The importance of obtaining an adequate amount of omega-3s, is a message that rings loud and clear in the health realm.
Studies have shown that it has a significant positive effect on heart and brain health, in addition to numerous other benefits. When we think about the sources of food that contain the highest quantities of these fatty acids, salmon is the fish that generally comes to mind.
The truth about farmed salmon
When you consume Atlantic salmon, it has most likely been imported from farms in other countries; primarily Canada, Chile & Norway. There are extremely low numbers of salmon still swimming off the U.S. Atlantic coast.
This farmed Atlantic salmon, that is the majority of what Americans purchase in grocery chains & restaurants–due to its more affordable price–is a huge compromise to our bodies and our world.
The fish there are basically crowded into uninhabitable environments where they become sick from marinating in their own waste. They then receive consistent antibiotics to rectify man-made problems of disease, parasites & lice. Their diets consist of gmo grains, and because of this unnatural diet, they must be artificially colored as well. The nutritional value is lacking, and the fat content is triple that of their wild counterpart.
Other toxins to avoid
The other thing to think about when deciding where to source your omega-3s from, is the heavy metal content of the fish.
The key is, the smaller the fish the safer it is. These fish are at the bottom of the food chain, and have not accumulated the levels of mercury, cadmium and lead that can be found in larger fish. The same goes for other toxins like PCBs & dioxins.
Smash is the acronym that I was taught in order to remember which fish are low in toxins and, therefore, much safer to eat.
Taking an omega-3 fish oil supplement is a great addition to a healthy diet.
The quality of fish oil varies greatly, so read labels! Look for significant portions of EPA & DHA, as well as an antioxidant like vitamin E. The sustainable sources will be certified by the MSC or the Environmental Defense Fund. Nordic Naturals are one of the better supplements out there.
There are other sources of omega-3s for those out there who aren’t fond of seafood. Seeds like chia, flax and hemp all carry high quantities, as do walnuts and brussel sprouts.
The bottom line
You shouldn’t feel like you have to avoid all sources of the omega-3 fatty acids that your body thrives off of just because there are some sources that aren’t so pure. Just remember, only wild Alaskan salmon, the acronym SMASH, and Nordic Naturals; your heart and brain will thank you.
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What are your thoughts on salmon after reading this article? Comment down below.