume one to two grams of fish oil a day, the same dose used in the J.A.M.A. study.

Most Americans don't take in enough EPA and DHA to maintain optimum health. There are few dietary sources other than oily fish. Omega-3-fortified eggs, new on the market, contain only small amounts. Walnuts, flaxseed and other vegetarian sources of omega-3 do not provide EPA and DHA but rather a precursor (alpha-linolenic acid) that the body must convert. This conversion is inefficient at best and often inhibited by high intake of the fats common in processed and fast food.

Fish oil most important actions are reducing inflammation, reducing the clotting tendency of the blood, improving the profile of fats circulating in the blood, optimizing brain function (DHA is a major constituent of cell membranes in the central nervous system) and inhibiting abnormal cell proliferation, thereby reducing cancer risks. All of this translates into significant disease protection.

For me. I take two grams of fish oil a day and recommend that almost everyone do so

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Customer Review By H. Rosser "hrosser" (Ga)

Good but cheaper in larger bottles
The lemon flavor means no fishy-tasting burps! The other brand I tried ended up in the trash - this is the way to take omega-3. but the larger bottles of 150 softjels are more economical.

Essential Vitamins For Your Unborn

Being a mom-to-be should be one of the most exciting times of your life. Laying good fundamentals in nutrition helps ensure your body gets all it needs before, during pregnancy and after pregnancy.

Researchers have found that a diet high in essential nutrients helps lower anxiety and stress levels in moms-to-­be. Besides that, eating well for two ensures that your growing unborn baby receives adequate nutrition. Among those that top this important list are folate, iron, calcium and essential fatty acids.


Folate, or folic acid, is also known as Vitamin B9. It plays a major role in making the extra blood that your body needs during menstruation as well as during pregnancy. During pregnancy, it helps in the production, repair and functioning of DNA and RNA. This usually happens in the first 28 days of pregnancy when the embryo’s cells divide and grow rapidly.

Sometime, moms-to-be may not know they are pregnant and do not take adequate supply of this vitamin. A deficiency in folate can result in birth defects, usually affecting the spinal cord.

Folate is also needed to convert homocysteine to methionine. Too much homocysteine in the blood increases the risk of complications in pregnancy - blood clots, placental abruption, recurring miscarriages and still-births.

The most common neural tube defects are spina bifida and anencephaly. Spina bifida (or ’split spine’) occurs in one to two babies per 1,000 births. It is a condition whereby the bones surrounding the spinal cord do not close properly during the first 28 days after fertilization.

The newborn will have an open portion with a protruding deformed spinal cord, usually in the lower back. The child may later have mobility difficulties and need orthopedic supports like braces, crutches, walkers or wheelchairs.

On the other hand, anencephaly is a condition in which the unclosed portion of the neural tube occurs at the cerebrum or front of the brain. This results in severe underdevelopment of the newborn’s brain.

Folate is known to be able to substantially reduce the risk of neural tube defects when taken three months prior to pregnancy.

Recommended Folate Intake

400mcg three months prior to pregnancy.
600mcg during 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Good food sources

Dark green, leafy vegetables, asparagus, ladies’ fingers, lentils, beans, fortified grains and liver.

Get your folic acid supplement here!


Moms-to-be cannot afford to be anemic before and during pregnancy. Most nutrients are transported by the blood to the embryo. Iron is important to build hemoglobin in red blood cells so that it can supply oxygen to cells for energy and growth. Sufficient iron in the diet helps to prevent low birth weight and premature delivery.

Recommended Iron Intake

20mg for moms-to-be.
100mg tablet for non-anemic moms during 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Higher dosage tablets for anemic moms
Good food sources

Green leafy vegetables like lettuce, cabbage and spinach, bitter gourd, dried tofu, lean meat, chicken, anchovies, liver, whole-grains and dried beans.

Get your iron supplement here!


Calcium is an essential nutrient for the healthy development of the embryo. Calcium is needed to create strong bones and teeth, healthy nerves, heart and muscles. It also aids in blood clotting as well as developing heart rhythm.

When there is an inadequate supply of calcium in your diet, your body will supply the shortfall from your own calcium reserve in your bones, thus adversely affecting your own bone mass. Therefore it is important for moms-to-­be to build up your calcium storage.

Recommended Calcium Intake

800mg for moms-to-be.
1,000mg during 2nd and 3rd trimester.
Good food sources

Milk and milk derivatives, yoghurt, fish with edible bones, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, tofu, lentils, calcium-fortified biscuits and cereals.

Get your calcium supplement here!

Essential Fatty Acids

Recent studies have found that essential fatty acids support the healthy development of cellular activities in embryo, especially in the brain and eyes. Although it is not listed as one of the essential nutrients recommended for some countries, many food manufacturers have started to fortify their products for moms-to-be and infants with Omega-3 nutrients.

Good food sources

Flaxseed oil, borage oil, oily fish like mackerel, herring, salmon, cod and sardines.

