Saturday, 4 August 2012

A Fishy Bite – Eat It For Youthful Skin

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Did I just see you wrinkling your nose at the mention of the word ‘fish’?  I was quite shocked to read that as a nation 40% of Britain are not meeting the recommendation of 2 servings of fish per week.  Lyons Seafood is the source of this piece of information.

There’s nothing like shedding a bit of fishy perspective, but I am surprised, especially as I simply love seafood.  So let’s get cracking on to why you should too.

For starters, this is the easiest source of essential fats to achieve more youthful-looking skin from the inside out.

For a geeky start let’s find out a little bit about these essential fats.  There are three types of omega-3 fatty acids.  They are known as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). 

ALA is an essential fat as your body cannot synthesise this to support necessary biological functions.   That’s why it is important to include these essential fats as part of your everyday healthy diet.  Your body can formulate DHA and EPA from ALA but in small amounts only.  A fishing expedition for these essential fats may be in order, but you’ll be happy to know that you really need not look far.

Fish and most seafood such as scallops, shrimp, oysters, octopus, mussels, lobster, eel and caviar provide varying amounts of your omega-3 fatty acids.  So if you are not into fish, you might like to try alternative seafood.


If you are feeling like the world really is not catering to your delicate taste buds then the good news is that eggs and particularly omega-3 DHA fortified eggs can be a useful source of these fats too. 

A quarter cup of nuts such as English, Persian or black walnuts, almonds, flaxseeds (linseeds), pumpkin seeds, pecans and soy nuts all contain ALA but not EPA or DHA.  Wheat germ cereal is another useful source of ALA. 

To get the wheels in motion add nuts to salads or in baking.  Cooking with canola and soybean oil is another great way to sneak in your daily dose of essential fats.  You don’t need to pour in gallons either; a tablespoon in a frying pan to stir fry vegetables is plenty.  Milk and yoghurt contain only small amounts, but can contribute to your overall intake of omega-3 fatty acids.


The list for these mighty fats truly is endless.  From glossy hair and firm skin to reducing your risk of heart disease, it’s essential that saturated fats from butter, baking or takeaway foods do not replace these enormously beneficial fats.

If you do like fish, then oily fish such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and trout are a few examples of useful sources.

What does your body think?  If your taste buds say no, but your body screams yes, then listen to your body and say yes to these fats, as they also have a role in rheumatoid arthritis, reducing inflammation, cognitive enhancing effects, links with Alzheimer’s disease and potentially reduced risk of type 2 diabetes as per an article in the British Journal of Nutrition this year.

Normally, this should be enough for you to line up outside your local fish monger but if it isn't, then eat it for youthful skin.

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Also visit A Fishy Bite - Should Your Kids Be Eating Fish?