Naomi Moriyama’s book, “Japanese Women Don’t Get Fat or Old: Secrets from My Mother’s Tokyo Kitchen,” talks about the seven pillars of Japanese food – fish, vegetables, rice, soy, noodles, tea and fruit. All of which, she believes, are the secrets behind Japanese health and vitality. Of the seven pillars, fish was introduced first and was given much attention to. Since Japan is mainly surrounded by water, it’s no wonder that Japanese diets are fish-based, rich in fish and seafood, with sparse beef offerings (perhaps also owing to limited land space).
However, people must be aware that not all fish or seafood is healthy, especially if consumed in large quantities. A lot of fish and seafood contain high amounts of cholesterol and may not be healthy alternatives at all.
Scientists and health experts believe that fish oil derived from herbivorous fish species like mackerel, salmon and sardines contain natural fish oils considered to be natural anti-cholesterol agents. Fish oil contain polyunsaturated fatty acids, more popularly known as omega-3 that lower blood cholesterol levels and improves blood coagulation properties. They are also proven to prevent the risks of heart attacks, depression and some forms of cancer.
DHA (docosahexaenic acid), an essential element found in omega-3 acid is also proven responsible for proper brain functions, supplying adequate serotonins that may inhibit depression, suicidal and violent tendencies. High fish intake is also directly linked to lower risks of age-related memory loss and cognitive function impairments in older people.
The importance of omega-3 also extends to pregnancy and lactation, responsible for the proper development of the fetus’ cerebral cortex and retina. Medical studies show that insufficient omega-3 intake may increase the risks of premature births and low birth rates. 2 things that pregnant mothers often about.
Japanese children who eat more fish are also less likely to acquire asthma, compared to their Western counterparts who rely on meat-based diets. This is reason enough to increase fish intake especially since asthma may be long term and require stringent treatments.
The most celebrated testimonies of natural fish oil are positively related to lessened risks of angina, heart attacks and failures, strokes, atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries and other vascular diseases. They help maintain heart elasticity for efficient blood circulation, prevent blood clotting, stabilize heart rhythm and lower blood pressure. Aren’t these suffice to take on fish-rich diets?
Not that am being too commercial or highly advocating of the benefits of natural fish oil, but honestly, its health benefits span far and wide. A huge amount of reliable researches and other literature also point to this direction. Recently, the US National Institute of Health published the Recommended Daily Intakes (RDI) of fatty acids amounting to 650 mg/day. The effects of which are not only beneficial, they are long-lasting as well and will continue to work in our advantages well beyond our retirement years.
Now, shall I say “kampai” (cheers) to natural fish oil and good health?