Remember that you are eating for two persons. Both you and your baby need the very best in nutrition. Fill up on folate, iron, calcium and essential fatty acids. Enjoy your pregnancy by eating right - for yourself and your precious baby.

The Hearth Benefits Of Fish

Fish makes a wonderful addition to any healthy diet. Its fat content is generally low (many types provide 20% or less of calories from fat), making it a great protein option. And the fat it contains, appears to hold promise of preventing diseases. Eating fish instead of meat or poultry usually means less total fat, but it also almost always means less saturated fat (as long as it’s not a deep-fried fillet smothered in tartar sauce).

And that’s important when it comes to the health of your heart and blood vessels. Ironically, though, fatty fish is better for you than lean fish because it contains more omega-3 fatty acids.

The US Physician’s Health Study of 22,000 men, for example, found that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3 had the least risk of sudden death. And the Nurses’ Health Study of 85,000 women found that two to four servings of fish a week reduced heart disease risk by one-third. Even people who ate fish just one to three times a month enjoyed its benefits. As a result of much of this research, the American Heart Association now recommends two weekly servings of fish.

You don’t have to buy fresh to get the health benefits that omega3 fatty acids offer. Canned fish, including tuna, sardine and salmon, offer the same omega-3 as fresh varieties.

PharmaOmega Life is the best omega-3 fish oil supplement available without a prescription.

Selecting And Storing Fish

Fish doesn’t stay fresh for long. If handled properly, fatty fish, such as bluefish, tuna, salmon, mackerel or herring, lasts only about a week after leaving the water. Lean fish like cod, haddock or perch lasts about 10 days.

To ensure the fish you buy is fresh, check for a ‘fishy’ smell. If you detect one, don’t buy it. Whether you buy whole fish, fillets or steaks, the fish should be firm, not soft to the touch. The scales should be shiny and clean, not slimy. Check the eyes - they should be clear, not cloudy, and should be bulging, not sunken. Fish fillets and steaks should be moist, so steer clear if they look dried or curled around the edges.

It’s best to cook fresh fish the same day you buy it. Fish generally spoils faster than beef or chicken, and whole fish usually keeps better than steaks or fillets. But it will keep in the refrigerator overnight if you place it in a plastic bag over a bowl of ice.

If you need to keep it longer, freeze it. The quality of fish is better retained if it is frozen quickly. Freeze fish whole if it weighs two pounds or less. Larger fish should be cut into pieces, steaks or fillets. Lean fish will keep in the freezer for up to six months; fatty fish, only about three months.

Tips On Preparing Fish

Preparing fish without adding lots of fat is simple. The key to keeping fish moist and flavorful lies in taking advantage of fish’s natural fat and juices. The number one rule: preserve moistness.

In practical terms, that means avoiding direct heat, especially when preparing lean fish. You’ll get the best results with lean fish, such as flounder, monk fish, pike and red snapper, if you use moist-heat methods, including poaching, steaming or baking with vegetables or a sauce that holds moisture in.

Dry-heat methods such as baking, broiling and grilling work well for fattier fish.

Fish cooks fast. That means it can overcook quickly. You can tell a fish is done when it looks opaque and the flesh just begins to flake with the touch of a fork.

The general rule of thumb for cooking fish is to cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the fish’s thickest point.

Marinades do wonders for fish. But as with poultry, keep safety in mind. Never marinate at room temperature - use the refrigerator. And never use the marinade as a sauce for prepared fish unless you boil the marinade first.

Meat, poultry and fish can all be excellent sources of protein. With the right selection, preparation and storage, these three items can form the backbone of any healthy diet and give your body more disease fighting potential.

Healthy Fish Cutlet Recipe


½ kg fresh fish fillet (cut into big pieces & boil with a dash of turmeric, black pepper and 1 tsp salt - then drain)
2 Potatoes (boiled and mashed, leaving some lumps)
2 fresh green & red chilies (finely chopped)
1 inch ginger (finely chopped)
2 sprigs curry leaves (finely chopped)
3 stems coriander leaves (optional, finely chopped)
2 big onions (finely chopped)
1 egg, separate yolk from white
Breadcrumbs as much as needed

Add chopped ingredients into a big bowl.
Mix in drained and cooked fish fillet. Break the cooked fillet chunks into small pieces.
Add in the egg yolk and mix well. Add salt if needed.
Form small round patties according to preferred size.
Beat egg white until you get a nice white foam.
Coat patties with foamed egg white and coat again with bread crumbs.
Using very little oil, fry over low heat and serve warm.

Top 5 Ingredients In Foods That Make You Go Blue

Many people do not realize that their moods and emotional health can be drastically affected by the food they eat.

The brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine, are very sensitive and can easily be affected by other foreign chemicals that enter our bloodstreams.

Here are the five hidden chemicals that may be the reason for your emotional and mental predicament.


This class of chemicals is one of the most potent killers of life. It is used excessively in pesticides and herbicides. Some of its familiar names in agrichemicals are methyl parathion, dimethoate, chlorpyrifos, pirimiphos methyl and azinphos methyl. A study done by Colorado State University found that neurological problems like anxiety, irritability, depression and restlessness are higher among farmers and their families who used organophosphate pesticides as compared to their peers who did not use such chemicals.

