Seafood and Other Health Benefits
A lack of Omega-3 in the diet not only increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, but it is also associated with:
- Under development of the brain and visual acuity
- Some cancers
- Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis
- Depression, aggression, dementia and schizophrenia
- Dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD (attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder)
There is also increasing evidence that diet can alter brain composition and brain function.
The human brain is unique in the animal world in that it forms a greater proportion of our body weight than almost any other species. Our brains are also unique in that the process of formation is largely complete shortly after birth. The cells present get larger, but new cells are not formed.
The brain is also unique in its composition. Of the solid non-water matter in the brain, 60% is fat, or lipid, and of that, polyunsaturates form the biggest component.
Two polyunsaturates dominate: the Omega-6 AA and the Omega-3 DHA. Vegetable oils, eggs and meat provide Omega-6 AA, while fish is the only significant dietary source of the long chain Omega-3 polyunsaturated DHA.
There is strong evidence to show that a high Omega-3 diet can protect against prostate and breast cancer or inhibit tumour growth once established.
Long chain Omega-3 polyunsaturates (PUFAs) have significant anti-inflammatory properties and help to alleviate the effects of arthritis including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and gouty arthritis.
Omega-3s are also credited with reducing the effects of aggression, depression and ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) and perhaps even schizophrenia – all of which have become more prevalent in Western industrialised society as the consumption of Omega3 rich foods has declined.
Frequent consumption of seafood helps to reduce the risk of the degenerative eye disease AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and the incidence of dementia.