Yesterday I told you about a new study showing how antioxidants can make a significant difference in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s — or even sidelining this devastating disease altogether. And while we’re on the subject of battling neurodegenerative disease with diet, I want to share the results of a new study on multiple sclerosis (MS). Because like the research I shared yesterday, it underscores the profound and powerful benefits of smart nutrition.
But before we dive into the details of the study, here’s a quick a refresher on MS: It’s an autoimmune disease, in which your body attacks its own nerves in the brain and spinal cord. The result is widespread and progressive damage to the nervous system.
MS can cause debilitating problems with speech, mobility, and mental function. And like most chronic autoimmune diseases, there is currently no cure. Which makes prevention that much more critical.
And that’s where this new research comes in.
Slash your MS risk nearly in half
This study analyzed the diets of more than 1,100 people. The average age of the study participants was 36, and roughly half had been diagnosed with MS.
One of the questions researchers asked was how much fish each subject ate. In this case, high intake was either one serving weekly, or one to three servings monthly along with a daily fish oil supplement. Low intake was less than one serving per month, and no fish oil supplements.
In the end, results linked high fish consumption with a 45 percent reduction in MS risk.
The researchers concluded that the omega-3 fatty acids provided by eating fish and taking fish oil offer a wide range of potential MS prevention benefits — from curbing inflammation to optimizing nerve function.
The bottom line? Planning fish into your weekly menu could change your life. Just make sure to follow a few simple guidelines when you’re shopping for seafood…
The best sources for omega-3s
Here are a few tips for getting the “best catch”:
- Opt for wild-caught fish rather than farmed. I’ve personally witnessed fish farms in which the fish are kept in putrid-looking water and given food that contains who knows how many toxins.
- I suggest buying your fish whole. (If you don’t want the hassle of cooking a whole fish, ask if the folks behind the counter to filet it for you.) While selecting your fish, look for clear (not cloudy) eyes and bright gills. Smell the fish before it’s packaged. If it has a displeasing “fishy” smell, that’s a clue it’s not fresh
- When it comes to the varieties with the highest percentage of omega-3 content, salmon is a great source, as is mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, and albacore tuna.
Regardless of which varieties you choose, try to incorporate fish on your menu at least once a week.
And don’t forget, no matter how much fish you eat, you should also take a high-quality fish oil supplement.
Which leads me to my next point… when you shop for a fish oil supplement, the most important criteria to look at is the EPA/DHA content. I recommend taking a high-quality fish oil supplement that delivers a daily dose of 3,000 mg of EPA/DHA.
Keep in mind that EPA/DHA content is NOT the same thing as milligrams of fish oil. (For example, some products may deliver 2,000 mg of fish oil, but only contain 300 mg of EPA/DHA.) So be sure to look at the supplement facts label to know for certain.
For more tips on selecting a high-quality fish oil, I encourage you refer back to the May 2012 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives.
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