According to Professor Lorann Stallones, these farmers are six times more at risk to suffer depression in their lifetime. According to the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, there are many records of farmers who committed suicide after years of exposure to organophosphates and other pesticides.

Organophosphates affect our system by inhibiting AchE, a critical enzyme for proper nervous system function. It is easily absorbed into our bloodstream through skin, mucus membranes, lungs and intestines. Once exposed, a person will experience headaches, dizziness, profuse sweating, blurred vision, respiratory problems, nauseating, vomiting, abdominal cramps and even loss of coordination as well as reflexes.

The only sure way to avoid organophosphates is to consume organic fruits, vegetables and baby food preparations especially those made out of apples, pears and peaches.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

If there is an awful irritation in your throat, sudden headache or dip in your mood, you may be suffering from the “Chinese restaurant syndrome”. In Asia, Chinese restaurants and food stalls use tons of MSG in the preparation of their dishes. However, to be fair to the Chinese food industry, nutritionists and health practitioners will tell you that most processed foods are also loaded with MSG. Frozen foods, canned tunas, chips, snacks, salad dressings, soups and the Asian favorite instant noodles are some of those foods that are seasoned with this common artificial flavor enhancer.

Studies have shown that MSG is notoriously linked to mild headaches, migraines, itching, nauseating, vomiting, diarrhea, mood swings as well as depression. Some people who are really allergic to MSG would experience burning sensations, facial and chest pressure as well as eye inflammations. The ingredient in MSG that causes all these adverse reactions is the processed free glutamic acid which in itself contains contaminants such as D-glutamic acid, pyroglutamic acid and others. Some processed free glutamic acid may contain carcinogenic mono and dichloro propanols. The natural occurring glutamic acid found in unprocessed and unadulterated protein does not have contaminants.

Therefore, it is best to feed your family with healthy home-cooked meals. Use herbs and spices to zest up your food. If you are a busy executive, scout for restaurants that do not use MSG as food additives. Alternatively, dine in organic restaurants as they do not use MSG or any other chemical flavoring.

Artificial Food Colorings

Many toxicologists report that artificial food colorings do adversely affect the emotional and behavioral pattern of young children. Chemical colorings such as Tartrazine (E102 or FD&C Yellow 5) are especially harmful. After consuming foods that contain such colorings, some of the reactions are instant anxiety, migraines, clinical depression, itching, outbreaks of eczema and general weaknesses as well as sleep disturbances. Countries like Norway, Austria and Germany have taken steps to ban this food dye which is made from coal tar, a by-product of the petrochemical industry. However, in USA, UK and most Asian countries, Tartrazine is one of the most common dyes used in food and medical industry.

Its bright lemon yellow color does not fade easily. Therefore it is found in many processed products such as fruit squash, fruit cordial, colored gassy drinks, butter, margarine, pasta, noodles, custard powder, canned soups, sauces, ice cream, sweets, chewing gum, jams, jelly, marmalade, mustard, yogurt, cheap honey and even the shells of medicinal capsules. The fact is that the manufacturers do have other alternatives. Our only advice to you is to opt for certified organic foods as artificial coloring is banned. They can only use beta carotene (a type of Vitamin A) for the yellow color effect.

Food Preservatives

Some people complain that they feel uneasy, heavy and having headaches after taking a particular canned food or drink. It could be due to the existence of food preservatives from the benzoates family like sodium benzoate. Another class of preservatives we have to watch out for is calcium propionate (preservative 282), which is added to prevent mold. It is widely used in large bakeries that mass-produce breads. You can also find it in dairy products like Swiss cheese. Consumed over time, you will build up the level of propionate in your body and it is well documented that this will cause reactions such as headaches, migraine, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome, tiredness, depression and fatigue.

Heavy metals

Lead is an obvious cause for the increase of depression and aggressive behaviors in children because it directly suppresses their level of serotonin or feel-calm neurotransmitter. The same emotional and mental reaction will occur when our body is exposed to mercury. Our serotonin, dopamine, acetylcholine and norepinephrine are greatly reduced and the resulting reactions would be impaired coordination, tremors, irritability, memory loss, excessive anger, depression and in more serious cases like blurred vision and muscle or joint pain. The main source of mercury exposure is dental amalgam fillings as well as seafood.

If you suspect your bouts of blues are related to chemicals in processed foods, start to be more selective in your choice of food today. Switch to organic and unprocessed foods. When your chemical burden in your body is reduced, you can kiss your chemical-related blues goodbye.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

How to get quality fish oil

How can I ensure I get quality fish oil?

1. Make sure your brand is free of mercury, PCBs and other contaminants.
2. Confirm low oxidation levels in the fish or cod liver oil.
3. Check that your fish or cod liver oil contains vitamin E.

You can find out high quality fish oil products in an economy price at
our quality fish oil store site